In this issue

•  2016 Tandem AGM and Inaugural Awards
 8 December Tandem Meeting
•  Carer Payment & Carer Allowance Assessment Improvements
•  Call for public comment: Fifth National Mental Health Plan

Regular features

Ready, Steady, NDIS
Training Opportunities
Carer Support Group Update

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.

8 December Tandem Meeting

The last meeting for members this year will largely be devoted to hearing from you and celebrating the year just past. We hope you can join us from 10am–1pm, including Christmas lunch, or for a section of the day.
Workshop with KPMG on the Re-design of the Clinical System.
The consultant firm, KPMG, has asked Tandem to assemble carers and other Tandem members to a workshop to respond to their draft mental health clinical service planning principles with Tandem members and carers.

Strategic planning.
What should Tandem be doing for the next 3 years? Consultant Allison Hallahan from Birru Health will facilitate this discussion to form Tandem’s 2017–2020 Strategic Plan.

Let's celebrate. Please join us for an end of year celebration in appreciation of your committment and support throughout 2016.

Improvements to Carer Payment and Carer Allowance Assessments

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is trying to improve the assessment process for the Carer Payment and Carer Allowance and part of their investigation is to implement a national field test. See the following from the DSS… 

“Are you applying for Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance? Would you like to help us improve the questions we ask? If so, you and your health professional may be asked to complete a field test form and provide comments at the same time you complete your official application for Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance. By volunteering to participate in the field test, you and your health professional can have a say on the new assessment process and provide us with valuable feedback. Completion of the field test is voluntary and will not affect your eligibility for payment, which will be assessed based on your official forms. See here for more information about the field test”. 

You can also call the Carer Payments Field Test Helpline 1800 456 555. More information here.

Have your say

Call for public comment: Fifth National Mental Health Plan

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, has invited the community to have their say on a new draft of the National Mental Health Plan. Minister Ley said the consultation draft for the Fifth National Mental Health Plan has been approved by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) on behalf of all Health Ministers and is now ready for public comment. 'This is an important document and has been widely anticipated by the mental health sector,' Minister Ley said. 'The Fifth National Mental Health Plan articulates national priorities for collaboration across states and territories, the Australian Government, the sector and consumers on mental health for the next five years'.The National Mental Health Plan aims to improve the lives of people with mental health issues. More details on the consultation process here.
Ready, Steady, NDIS

Tandem presented at Healthy Minds Mental Health Expo in Macedon Ranges   

Tandem joined the NDIA and VMIAC in a presentation for Carers Week at the Healthy Minds Mental Health Expo in the Macedon Ranges to provide a mental health carer perspective on the NDIS. The expo was organised by PS My Family Matters and well attended by carers, people with mental health issues and service providers who are preparing for the roll out of the NDIS which will commence in May 2017. Tandem was able to assist carers and their families with enquiries and direct them to the resources available in engaging with the scheme.

Webinar: An introduction to the NDIS for mental health carers

Mental Health Australia and Carers Australia presented an informative webinar for mental health carers on the NDIS on 21 October. Find the link to the webinar here.

World Café – NDIS 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 available in Arabic, Greek, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin) and Vietnamese. Transport is available if needed. Registrations to Carly Donaghey, NDIA on 5224 5430 or

List of support coordinator providers in NEMA

As part of the implementation of the NDIS in the North East Melbourne Area (NEMA), the NDIA has engaged with registered service providers to offer support co-ordination to NDIS participants requiring support to implement their plans. To date, over 40 organisations have indicated to the NDIA their willingness to provide support co-ordination services.
Family Peer Support Worker, Orygen Youth Health, Parkville
Opportunity exists to join Orygen Youth Health (OYH), a mental health service for young people aged 15-25 years who reside in the western metropolitan area of Melbourne, on a part-time basis. Applications close 8 November. More information here.

Family Peer Support Worker, Alfred CYMHS
This position will provide vital peer support and information to mental health Carers within ACYMHS  complementing the work of the Carer consultant and treating teams. Part time, fixed term to June 2020. Applications close 2 November. More information here.

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

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.

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. 12 November.
Recovery and hope. 29 October.

See the full calendar of workshops here.


Learning more about BPD: a workshop for families is an opportunity to learn and explore common questions about BPD. 8 November, 9.30am–4.30pm, Fitzroy. Download the registration form.

Voices Vic

The Hearing Voices Approach. 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.

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.
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.

Sunday 27 November, Ringwood
FaPMI Family Fun Day. A day for families where a parent or carer has a mental health concern. This is multi age event with lots of activities including a ausage sizzle, pony rides, card making, zorb ball and henna hand painting. Entry is free but bookings are essential. More information, registration and photo consent forms can be downloaded here      
National Volunteer Awards 2016 
Congratulations to Liz Howard and Barbara Clark of the Maryborough & District Mental Health Carers Support Group, Wannon recipients of the National Volunteer Awards 2016. The Award is being presented at a ceremony and reception in Maryborough on the November by, The Hon Dan Tehan, Federal Member for Wannon, Minister for Veterans Affairs. If you would like to join the group or talk to Liz or Barb, they are available on 0428 378 583 or 5342 4342 (Mon–Wed).

Drop in Centre opens in Wycheproof
Andrea Smith, one of the leaders of the Loddon Mallee Mental Health Carers Network, has officially opened a centre where members of the Wycheproof community can drop in, whether it is for a chat, to have a coffee with a friend, or it may be that someone just needs to connect with a friendly face or pick up an information brochure. Andrea is hopeful that over time carers of someone with a mental illness will find their way into the centre. She is optimistic that this centre will help broaden knowledge and acceptance toward not only mental health issues but issues in general that affect this vast region. The centre will be open every Tuesday from 11am–4pm. Health professionals are only a stone’s throw away, and outreach services will also promote the centre. The centre will include information brochures around mental health issues and a list of contacts for professional and appropriate support services.

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.
23–24 Feburary 2017, Sydney
2017 TheMHS Summer Forum: Choice and Control, Personalising the Mental Health System.
This forum will investigate the impact of our evolving mental health system on people and services, and ask how citizenship for consumers can be achieved. 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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