The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia began informally in 1986 as an association of the state and territory schizophrenia fellowships then in existence. It was formed primarily to provide a point of contact, a place to exchange information, lobby and to provide mutual support.
In 1995 all members of the group agreed to the process of national incorporation which occurred in 1996.
In November 2001 our name was changed from the Schizophrenia Fellowships Council of Australia to the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia. This change reflects both the constituency and services provided by state members.
The inaugural president was Bernard McNair (former president of the NSW Fellowship) and the current president is the Hon Rob Knowles (independent Chair & previously President of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria).