HelpingMinds started as ARAFMI in 1976. The first support groups were held in an upstairs room at 311 Hay Street, Subiaco. It was cold in winter and warm in summer.
Mrs Jean Meharry, the secretary of the Mental Health Association led the first, very informal talks. Here at last was a place that carers could talk freely and unload their hearts to, and share their problems with, a group of understanding people.
Over the next three years, the members organised themselves into a cohesive group. They succeeded in securing the funds to employ Pam Dolly, as a part-time social worker.
The initial handful of volunteers, almost all of who were relatives with many years experience of living with people with psychotic illnesses. These dedicated people had the ability to understand and empathise with people needing Arafmi’s special services.
Between then and now we have increased our geographic footprint and now have teams offering support through Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne and Mid West, throughout Perth and down to Rockingham and Mandurah in the South. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary we have a Board of Governance with 12 members and operational staff in excess of 75.
“I would watch when people came in, they would sit around drinking coffee and talking to volunteers. People’s relief was evident. They would come in feeling guilty, convinced that the way they had brought up their children had something to do with their child’s illness. They would talk with the volunteers and their guilt would begin to lift”
Pam Dolly, Social Worker
Peer to peer support groups were the topic of discussion at yesterday's 'Alternatives to Suicide' forum. Here are the presenters, Lisa and Caroline. HelpingMinds and Consumers of Mental Health WA (CoMHWA) sponsored an afternoon session just for consumers and carers/family members. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. It was a powerful day. ... See MoreSee Less
182 Lord Street
Ph: +61 08 9427 7100
F: +61 08 9427 7119
Armadale, Cockburn, Fremantle
Hillarys, Mandurah, Midland, Midvale
Carnarvon, South Hedland
Email : info (@) helpingminds.org.au
We respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present.
Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.