In this issue

•  Review of Hospital Safety & Quality Assurance report released
•  Tandem events
•  World Café in Darebin
•  Launch of Mental Health Week
•  National Carer's Week 2016
•  Update on Mental Health in Multicultural Australia


Regular features
Ready, Steady, NDIS
Training Opportunities
Carer Support Group Update

Breaking news

Release of the final report of the Review of Hospital Safety and Quality Assurance

Targeting Zero: Supporting the Victorian hospital system to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care, the final report of the Review of Hospital Safety and Quality Assurance, led by Dr Stephen Duckett was released yesterday. The Government and the Department of Health and Human Services will use the recommendations contained within the report to overhaul quality and safety across the Victorian health system. The Department response Better Safer Care was launched this morning.

Tandem looks forward to playing a role in supporting the commitment to achieving a target of zero avoidable patient harm in Mental Health Services by continuing to advocate for family/carer inclusion in Mental Health care planning, treatment and discharge.
Targeting Zero: Supporting the Victorian hospital system to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care can be found here. Download a copy of Better, Safer Care here.         

Tandem events

2016 Tandem AGM and inaugural Awards

You are invited to attend the 2016 Tandem Annual General Meeting and inaugural Awards. The 2016 Tandem AGM will incorporate the inaugural Tandem Awards for Exceptional Service to Families and Carers in Mental Health. It is to be held at the Tandem office, Level 1, 37 Mollison Street, Abbotsford on 10 November, 2016 at 10am. Register here.

Strategic planning and end of year celebration

The last meeting for members this year will largely be devoted to hearing from you about what you believe Tandem’s next Strategic Plan should look like. Consultant Allison Hallahan from Birru Health will facilitate this discussion. Join us on 8 December at 10am.           

Tandem in Mental Health Week

World Cafe – multicultural lunch and NDIS information session in Darebin

The World Café, a multicultural NDIS information session that was held on Wednesday 12 October at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre was successful in its aim of bringing together a significant number of people with psychosocial disability and their carers from a range of diverse backgrounds to learn more about the NDIS. Twenty-one people attended the session, with the majority identifying as carers.

The Greek, Italian and Chinese communities that were targeted for the session were all in attendance with a number of English and Vietnamese speaking people also present. This collaborative initiative, in partnership with a number of agencies in NEMA, enabled participants to access information that was tailored to their unique needs and situation. A Carer who attended with his son who has a psychosocial disability reported that it was the first time he had heard his son’s concerns about the NDIS. He commented that the information provided would assist them in talking about the NDIS after the session and preparing him for the phone call next year when MHCSS transitions to the NDIS.

Many of the participants left the session with a better understanding of how to access the NDIS and, through connecting with the Local Area Coordinators, felt confident in attending the Brotherhood of St Laurence for assistance applying to the NDIS.              
Ready, Steady, NDIS

Launch of Mental Health Week

Tandem were delighted to be a part of Mental Health Week's official launch at Federation Square on Tuesday 11 October by the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley MP. Minister Foley reaffirmed the department’s commitment to improving mental health programs, recognising the importance of the 10 Year Mental Health Plan for consumers, carers and families, and supporting services. He placed special emphasis on the Suicide Prevention Strategy and the goal of reducing suicide numbers.

Keynote speaker Jason Ball, an Aussie Rules footballer and LGBTI advocate, talked about growing up in the football community, his experiences with mental illness, and how it was the support of his teammates that aided his recovery. As an Ambassador for Beyond Blue he stressed that it is our personal stories that change hearts and minds and break down stigma, and that it is important to be proud of who you are, and not to underestimate the power and support of your allies.  
Ready, Steady, NDIS
Left: The Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley MP, along with Professor Bruce Tonge, Chairman of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia, awarding artist Rowena Schroeder for her winning entry in the Mental Health Week Consumer Art Competition. Right: AFL footballer, Jason Ball.

National Carers Week 2016

This year National Carers Week runs from 16–22 October and it is a time to celebrate and recognise the 2.8 million Australians who are in a caring role, whether they are caring for a partner, a parent, a child, a friend or a neighbour.

Carers’ Lunch for Carers in the Northern metro region – places still available

Come and celebrate Carers Week 2016 with CarerLinks North at Montsalvat! Entry to the grounds, lunch, live music, a motivational speaker and relaxation options all included! Come along and take the opportunity to relax and connect with other carers. More information can be found here.

Carers Count!

National Carers Week's theme this year is ‘Carers Count’, and all Australians are encouraged to let carers know how much they count and thank them for their extraordinary contribution to Australia. Take 1 minute out of your day to offer thanks and show your support so together we can build a carer-friendly Australia. Click here.

Carers Week Events

Please download the local National Carers Week regional events activity guides which are listed on the Carers Victoria website, and ensure you contact the event organiser listed on the flyer to confirm your attendance.

Update on Mental Health in Multicultural Australia

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia: Towards culturally inclusive service delivery (The Framework) has been developed to help organisations and individual workers to:
  • Evaluate their cultural responsiveness 
  • Enhance their delivery of services for CALD communities.
The Framework is mapped against current practice, policies and plans. Its implementation will not only assist services to fulfil their existing safety, quality and accreditation requirements, but also offers an ongoing process of assessment and development. It has three integrated components including an Organisational Cultural Responsiveness Assessment Scale (OCRAS), implementation guides, and resources and information. Further information can be found here.
Ready, Steady, NDIS

Submission on NDIS Savings Fund Special Account Bill 2016

Tandem has responded to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund Special Account Bill 2016, which introduces a special ‘Savings Fund’ to redirect underspends and identified savings to help meet the Australian Government’s contribution to the NDIS. Tandem’s submission welcomed the pledge to deliver and fund the NDIS in full, but expressed concern that re-directing funds from existing services may have on families and mental health carers. Any re-direction of funds should not be to the detriment of existing services that provide essential supports to mental health carers You can read the all the submissions made for the inquiry here.

Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) have started their pre-planning workshops

Pre-planning workshops are being held across NEMA at all BSL offices. The pre-planning workshops are designed to assist participants prepare for their planning meeting with a Local Area Coordinator. 

Locations, days and times
(1/1 Latitude Blvd, Thomastown), Wednesdays 10am–12pm, Thursdays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
Yarra (95 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – Training Room 5), Fridays 10am–12pm.
Banyule and Nillumbik (65 Main Street, Greensborough), Tuesdays 10am–12pm, Wednesdays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
Darebin (293 High Street, Preston), Thursdays 10am–12pm, Mondays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
If you require any further information, please email Linkage Coorinator Maree Ellul, or call her on 9223 4208 or 0437 106 577.

Webinar: Save the Date

An introduction to the NDIS for mental health carers – Friday 21 October 2016
Mental Health Australia and Carers Australia present a webinar for mental health carers on the NDIS. The webinar aims to help mental health carers understand the NDIS and provide them with information and resources to help them to support the person they care for to engage with the Scheme.Webinar panel members include Frank Quinlan, CEO Mental Health Australia; Ara Creswell, CEO Carers Australia; a representative from the National Disability Insurance Agency; and Janet, a mental health carer with experience accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme. There will be an opportunity for people attending the webinar to ask the panel members questions.

The webinar will be held 4pm–5pm (AEDT) on Friday 21 October, 2016. A link to register for this event will be distributed shortly.

New research: psychosocial early intervention in NDIS  

Recognising the recovery benefits of early intervention for people living with psychosocial disability, Mind Australia in collaboration with the University of Melbourne have released a research report entitled, Effective, evidence-based psychosocial interventions suitable for early intervention in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): promoting psychosocial functioning and recovery

The report evaluates how effective various early intervention supports are in improving outcomes for people living with mental health issues and points to a range of issues related to achieving long term outcomes and reducing long-term reliance on the NDIS. Social Skills Training, Supported Employment and Peer Support were some of the early interventions found to be highly effective in assisting recovery. The report contends that the NDIA and governments should facilitate access to these supports to reduce system demand and improve financial sustainability of the Scheme. 

NDIS organisational readiness training for mental health service providers

To support mental health providers in the successful transition to NDIS operating environment, Mental Health Australia has partnered with National Disability Services, the Mental Health Coordinating Council of New South Wales, and the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health and the Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition to deliver a suite of training. This will include national webinars, and face to face workshops in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory, to be run between now and mid-November 2016. This training has been made possible by funding provided through the NDIS Sector Development Fund and will be offered free of charge to mental health service providers. The training will cover:
  • Marketing for psychosocial disability providers
  • Costing and pricing
  • Flexible work practices
  • Strategies for positive organisational change.
Please click here to find out more about the training, including what’s covered in each of the workshops, dates, locations and registration information.

NDIS Contact Centre extends operating hours  

The NDIS Contact Centre, 1800 800 110 is now operating 8am–11pm local times, Monday to Friday. For calls received outside our new operating times a recording will advise the caller of the Contact Centre operating hours. As this is not an answering machine service, callers will need to phone the NDIS 1800 number during the operating hours of 8am–11pm Monday to Friday. Further information on the NDIS can be found on the NDIS website.

New factsheet about accessing the NDIS  

Download factsheet here.

Mental Health and NDIS Forum – wait list available  

VICSERV and National Disability Services Victoria are hosting a dedicated Mental Health & NDIS Forum, focusing on current and future considerations for community mental health organisations and other stakeholders. The forum will be held on Wednesday 26 October, from 9.30am–4.00pm. Tandem will be participating on the panel during the forum. For further details and to be added to the wait list click here.

Mental Health Expo in Macedonan Ranges    

PS My Family Matters in conjunction with Macedon Ranges Health Services is running a Mental Health Expo for community members, GPs and agencies to network and learn about the NDIS. Tandem will be presenting about NDIS and a carer perspective as part of a panel consisting of NDIA and VMIAC on Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 5.30–7.30pm at 5 Neal Street, Gisborne. Registrations are closed now. Please contact PS My Family Matters on 0401 042 777 with any queries.

Service Provider Workshops

NDIA is holding a number of sessions to assist providers with the operation of the My Place Portal. For more details and to register click here.
NDIA continues to run its core information sessions for providers.  For further details, click here.

World Café – NDIS general information session in Yarra registrations still open

Thursday 3 November, 10am–1pm, Richmond Town Hall. This session is for people living with a disability including mental illness, their families and carers living in the North East Melbourne Area. The session is free to all carers and people with disability. Lunch will be provided and interpreters will be provided for the Arabic, Greek, Italian and Chinese (Mandarin) languages. Transport is available if needed. Registrations to Carly Donaghey, NDIA on 5224 5430 or
Carer Peer Support Worker (x2)
Inner West Area Mental Health Service (RMH) are looking for a motivated and resilient person with direct personal experience as a carer/family member of a person with a mental illness to provide peer support and information to mental health carers within the acute inpatient unit and community settings of Inner West Mental Health Services. Two positions available; part-time, fixed term until October 2018. Applications close 19 October. More information can be found here.

Anglicare Victoria

Visit the Anglicare Victoria website for a comprehensive list of courses and events on offer in October and November.

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. 3 November, 1 December. Surrey Hills. For further information or to register, visit the ARCVic website.

Carers Victoria

Carer Support Group Facilitator Training. 26 October. A one-day comprehensive program suitable for new facilitators or for those wanting to start up a carer support group. 
Dementia Program. A four week program for caring families who are supporting a person living with dementia is a practical, interactive and offers clear take home strategies for carers. Monday 7, 14, 21 & 28 November.

Click here to register and see all Carer's Victoria courses and events for 2016.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Maroondah City Council is offering Mental Health First Aid Training to 25 community members on 17–18 October. The training will be fully funded, but participants need to commit to the full two day program. Register here.

Mildura Family Connections

Free BPD Carers Support Program commences Thursday, 10 November, 6.30–8.30pm. The Family Connections Program is a free evidence- based program that provides education, resources, skills training and support for those with a loved one who experiences Borderline Personality Disorder. Schedule: 10, 17 & 24 November, 1, 8 &15 December, 12, 19 & 26 January, 2, 9 &16 February. To register please complete the online form or email BPD Family Connections. More information can be download here.

MIND Australia – Carer Education Workshops

Building carer resilience. 5 November.
Challenging behaviours. 22 October, 12 November.
Recovery and hope. 29 October.

See the full calendar of workshops here.

Royal Commission into Family Violence

The Victorian Government is hosting Community Co-design Workshops for Support and Safety Hubs across the state in October. Click here to register and for more information.

Voices Vic

The Hearing Voices Approach. 25 October, Warrnambool; 26 October, Portland; 27 October, Hamilton; 23 November, Prahran.

More information and other courses can be found here.


Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Work. VICSERV is pleased to announce that registrations are open for the 2017 program of the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (CHC43515), commencing in February 2017. More information can be found here.
Mental Health & NDIS Forum. 19 October, 9.30am–4.00pm at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). 20–21 October (2 days), 9.30am–4.30pm at the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare.

The full VICSERV Training Calendar May 2016 to February 2017 is available here.



Snapshot. Education program designed to provide family members and friends of people with a mental illness with essential information, resources and support on mental health. 16 & 23 November, Banyule Community Health, Heidelberg. Wellways' full schedule for July to December is available here.
3–28 October, Packenham
HOPE Exhibition.
An art exhibition supporting artists affected by mental illness. More information is available here.

19 October, Fitzroy
Access Forum. 
The Turning Point and Spectrum Consumer and Carer Committee are holding a forum where consumers and carers’ voices are heard highlighting difficulties accessing everyday services and the difference this can make to people’s lives. Registration is free.

19 October – 3 November, South Morang
Dangerous Deeds Video Art Exhibition

This exhibition provides a snapshot of the Victorian Disability Movement. Details here.

25 October, Parkville
Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative State-Wide Forum.
 This year's topic is ‘What’s Old Is New Again’  What We Know? What We’ve Learned? What’s New? Download the flyer for more information.

10 November, Ballarat
The Our Choice Expo is a wonderful showcase for the disability community. The expo’s aim is to empower participants and their supporters who are getting ready for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as it rolls out in their area with information and connections. Download the registration form here.

15 November, Abbotsford
Forum on Carer Grief: Experience of Living with Children's Trauma. For parents and carers raising children with complex, traumatic backgrounds who often experience unacknowledged grief at being unable to “heal” their child’s past. Information and registrations here.

16 November, Melbourne Town Hall
Mental Health Tribunal Consumer and Carer Forum.
 Consumers and carers are invited to attend the second Mental Health Tribunal Consumer and Carer Forum entitled ‘Enhancing Our Act’. Download the flyer for more information.      
Alfred Health Carers Services on RRR Radiotherapy
On Sunday 25 September Sue Leake, Coordinator of the Dementia Program and Peter, Mental Health Carer and BBQ Boys Chairperson discussed carers and their needs. Listen here.

lifeAssist Carer's Recognition Program
As a lifeAssist Carer you and your family can have access to valuable savings all year round. Download the flyer for more information.

MI Fellowship runs a range of programs, activities and events all year round. You can meet people, try new things and learn news skills in your local area. We hold events for people living with mental illness and their family and friends. Find out more about what's happening near you here.

The Pathway for Carers project offers carers of people with a disability or a mental health issue, an opportunity to share walks in Manningham, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. Further information can be found here.
17 October, High Street Centre, Frankston
Peninsula Carer Council Annual General Meeting. The guest speaker, Dr. Peter Mc Kenzie from the Bouverie Clinic Brunswick, will be outlining the basic principles of a relatively new approach to treatment of people with a mental illness – the Open Dialogue Approach – which started in Finland in the 1980s, and gradually spread across Scandinavia, Europe, UK and USA. For more information can be found here.

18–19 October, Brisbane
Workplace Heath Association Australia (WHAA) National Workplace Health Conference. 
This year’s theme, 'The Puzzle of Workplace Health – Putting the Pieces Together' ties in with current industry trends for program integration with OH&S, EAP, state-based Initiatives or external providers. Register here

24–26 October, Brisbane 
12th Biennial Asia Pacific International Mental Health Conference (AsPac).The Conference Program highlights a focus on early intervention, suicide, cross cultural learnings and innovative service developments. Visit for more information.

25–27 October, Adelaide
42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Nurses Striving to Tackle Disparity in Health Care.This conference will look at how disparity in health care impacts on mental health consumers, carers and their families. The conference will offer opportunities for collaboration and partnership within the mental health and nursing sectors. Register here.
This issue of Tandem eNews is filled with information for mental health carers and the carer peer workforce, for carer workers and mental health staff, and those with an interest in this area. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so here.

Tandem is the peak body for mental health carers in Victoria. Tandem advocates for carer involvement in planning and care, participation in system change, and support for families and carers.

To do this, we need your voice. There is strength in numbers and your story, your experience and your recommendations count. You can join Tandem now by downloading the Membership Form. For more information please call our office during business hours on 8803 5555.
Tandem Inc. acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners of the lands and waters of Australia. Tandem is committed to working in partnership to support the principles of self-determination and ensure the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health carers are heard and considered.
Disclaimer. Tandem endeavours to provide a broad range of mental health carer-related information and other opportunities in this publication. This does not imply endorsement, recommendation or a direct reflection of Tandem's values and aims. Tandem attempts to ensure that information published is up-to-date and correct at publication.
Copyright © 2016 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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