For more than 40 years, Ailsa Whitehead AM has been a leader in mental health carer support initiatives in Queensland.
Through her role as the President of the Arafmi Management Committee for 17 years she provided outstanding leadership and made a difference to the lives of countless Queensland carers. She played a significant role in identifying carer needs, planning for these needs to be met, and advocating for system change.
At the Arafmi Carer Forum, during National Carers Week and QMHW, Ailsa was awarded the Queensland Mental Health Commission’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.
In presenting the award, Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said Ailsa understood the power of connecting with others and providing education, information and support to minimise stress and improve the quality of life and wellbeing for families and those they care for.
Mr Frkovic said that, together with another carer, Ailsa was instrumental in setting up the Arafmi Telephone Support Line. The 24-hour support line continues to operate statewide and Ailsa, the longest serving volunteer, recently retired at 94 years of age.
Speaking at the Arafmi Carers Forum, sponsored by the QMHC, Mr Frkovic paid tribute to carers, who are the backbone of the mental health system.
Contact Arafmi Queensland for carer support.