Edition 14
5 May 2020

Dear Tandem members and supporters,

It was wonderful to see so many of you today at our second Members Meeting with the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System. Chair Penny Armytage and Commissioners Alex Cockram and Allan Fels answered questions submitted by Tandem members and addressed some of the key issues faced by family and friends of people with mental health issues. A video recording of the meeting will be released soon. If you attended and would like to provide us with feedback on the meeting, please join us at Tandem Time on Thursday at 10am or contact us at info@tandemcarers.org.au

In this issue:

  • Tandem Time - Thursday at 10am
  • Caring Fairly survey
  • Mental Health Index report
  • Surge in telehealth
  • Victoria Together
  • Tandem C.R.A.F.T. challenge
  • Ready, Steady, NDIS
    • Updated Price Guide
    • Request Access Form download
    • NDIS Information Session for Victorians
    • NDIS Study - take part
  • Tandem Live Meditations - every Thursday 12pm

Tandem Time Thursday

Tandem Time is a one hour, online meet-up for Tandem members and staff to connect with each other, ask questions and stay in touch. When you register you will be sent a link that will enable you to login to the meeting at the allotted time.

When: Thursday 7th of May

Time: 10am - 11am

Where: Online

If you have any feedback, reflections or questions you would like to ask, please send them to info@tandemcarers.org.au

More Details

Caring Fairly survey closes today

Caring Fairly is a national campaign to improve support for unpaid carers, family and friends.

They are running a survey into the impact that coronavirus is having on family and friends which closes tonight at midnight.

This information will inform how the campaign moves forward in these challenging times. More details 

Mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Morneau Shepel has released its Mental Health Index results for April. Women, people recently unemployed and younger age groups reported the highest stress levels. These groups of people perform a significant portion of unpaid care so it's unsurprising that they are also carrying the greatest burden of stress during the lock down period. More details. 

We urge all of our members and supporters to seek help during this challenging time. 

Surge in telehealth, drop in community healthcare

The ABC reports that during the coronavirus pandemic, Australians are using digital and telehealth services more. However, fewer people are using community-based services so there's been a drop in the number of people using mental health services overall.

We encourage members and supporters to seek help if you're experiencing difficulties, we're in this together and will get through this together as family and friends.

More details 

Victoria Together project

Victoria Together is a new government website that shares some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art our state has to offer.

This includes activities for children, sport and exercise, older people, regional communities, art, science, comedy and more. 

This is a great resource for anyone looking for new, interesting activities or quality locally produced entertainment. More details

Tandem C.R.A.F.T Challenge

The Tandem team invite you to join us on a crochet adventure with the Crochet Remotely Along with Friends at Tandem Challenge!

We invite you to knit or crochet a square in any colours and patterns you like. Once restrictions are lifted we will bring all the squares together to create a blanket to be unveiled at Tandem as a celebration of solidarity with mental health friends and family across the state during COVID-19. 

To get involved simply start crocheting!

Squares should be roughly 12cm x12cm and suggested wool around 8ply. You will need coloured yarn and a crochet hook. For beginners learning to crochet and what hook size and yarn to buy watch this video.

Make sure to send us photos of your progress to info@tandemcarers.org or tag us on your Facebook photos with @tandemcarers

Let the crocheting begin!

Updated Price Guide

The NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue has been updated as part of the additional response to COVID-19 and is now available on the NDIS website.
  • COVID-19 low cost assisted technology (AT) to support capacity building support delivery
To assist participant access to supports and interpreting services being delivered online, this new support item enables access to capacity building funds for low cost AT such as fitness equipment and smart devices.

The cost of a smart device should not exceed $750 and a number of requirements need to be met before participants can use NDIS funds to buy low cost AT items.

Download Access Request Form

You now have the ability to download the Access Request Form, which until recently was only available as a mail out with the individuals details pre-filled. 

This should ensure family members can facilitate a consumer’s access to the NDIS if needed.

Download Access Request Form here

NDIS Study: Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health are exploring the perspectives of Victorian NDIS participants and plan nominees on plan use for a qualitative study.

This project aims to understand better how and why the use of NDIS Plans vary. They are interested in why some people spend less than they are allocated in their NDIS Plans than other people do.

Participants will receive a $100 Visa debit card as reimbursement of their time and input to this research project. To take part and find out more please click here.

NDIS Information Sessions for People with Disability & Families

Disability Loop are running a new NDIS-related information session online for Victorians during 2020.

With the introduction of many changes in the scheme in recent months, many people have gone through the access and planning stages and have received their NDIS plans but do not know what steps to take next.

With this in mind, the Disability Loop team has developed an information session for people with disability and their families and carers, called “Getting the Most Out of Your NDIS Plan”. 

The sessions use accessible materials and programs, and can provide captioning or Auslan interpreting if needed.  They will also provide a transcript of the session afterwards.

Upcoming online information sessions

The next information session is being held in May 2020

  • Part One - Wednesday 20th May from 11.00am - 12.30pm
  • Part Two - Friday 22nd May from 11.00am - 12.30pm

For more information and to register, please follow this link: 

Getting the most out of your NDIS plan 20 and 22 May 

Tandem Live Meditations

Join Bec, our Tandem team member, for a live guided meditation every Thursday at 12pm on Tandem’s Facebook page. These meditations will be an opportunity for you to take some time out in your day, to stop and reconnect. To feel grounded and supported. It is so important during these times that we continue to look after our wellbeing and meditation can be a helpful tool. No meditation experience required. More details

Tandem Continues to Operate Remotely

Call us on the FREE Support and Referral Line 1800 314 325
Should you need an interpreter, Tandem can assist you using Language Loop telephone translation service.

Due to the current circumstances we may not be able to respond to your call straight away. If you require individual advocacy with the mental health system, support with the NDIS or the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system or you just want to touch base, please leave a message with your name and number and how we can support you, and we will arrange for the appropriate person to call you back. Alternatively you can send us an email at info@tandemcarers.org.au with your details.

If you need urgent support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the National Mental Health Carer Helpline on 1300 554 660.

For Mental Health Helplines please see useful links and numbers

Mental Health Helplines

If you are in an emergency, in danger or you or someone close to you requires immediate help, call triple zero (000) for emergency services.
  • Lifeline  – Lifeline continues to support Australians via telephone, text and webchat services. Call 13 11 14 24 hours/7 days and text 0477 13 11 14 from 6pm to midnight AEDT, 7 nights a week or Chat online from 7pm to midnight, 7 nights a week.
  • SuicideLine – call 1300 651 251 for free and anonymous support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week across Victoria. 
  • Suicide Call Back Service – call 1300 659 467 for this free national service for people having suicidal thoughts, family or friends affected by suicide and healthcare professionals treating suicidal people.
  • SANE – call 1800 18 7263 for information about mental illness, treatments and support for you and your carer.
  • Mensline – call 1300 78 99 78 for telephone support, information and referrals for men dealing with relationship issues, or visit their website.
  • BeyondBlue -  call 1800 512 348 for Beyondblue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service
  • Blue Knot - call 1300 657 380 Mon-Sun between 9-5 AEDT or call 1800 421 468 to reach their National Counselling and Referral Service supporting the Disability Royal Commission.
  • 1800RESPECT - will operate as per usual. They are open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
  • QLife - provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. Speak to a peer LGBTIQA+ phone worker by calling 1800 184 527 or chat online between 3pm and 12 midnight every day of the week.
  • Kids Helpline - If you are feeling stressed, worried or anxious about COVID-19, Kids Helpline is available to answer your call, email or webchat. Call 1800 55 1800. 
  • eHeadspace - provides free online support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time, eheadspace can help. You can also call Headspace on 1800 650 890. 
  • Orygen - provides specialist mental health services for young people aged 15 to 25 who reside in the western and north-western regions of metropolitan Melbourne. 
For more useful links

Our Membership is Free

We need your voice. There is strength in numbers and your story, your experience, and your membership counts.

Please join Tandem today. Register to become a member here. For more information please call our office during business hours on 8803 5555.

Follow us on social media for the latest news.
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 © 2020 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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