Media Release – for immediate release

Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania Recognises the Role of Families and Friends during Carers Week

As Carers Week 2023 draws to a close, Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania acknowledges the invaluable contribution of families and friends in providing support to their loved ones living with mental ill health and/or alcohol and other drug use (AOD).

The organisation today launches “Brushes of Compassion: Family and Friend Stories of Love, Hope, and Resilience” to shed light on the often-unrecognised journeys of these dedicated supporters.

Glen O’Keefe, CEO of Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania, emphasises the importance of this initiative, stating, “This year, we aimed to provide a platform for families and friends to express their experiences and emotions in a creative and therapeutic manner. We encouraged them to submit various forms of expression, including writings, images, and drawings, allowing them to feel heard and validated. These submissions also serve as a source of comfort for those who read them, fostering a sense of connection, understanding, and meaning in their own experiences. People with lived experience of mental ill health and AOD use also participated by sharing their appreciation for the support provided by their families and friends throughout their journey.”

“Brushes of Compassion: Family and Friend Stories of Love, Hope, and Resilience” serves as a valuable resource for families and friends who may experience isolation and a lack of acknowledgment during challenging times. The book offers comfort, reminding them that there are individuals who genuinely comprehend and care about their experiences. It is a testament to the enduring qualities of love, hope, and resilience.

Mr. O’Keefe extends his gratitude, saying, “We wish to express our appreciation to all those who had the courage to share their stories and experiences with us, not only for their personal healing but also for the well-being of other families and friends.”

Tania (not their actual name) is one of the family and friends who contributed to the story book and said “I contributed to the MHFFTas Family and Friend book to share with others some of how it feels and what it means to be a carer of a loved one, in my case a child, who is struggling with mental health challenges. Often the carer journey is very private and isolating, it always feels less lonely when I connect with other carers, and I hope through my contributions they may resonate with someone else and help them to know they are not alone.”

“Brushes of Compassion” is accessible in PDF format on the Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania website, and hard copies are available at the organisation’s office.

Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania is the leading organisation in Tasmania representing, supporting, and advocating for family members and friends who provide unpaid physical, practical, emotional, social, mental, and or financial support to a family member and or friend living with mental ill health or co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) use.

Download the PDF version here.  Contact our office on 6228 7448 for a hard copy of the book.

Media Contact: Glen O’Keefe, CEO

Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania

Email Address: glen@mhff.org.au

Phone Number: 0437 010 934

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