“I am much happier after three months already with having your support. I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Parent, Parent Peer Support Program
MIFWA’s Parent Peer Support Program is a peer led home visiting program that provides support in the home and/or community for parents who identify as having a mental illness and have children under the age of 18 residing with them.
As part of the Parent Peer Support Program, our parent peer support workers, who themselves have lived experience of mental health challenges, walk alongside each parent participant, helping them to achieve their goals – which can look different for each participant.
Led by each participant, goals can include improving communication skills, focusing on self-care, helping to connect with others, developing home routines, and problem solving. Working together, parents develop increased healthy coping strategies.
Our program is the first of its kind across Australia, with the experienced peer workers priding themselves on adopting a “whole of family approach”, supporting each parent in a way that aligns uniquely with them and their family.
Peer Workers believe in carrying hope when others feel hopeless, and plant seeds for growth and positive change. They are there to help lighten the load by letting them know they are not alone. It is a working relationship building a toolbox of resources to use when times are tough:
“I have seen increased confidence with parents we support, some returning to work or study. Overcoming obstacles and barriers with their relationships that started to blossom. It’s wonderful to see the light return to their life through having support.”
Parent Peer Support Worker
What some of our Parent Participants have to say about the program:
- “Because of your support I know I can get through the tougher times and that I need to be kinder to myself.”
- “It’s nice to have a conversation with someone that has been through it and doesn’t judge me.”
- “Your help with communication has changed mine and my daughter’s relationship.”
- “I think it’s such an amazing program.”
What Parent Peer Workers have to say about the program:
- “I personally wish I had known about the program in my darkest days. I feel blessed to be a part of the program.”
- “Parents have stated how much they value the support and assistance they receive from MIFWA and the Parent Peer Support Program.”
MIFWA acknowledge the critical role of COMIC WA. In particular, its convener, Margaret Cook, for her vision, passion and insight that lead to development of the Parent Peer Support Program.
If you would like to learn more about the Parent Peer Support Program or would like to receive referral information, click here. You can also contact Margie Gardiner directly on 0458 588 573 or email@example.com.