ARAFMI offers FREE professional counselling and support to children/youth aged 8-18 years who have a friend or family member with a mental illness. The purpose of this counselling is to explain to the child/youth aspects of mental illness that their friend or family member experience. The counselling also explores the way the mental illness effects the family member/friends interactions with the young person.

Through discussion, the program aims to assist the child/youth to develop healthy coping strategies and the development of positive self-image, self esteem and confidence.

The service is available to those who reside in the Perth metropolitan area. Counselling can be provided on an outreach basis at schools or at an ARAFMI office (eg Perth, Whitfords, Mirrabooka, Midland).

To be eligible for the program clients must meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 8-18 years of age.
  • Reside in the Perth metropolitan area.
  • Have a family member or friend with a mental illness.
  • Have the ability to meet with a counsellor in an ARAFMI office or school within the catchment area.
  • Parent and client consent to engagement in the Youth Services Program/s (parental consent is only required if the child is less than 15 years of age).

The Youth Services counselling program provides the following to clients:

  • Education on mental illness.
  • Advocacy and referral.
  • Liaison with schools and parents/guardians.
  • Counselling and support.
  • Development of healthy coping strategies.
  • Development of positive self-image, self esteem and confidence.
  • Safety plans (eg what to do in an emergency or if someone is unwell).
  • Provision of information on the services available (eg 24 hours counselling lines).
  • Referral to the ARAFMI Holiday Programs for respite.

Counselling is short-term and solution-focussed however, the number of sessions offered can depend on the child’s individual needs.

Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.