Key events in mental health peer work

Events

Alleged Lunatics’ Friend Society (Britain)

1845

formed by ex-patients in Britain

Clifford Beers’ autobiography A Mind That Finds Itself: A memoir of madness and recovery is published

1908

This account of his hospitalization and the abuses he suffered gained the support of the medical profession and others in the work to reform the treatment of the mentally ill.

Victorian Association for Mental Health established

1930

Established to give public voice to concerns - VIC Australia

Relatives of the Mentally Ill Association established (Queensland)

1940

GROW founded (Sydney)

1957

GROW is a peer supported program for growth and personal development of people with a ‘mental illness’ and those experiencing difficulty in coping with life’s challenges

'Ex-inmates' meetings (USA)

Approx. 1960 - 1969

In the 1960s in the US, mental health advocacy groups (called ‘ex-inmates’) meet regularly for mutual support and ‘consciousness-raising’. Activists are involved in ‘civil disobedience’, chaining themselves to gates of mental hospitals and liberating ‘patients’ by walking out the doors of hospitals with them

CAPIC (Australia) established

Approx. 1960 - 1969

First consumer organisation in Australia Campaign Against Psychiatric Injustice and Coercion (CAPIC) established

NSW ARAFMI founded

1975

Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) support group

Council on the Ageing NSW forms the Carers Committee

1976

In 1980 this becomes an independent body The Carers Association of NSW.

The Carers Association of NSW (now Carers NSW) founded

1980

This is the first Carers Association in Australia and the world. In 1997 this will become Carers NSW.