In this issue

• Victorian Carer Strategy
Tandem Members Consultation 
Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System 
• National Families Week
• Tandem Fundraiser 
• Caring Fairly
• Ready, Steady, NDIS 

• Support Services 

• Have your say 
• SANE Forums
• Events
• Training Opportunities

• Jobs
• Carer Support Groups update
• Conferences
• Have you heard? 

Carers Get Greater Access To Services And Support

The Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan last week announced funding to support the implementation of the Victorian Carer Strategy. Tandem, Carers Victoria and Little Dreamers all received individual funding. The announcement was at a short ceremony at Carers Victoria, attended by Marie Piu, and Tandem Board Members Peter McKenzie, Violeta Peterson and Maurice Sheehan. Tandem has been provided with $140,000 to support advocacy, information and referral services through to June 2020. This funding will enable us to increase our team to meet the needs of families and carers calling on us for these services. 

See here for the official media release and further information. 

Pictured above: Carers attending the announcement along with Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan, Scott Walker, CEO Carers Victoria, Marie Piu, CEO Tandem, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Lizzie Blandthorn MP, Katie Hall MP, Member for Footscray, Madeleine Buchner, Founder and CEO of Little Dreamers, Mel Spencer carer guest speaker. 

Tandem Members Consultation to inform Tandem’s submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

In the Royal Commission Terms of Reference, the Commissioners have been charged to find out 'How to best support the needs of family members and carers of people living with mental illness'. The day will be dedicated to discussing and preparing Tandem’s Submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Join us from 10am – 1.30pm to ensure that the message of priorities and concerns of Tandem members towards a comprehensively reformed compassionate mental health service includes your voice.

Orange & Red Rooms, Level 1, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Date & time
Thursday 13 June
10am – 1.30pm (Morning tea & lunch provided)

Essential for catering purposes by Wednesday 12 June 2019. Please register here.

For more information please contact us at or on 8803 5555.

If you are not already a Tandem member, please join here.

We look forward to seeing you on the day!


Royal Commission Community Consultations

The consultations around the state continue to be well attended by families and carers, as well as those who have direct lived experience of mental health issues and of using the mental health system. There are two more weeks of consultations.  If you haven’t yet attended one, there may still be one that is in your area. The only metropolitan consultation is next week, Monday 20 May in Box Hill. The last consultation is at Warragul on Wednesday 22 May.  For the full list, and how to register, see below.

Share your story

Until 5 July
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a Victorian mental health system for the future. Tell us your experiences with the mental health system on the share your story page on our website here. Or contact us if you would like to directly provide your experiences to the Royal Commission via a submission. Tandem believes that by directly hearing about how people have been affected by the system that the Commission will understand the urgent need for reform.

Provide brief comments to the Royal Commission

Open until 20 May
If you do not want to make a formal submission to the commission, if you could not make it to a community consultation, or if you would like to provide more information to the Commission, you may wish to share your experiences and ideas for change by making brief comments here.


Open until 5 July
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is now accepting submissions. 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.

Registering to attend a consultation

You can register both online, or by calling 1800 00 11 34 between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday excluding public holidays). 
Consultation session key dates

Thursday 16 May Shepparton
Friday 17 May Bendigo
Monday 20 May Box Hill 
Tuesday 21 May Sale
Wednesday 22 May Warragul

After you have registered, the Commission will provide you with details about the:
  • time and venue for the local consultation session, including how you can get there.
  • format for the consultation session, including general information and guidance about how you may like to prepare.
Please refer to Tandem's website for details on what you can expect on the day.

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.

Tandem celebrates National Families Week!

National Families Week is held every year between 15 and 21 May, with May 15 being the United Nations official International Day of Families.

Thousands of people get involved in community events during the week in Australia’s biggest celebration of families in all their diversity. The aim of the week is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. For local events in your area click here. You can also read the official media release here.

Crimes of the Heart

6 June, Mount Waverley

Tandem invites all members to join us for Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart on Thursday 6 June at the Unicorn Theatre in Mount Waverley. 

Directed by Tandem Board Chair, Michelle Swann, this tragicomedy relates the story of three sisters who reunite at their grandfather's home in Mississippi where each is forced to face the consequences of the 'crimes of the heart' she has committed. 

All proceeds from this event will go towards helping us strengthen our role in the community by providing advocacy and support with the mental health system and the NDIS to family and friends of people with mental health issues.

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased through trybooking here.

Tickets are in the first seven rows of the theatre and will be allocated on the evening. If you would like to sit with others, please book as a group in one transaction. More info

If you know of carers who need financial assistance to attend or for additional information, please contact us on 8803 5555 or at

Give carers a voice in the 2019 federal election

Find out more about Caring Fairly, a campaign and coalition advocating for a fairer deal for Australia’s unpaid carers. More info

NDIS Thin Market discussion paper

The Federal Government invites the disability sector, people with disability and their families and carers to share ways to improve services available within the NDIS through the NDIS Thin Market Discussion Paper and online survey. Feedback will generate approaches to solve service delivery gaps such as limited choice in services for people with psychosocial disability, or for those living in regional areas for example.  Please respond soon to share the perspective of families in your region, as the survey closes 17 May 2019 More here.

New NDIS Carers Handbook
Carers Victoria have released a guide offering practical advice and support on how to achieve the best possible outcomes for both the person being cared for and for carers. This may be well suited to those new to a caring role. More here.

Challenges with NDIS transition for severe mental health: new report
report from Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and the University of Sydney found 50 per cent of people in Partners in Recovery (PIR), Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) and Support for Day to Day Living (D2DL) had not yet applied for the NDIS. More here.

NDIS price increases for a sustainable and vibrant disability services market
Announced on 30 March, price limits for therapy, attendant care and community participation have all been increased. New prices include a minimum increase of almost $11 per hour for therapists and up to a 15.4% price increase to the base limit for attendant care and community participation. More here.

Increased access to Specialist Disability Accommodation for NDIS participants
Changes to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rules are set to improve people’s access to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) under the $22 billion scheme. More here.

The Butterfly Foundation 

MAYDAYS for Eating Disorders is the Butterfly Foundation's annual awareness and advocacy campaign which takes place nationally throughout the month of MAY. Each year, their campaign draws on the experiences of Australians to highlight key concerns relating to eating disorders.
This year their campaign focuses on CARERS and the impacts an eating disorder has within the home on supportive others. This year, Butterfly conducted a consultative survey asking Australians to share their experiences on caring for a loved one experiencing an eating disorder. Read the official report here

National Suicide Prevention Implementation Strategy 

The Wellbeing clinic for older adults is a confidential counselling and support service for older adults living in residential and community settings. This service is run by psychology, counselling and social work students through Swinburne University of Technology. More info


NDIS Thin Market Discussion Paper and Online Survey 

The Federal Government invites the disability sector, people with disability, and their families and carers to share insights on ways to improve the NDIS market. This survey is of particular importance to families and workforce in regional areas, but also relates to issues for those accessing NDIS for psychosocial disability as a whole as there are few services to choose from.

The survey closes 17 May 2019 and will contribute to generating ideas to resolve these issues, toward improved policies within NDIS. More info

Topic Tuesdays in May

SANE's online forums provide social connection and support in a safe, anonymous and caring online community. Click here to join the events and register as a community member.

Carers Weekend Getaway

24-26 May, Daylesford
The Wellways Carer’s Weekend Getaway is a great way for carers to relax and unwind in the tranquil Victorian town of Daylesford. Get away from it all in quaint cottages nestled in a secluded bush setting, indulge your senses at the Hepburn Bathhouse, and discover old world charm during dinner at the Daylesford Hotel. Carers can practice mindfulness as well as participating in some enjoyable activities. Book now! More info

Supporting Families Living with Mental Illness

11 June, Forest Hill
Eastern Suburbs Chinese Focused Mental Health network invites professionals to attend the next meeting which will include topics on:
  • Support strategies for families living with mental illness
  • Family-focussed interventions and supports
  • Referral options and resources for children, young people and families
To register and for more information click here. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Ballet

19 June 2019, Arts Centre Melbourne

You are invited to enjoy this spectacular ballet, which translates the wit and charm of Lewis Carroll’s story into a world of colour, fun and fantasy. More info

STIGMA: Dismantled, Revealed (Exhibition)

Until 7 June, Parkville
Through the creative practices of seven contemporary artists including an artist in residence, STIGMA: Dismantled, Revealed explores the pervasiveness of stigma and self-stigma that persists around mental health issues today.

Experimenting with different mediums and methods of examination, the artists convey moments of their personal stories. Themes of mindfulness, healing, trauma, belief and diagnosis are examined, provoking conversation, reflection and empathy. More info

Community Mental Health First Aid Training

27 July and 3 August, Rosebud
22 and 29 October, Mornington
6 - 27 June (4 consecutive weeks)
Mornington Peninsula Shire is providing free mental health first aid training to anyone working, volunteering with or caring for young people on the Mornington Peninsula. The training is a two-day course and both days must be attended to receive a certificate of completion. More info

Mental Health Victoria Training Calendar

MHV's semester one training calendar is now available to view online. More info


Mind Australia

Becoming a mental health peer worker
28 June, Heidelberg

This one-day workshop will provide you with an understanding of the values, principles and practices that are at the core of peer work, information about pathways to training and information about the different types of roles that require a lived experience of mental health. More info

SAFE in Oz

An introduction to working with individuals who have self-destructive behaviours
Two-day workshop, various locations and dates
SAFE in Oz aims to give workshop participants an insight into the headspace of a person who participates in self-destructive behaviour/s in order to better understand their ‘real’ world and life experiences. The training encapsulates their lifespan and is flexible and responsive to the workshop participants.
23-24 May, Frankston
27-28 May, Bendigo
1-2 July, Ballarat
4-5 July, Horsham
25-26 November, Moe


MoneyMinded Workshops
21 May, Berwick
MoneyMinded is a free workshop providing impartial and expert training on everyday money matters. It assists people to develop knowledge and understanding about their financial rights and responsibilities, and learn about available services. Morning tea and lunch is provided. Respite can be arranged if required. Eligibility restrictions apply.

Eastern Region Parenting Course

6 - 27 June, Mitcham 
Bringing up Great Kids (BUGK) is a program that uses mindfulness and reflection to support parents/ carers of children as they review and enhance their patterns of communication with their children. 
For registration details and for more info click here.  

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST- Peer workers in PARC's project lead 

Fantastic opportunity to contribute to lived experience workforce development and mental health workforce training in Victoria.

See attached position description for more details about the role here.

Uniting Carers Hub 

Term two flyers for Uniting’s Hampton Park and Pakenham Carer Hubs are now available. The Hubs are spaces for you to connect with other carers, access carer supports and look after your own wellbeing. Activities include informal catch-ups, recipe sharing and pampering sessions.
Carers are eligible to attend the Hub if they live in the council areas of Greater Dandenong, Casey or Cardinia, and care for someone with a mental illness, intellectual disability or Autism. 
Hampton Park

Outer Eastern Borderline Personality Disorder Family & Carer Group

Caring for a loved one with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can often be challenging and overwhelming. Meet with other Carers who share your experience. Meetings held every third Monday of the Month – Beginning Monday, 20th May 2019. More info.

Have the details of your carer support group changed?

Is it no longer running? Has it moved to a different day? Or perhaps you are a brand new group that was recently established. If you answer yes to any of these questions please get in touch so we can add or update your details on our web pages. Click on the button below to see if you are already in our system. Additions or changes can be emailed to Deanna here at our Tandem offices.
Carer support groups in Victoria

Suicide Prevention Australia Conference

22-25 July, Melbourne
The 2019 Conference theme is all about collective action. Suicide Prevention Australia is keen to develop a program, grounded in lived experience, that embraces diversity in suicide prevention programs and services, encourages innovation and enhances their evidence-base. More info

20th International Mental Health Conference

31 July – 2 August 2019, Gold Coast, Queensland
Featuring Australia and New Zealand’s leading clinical practitioners, academics, and mental health experts, the 2019 International Mental Health Conference continues in its 20th year to network, share research, projects and formulate ideas for change for those living with mental health conditions. Register now at Super Early Bird prices (Closes 19 June 2019). More info

TheMHS Conference

27-30 August 2019, Brisbane
Building Health Communities: Stories of Resilience and Hope

Mental health treatment has undergone a momentous shift toward a recovery model and the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing for everyone. But, how do we build healthy communities that support people to withstand, adapt and cope with mental health adversity? 

TheMHS Conference 2019 brings people from across Australia and New Zealand to stimulate debates that challenge the boundaries of present knowledge and ideas about mental health care and mental health systems.
The conference will explore the important role of resilience in building healthy communities across all facets of the sector from the consumer experience to Non-Government Organisations, General Practitioners and public mental health services.

Early bird registration closes Tuesday 16 July More info

Frontline Mental Health Conference

20-22 October, Townsville
This conference is for all professionals working on the frontline of disaster and emergency management – from paramedics, police and firefighters, through to defence force workers and volunteers.

Featuring lived experience speakers through to mental health professionals and emergency service professionals, the program is diverse, inclusive, and provides a platform for all opinions, experiences and insights, to help break the stigma of seeking support for mental health when working on the frontline. More info

International Single Session Therapy Symposium 2019

Single Session Thinking: Going global one step at a time
24-25 October, Melbourne

In October this year, The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University will present the 3rd International Single Session Therapy and Walk-in Services Symposium in Melbourne. This builds on the previous two Single Session Therapy and Walk-in Services symposiums held in Australia (2012) and Canada (2015). It offers opportunities to connect, share and collaborate with colleagues from your field and beyond in this stimulating and fast progressing space. Moving away from the tradition of a series of keynote presentations, this symposium promotes engagement and participation in panel discussions highlighting the implementation of Single Session Thinking in various contexts. More info
Full list of upcoming conferences

Here's what others are saying.

Alfred Health Carer Services. Weekly newsletter. 10 May

Mental Health Australia. CEO Update.13 May

Mental Health Victoria. eNewsletter. 6 May

VCOSS Neami National. eNews Issue #92. Read

Neami National. Newsletter. April 2019 

South Eastern Melbourne PHN. Network News. Read 

Be included in our eNews

If you are an organisation or support group, and would like us to spread the word about something that is happening in your area, please contact us to enquire about having your event included in eNews.
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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