ARAFMI Hunter Mental Health Carers offer support and counselling for the families and friends of people with mental illness.

ARAFMI Hunter Mental Health Carers has been operating in the Hunter since 1979 to help fill the gaps in providing support for people who are caring for loved ones with mental illness. The service joined Samaritans in 2019.

Model of Care

Our unique model of care encourages anyone who provides support to a person with a mental illness or disorder, to reach out and access our services – no diagnosis or referral is required. We work in partnership with you for as long as you require.


Our accredited and professional counsellors understand the difficulties that mental health carers face and will respond with compassion and respect, and ensure you get the right care at the right time to meet your individual needs.

  • No cost, face to face counselling in a relaxed, safe and therapeutic environment
  • Remote telephone and Skype counselling, if you prefer
  • Assistance to navigate Hunter New England mental health services
  • Information on psychiatric illnesses


Attendance at workshops is via an expression of interest. To register your interest in attending a workshop call 02 4922 1500. We will confirm your availability to attend one week before the scheduled workshop.

Workshop costs: $30 per day (less $10 for concession holders).

Catering: Light lunch is included.

Eligibility: If you provide support to a person who lives with mental illness you are welcome to attend our subsidised workshops. If you are employed to provide support to a person who lives with mental illness, then please contact our office to enquire about workshops tailored to your professional requirements.

View workshops

Support Groups

Our support groups are a place where you can share and be supported by others who are having similar experiences. All our groups are attended by one of our counsellors. The person you support doesn’t have to have a mental health diagnosis or be a client of the hospital where the group is held for you to attend. Just choose the location and group type that best suits your support needs.

  • Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group for Carers: 32 Brunker Road, Broadmeadow, 2292. 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:30 – 8:30pm
  • Lakeside Carer Support Group: Lakeside Private Hospital, Warners Bay. 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:00 – 8:30pm

Community Partnerships

Mental Health Wellness Walk has been held each year in October Mental Health Month since 2005.

The aim of the walk is to bring our community together by raising awareness of mental health. The walk encourages all of us, whether we have experienced mental illness or not, to recognise the importance of looking after our mental health and wellbeing. Together as a community, we can help destigmatise mental health and show our support for people with mental illness and their families.

Visit the Mental Health Wellness Walk page

How to Access our Services

Call our Samaritans Brunker Road Reception on 4922 1500 or email: to make a counselling appointment or register your interest in attending a workshop or support group.




9:30 to 3:00pm, 1 day workshop

Monday 29 April 2019

Monday 23 September 2019

32 Brunker Road, Broadmeadow

It would not be possible to enjoy healthy relationships without the existence of personal boundaries, or without our willingness to communicate them directly and honestly with others. In this workshop, you will learn to set healthy personal boundaries that support positive self-respect and self-worth.


Half day workshop over 10 weeks

9:00 to 12:00pm each Monday

17 June to 19 August 2019

32 Brunker Road, Broadmeadow

This eight to ten-week program is designed to help carers move from ‘just coping’ to living better with the impact of mental illness while bringing the focus back on their own life journey, healing the hurts of the past and moving forward.

To attend this workshop, a referral from one of our Counsellors is required, and only one family member can attend at a time.