Edition 7
3 July 2019
Royal Commission - Public Hearings 
The Public Hearings of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System began yesterday in the Melbourne Town Hall. 

The Opening day of Public Hearings in the Media:  

SBS News:  Victoria's mental health system is 'broken', royal commissioners say
Victoria's mental health system is broken and more of the same will not fix it, royal commissioners say.
Chair Penny Armytage said the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for reform. "A clear message emerges: doing more of the same will not be enough," she said in opening the inquiry's public hearings on Tuesday. "The calling of this royal commission is also an acknowledgement that the mental health system is broken." Read more

The Guardian Australia: 'What suicidal looks like': Wayne Schwass tells of pain of hiding mental health problems
Former AFL player appears as first witness at Victorian royal commission Read more

ABC news: Wayne Schwass tells Victoria's mental health royal commission of his struggle with depression
Former AFL footballer Wayne Schwass has described the "overwhelming shame and guilt" and an internalised narrative of masculinity that kept him from seeking help with his mental illness, in evidence given on the first day of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System. Read more

The AGE Editorial: Mental Health Royal Commission a Welcome one
As Victoria’s mental health royal commission officially began yesterday with a personal testimony from ex-AFL player Wayne Schwass and former MP Andrew Robb, the state government underscored its pledge to implement every recommendation delivered in the final report, due late next year. Read more 
The nineteen days of hearings continue today and throughout July. The hearings are open to the public.  The topic for today, Wednesday 3 July is Stigma. Today’s witnesses are:

Janet Meagher AM, Member of the Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS

A/Professor Nicola Reavley, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Community witness

Dr Chris Groot, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Dr Michael Blanchard, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SANE Australia and founding Director of SANE’s Anne Deveson Research Centre
You can watch the hearings via livestream on the Royal Commission website http://www.rcvmhs.vic.gov.au

Public Hearing dates 
2 July            Opening Day 
3 July            Stigma 
4-5 July         Prevention and early intervention 
8-11 July       Access to and navigation of the mental health system
12 July          Carers and Family   
15 July          Rural 
16 July          Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
17- 18 July    LGBTIQ+ and culturally linguistically diverse communities 
9 July            Community resilience 
22-23 July     Suicide prevention
24- 26 July    Prioritisation and governance of mental health services  

For a printable list of the hearings, and a description of what they are covering, please click here. The list of witnesses to be called for the first week has been announced, please click here. Transcripts from the first day of hearings are now available on the website. 
To date, Tandem has assisted over 60 families and carers who are providing submissions in writing. Submissions close this Friday July 5th. In the time left, we will be unable to provide assistance to anyone who has not yet been in touch. You are welcome to continue to have your say on the Tandem Share your story section of our website, which will continue to inform our response to the Commission for the coming months. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to demand a system with compassion at its core. A system that is Safe, Inclusive of family, Fair and well Funded. 

Share your story
Tell us your experiences with the mental health system on the Share your story page on our website here.

Provide brief comments to the Royal Commission

If you do not want to make a formal submission to the commission you may wish to share your experiences and ideas for change by making brief comments hereThis opportunity closes this Friday July 5th.

Submissions Closing this Friday 

You can provide a formal submission by uploading or sending a written, audio or video submission. You can choose to respond to some or all of the questions. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a Victorian mental health system for the future.
To tell the Royal Commission your experiences of the system, and what you believe should be done for the future, make a submission here. Tandem believes that by directly hearing about how people who have been affected by the system that the Commission will understand the urgent need for reform.

Submissions made in languages other than English

Instructions for making a submission have been translated into the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese, Croatian, Dinka, Greek, Italian, Khmer, Macedonian, Persian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish and Vietnamese, and can be downloaded here.

Tandem support

Tandem will keep you regularly updated on Royal Commission news, including via our regular eNews and on our website.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a Victorian mental health system for the future. We thank you for taking the time to participate and for sharing your thoughts and personal stories.
This issue of Tandem eNews is filled with information for family and friends (carers* and former carers), regional carer networks and support groups, organisations with a significant mental health focus, and those working in the sector. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so here.

Tandem is the Victorian peak body representing family and friends supporting people living with mental health issues. We advocate for family and friend involvement in planning and care, participation in system change and support.

To do this, we need your voice. There is strength in numbers and your story, your experience, and your recommendations count. You can become a Tandem member here. 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 © 2019 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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