As it is Carers Week, it is a fitting time to both promote a program where family and friend voices are valued and recognised, but to also let families and friends know that this program is for you.
The Family and Friend Representative Program is a gateway for families and friends to use their experiences and to have their voice heard, to make valuable contributions and to ensure that the voice of families and friends are represented, so that their needs and expertise are heard and acknowledged at all decision-making tables.
Family and Friend Representatives are people who have lived experience supporting a family member or friend who lives or lived with mental ill health and or alcohol and drug use. Family and Friend Representatives, like all mental health and/or AOD families and friends, come with so much invaluable knowledge, experience, and understanding on the recovery journey for the person they support, and themselves. They come with the understanding of the social exclusion, distress, frustration, powerlessness and hopelessness, and exhaustion that often comes with an informal support role, and what they need or needed in terms of support. They also have invaluable knowledge and experience in what it is like navigating and engaging with mental health and AOD services. The skills and expertise that families and friends have as a result of their support role are instrumental to the care of another and are also instrumental in informing decision making and policy, service, and program development.