Office of Individual and Family Affairs
The Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) promotes recovery, resiliency, and wellness for individuals with mental health and substance abuse challenges. We build partnerships with individuals, families of choice, youth, communities, organizations and we collaborate with key leadership and community members in the decision making process at all levels of the behavioral health system. In partnership with the community, we:
- Advocate for the development of culturally inclusive environments that are welcoming to individuals and families.
- Establish structures to promote diverse youth, family and individual voices in leadership positions throughout Arizona.
- Deliver training, technical assistance and instructional materials for individuals and their families.
- Ensure peer support and family support are available to all persons receiving services and their families.
- Monitor contractor performance and measure outcomes.
- Through the Foster Care Community Liaison, support the foster care/kinship/adoptive family community with access to health care-related information.
Info at a Glance
Download and print these handy one-page fliers to help you navigate behavioral health care needs and advocate for you and your family.
Be Your Own Advocate
You have a voice and a choice in your health care decisions. Learn how to be your own advocate. You Have a Voice and Choice
Familiarize yourself with the family support services available to you from family-run organizations. Family-run Organizations
You have a right to the behavioral health services you need, when you need them. Contact your RBHA to find a provider who can meet your needs. No Wait Lists
If you have a complaint or concern with a provider about the quality of care or services, you may file a formal complaint (also known as a member grievance). Here's how to do that, and the process you can expect AHCCCS to follow:
History of OIFA
Arizona’s Office of Individual and Family Affairs was established in 2007 during a summit hosted by the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services (ADHS/DBHS). Read reports from the 2007 summit and the 2009 summit.
OIFA is committed to engaging the community and fostering change from within. The 2011 Raise Your Voice report is one example of how community engagement creates real change. Raise Your Voice, the product of a campaign led entirely by peer and family members, was instrumental in the drafting of revised court orders for Arnold v Sarn in 2012. Members of the community were involved at every stage of the process, and the report is written using their own words.
People with mental disorders must often cope with the sting of social stigma in addition to their illness. Those with mental disorders have long staggered under the weight of negative attitudes and beliefs that cause others to fear them, avoid them and shun them.
Why should we care?
Stigma shapes how people interact with those with behavioral health challenges. Stigma keeps others from socializing with those with mental illness. Some landlords won't rent to someone with mental illness; some employers won't hire them.
Negative public perceptions sometimes hamper a persons' access to housing, employment and funding for care. The discrimination associated with stigma can seriously affect a person's willingness to seek, or continue, treatment for mental illness. Stigma can erode a person's self-esteem and sense of dignity so that shame prevents them from seeking help.
Who is affected by behavioral health disorders?
1 in 4 people are affected by behavioral health disorders any day. This includes friends, family, co-workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, athletes—it can be anyone!
What would it look like if everyone with mental illness lived in one state?
The number people with a diagnosable mental illness couldn't live in one state. The 57.7 million people with mental illness are greater than the populations of California, New York, Rhode Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands combined.
Mental Health: Everyone Has It!
Reducing stigma and promoting inclusion is a societal responsibility takes all of us. Wellness, for each of us, includes physical health and mental health. Every human being, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, orientation or income - has mental health.
You Can Help Fight Stigma
- Know the facts about mental illness and substance use disorders.
- Educate others - share what you've learned.
- Invite the Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) to hold an Arizona Dialogue for your organization, association or faith community.
- Choose your words carefully - language matters.
- Be aware of your own attitudes and behavior - recognize the signs and get help if you need it.
- Be supportive and compassionate with people who experience behavioral health challenges.
- Encourage people in their recovery.
- Welcome everyone to your community and place of worship.
- Hire people in recovery from behavioral health challenges.
- Take care of your mental health just as you do your physical health.
- Volunteer your time and skills to help behavioral health organizations.
- Make financial donations to non-profit behavioral health organizations serving your community.
- Donate clothing and household items to nonprofit organizations.
- See Arizona & National resources and organizations:
- National and Local Behavioral Health Organizations
- AZ Center for Disability Law
- AZ Suicide Prevention Coalition
- MedlinePlus (health information clearing house)
- Mental Health American (MHA) AZ
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) AZ
- National DBSA
- National Institute on Aging
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Mental Health Consumer’s Self-Help Clearinghouse
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- For Children & Families
- National and Local Behavioral Health Organizations