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The Well Ways Suite

Well Ways is a suite of cutting edge education programs tailored for people with mental illness as well as for families or carers. The programs have been developed through extensive research, pilots and evaluation by the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria and are available through member organisations of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia. To find out about the different programs available in your state and territory click on the map of Australia.

The Mental Illness Fellowship Australia family education program Well Ways is designed to give information and support to carers and families of people with mental illness. Our unique family-to-family model harnesses the knowledge and first-hand experience of educators who have cared for loved ones with mental illness.

The Well Ways program comes in three versions to meet the different needs of families experiencing the impact of mental illness: the comprehensive Building a Future, Duo (specifically for carers of people with a dual diagnosis of mental illness with alcohol or drug problems) and Snapshot (a shorter option for families in rural and remote areas).

The comprehensive, current and research-based programs combine:
• practical information about mental illnesses
• information about the mental health and legal system
• practical frameworks to support people to manage the impact of mental illness on their lives.

Well Ways has been developed by the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria and is continuously evaluated.

How does it work?
Well Ways increases the capacity of families, carers and friends to care effectively for themselves, other family members and their relative living with mental illness.

Building a Future: Weekly three-hour group sessions run over eight consecutive weeks plus four follow-up workshops over 12 months.
Duo programs vary in different states but usually involve initial three-hour weekly sessions with follow-up workshops
Snapshot: Two half-day sessions

From a participant
"Well Ways gave me the ability to step back a little and treat my son accordingly and not to get caught up in the sickness. Well Ways is a
lifeline. Families can reach out and know that they aren't alone."

Currently the Department of Health and Ageing is funding a peer education program for people with a mental illness called MI Recovery Journey. The program will be presented by educators who have experienced mental illness, and will be available in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA) Copyright 2010