Tandem ENews Bulletin
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Tandem ENews

Welcome to the Tandem ENews Bulletin.
In this Issue you will find useful information for mental health carers, the carer peer workforce,
carer workers and other mental health practitioners, and those with an interest in this area.
If this edition has been forwarded to you and you would like to subscribe, click here

Tandem News
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016

Become a Tandem Member - because mental health involves everyone TM
Tandem advocates on behalf of mental health carers for:
  • Involvement in planning and care
  • Participation in system change
  • 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 organisations or individuals here. For more information and to lodge your form, please call our office during business hours on P: 03 8803 5555

New Year Applications: Victorian Government Carer Card Program
The Victorian Carer Card is a  collaboration between the government, businesses and the community, the Carer Card Program gives recognition, understanding and support to Victorian carers. The program has a wide range of discounts and benefits on offer from businesses, the local government and community organisations. Cardholders are also entitled to free travel on public transport on a Sunday plus two return off-peak travel vouchers each year. You can find a business or type of offer by browsing the categories in the online directory.

To be eligible for a Carer Card you must be a resident of Victoria and either: (1) the primary carer of a person with a disability, severe medical condition or mental illness, or someone who is frail aged or in need of palliative care, or (2) a foster, kinship or respite carer.

You can confirm your eligibility by: (1) providing your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) or your Department of Health & Human Services Vendor Number if you receive a carer payment or allowance, or (2) having a medical professional verify your eligibility. Professional carers that receive a wage for providing care are not eligible.
To find out more and to apply, click here

Eating Disorders Victoria - New Support Groups for 2016
EDV Support Groups will be doubled this year, with many new locations offered. EDV Support Groups give people who are affected by an eating disorder the opportunity to draw upon the support, experience and skills of others facing similar issues.

Recovery Support Groups will be held in Abbotsford, Camberwell, Dandenong, Footscray, Geelong, Lilydale, Mornington and Ringwood. Family and Friends Support Groups will be held in Abbotsford, Camberwell and Ringwood. 
There is now a new booking system for Support Groups so they can let you know if the session is not going ahead. To book, you can either: 

  1. Send an SMS with your first name, location and date of group to 0481 071 211 by 4.00 pm on the same day of the group, OR
  2. Contact the Helpline on 1300 550 236 Monday-Friday between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm.

Although most groups will recommence in February, they are holding a Recovery Support Group in Abbotsford on January 20th that you are welcome to attend.

Madness made me - Mary O'Hagan's powerful video
Down the end of the long polished corridor, Mary O'Hagan comes face to face with the condemning words written about her in her psychiatric files. Mary recounts her story and how she went onto advise the united Nations and become a NZ National Mental Health Commissioner in this 3 minute video.

SANE Carer Forum
Sign up to the Carer Forum online . You can have access to information and advice, connection with other carers and to read/participate in the many topic discussions. You can even start your own discussion. Great support is available in the evenings via the Topic Tuesdays online discussion groups too. C
lick here to sign up and read the discussion.

Other News
Victoria Police: Equality is not the same - Year Two Report
This Report, delivered in December 2015, presents a review of the Year Two commitments and outlines the progress and deliverables achieved during 2015, including: 

  • implementing the receipting proof of concept;
  • the Cultural, Community and
  • Diversity Education Strategy and commencing curriculum reform.

It summarises Victoria Police’s progress and importantly, includes case studies and voices from the community, police and Protective Service Officers (PSOs) who have worked towards achieving change. To read this important report, click here

Senate inquiry into indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment
The Senate has called for submissions to their inquiry into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia. The inquiry follows last year’s report by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws, in which the ALRC recommended that state laws should require detention orders to specify the period of time and to be reviewed regularly. States and Submissions are due 8 April 2016. The Terms of Reference are available here.

Safety Boost to Prevent Violence at Hospitals
Health services across Victoria will benefit from additional safety measures to reduce and prevent violence, with the first round of the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund announced today. Visiting Footscray Hospital today, Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, announced 26 Victorian hospitals – including 18 rural hospitals and eight metropolitan hospitals - will share in the funding, which will help make the hospitals safer for staff, patients and visitors. To read more, click here

Milestone case of Ella Ingram Vs QBE
Ms Ingram took out travel insurance with QBE in 2011 ahead of school trip to the USA. However, her experience of depression prevented her from traveling as planned and she sought to claim the cost of her trip against her travel insurance. QBE rejected this claim on the basis a clause in the policy regarding mental health. Ms Ingram contested this decision and the Human Rights Division of the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal found in favour of Ms Ingram, awarding her financial compensation.
The Tribunal found that QBE 'engaged in unlawful discrimination when it included a mental illness exclusion in the policy issued to Ms Ingram and when it denied her indemnity relying on that exclusion'. This finding represents a huge milestone in challenging discrimination on the basis of mental illness and the decision sends a clear message to the insurance industry that it is not okay to discriminate against people on the basis of mental illness. Read more about the case here.

Australians for Mental Health Campaign 
Australians for Mental Health, supported by Prof. Pat McGorry and Prof. Alan Fels, wants adequate attention and funding attributed to mental health care. The campaign is advocating for complete mental health system reform, which includes ensuring:

  1. Equality between mental healthcare and physical healthcare - Australians will receive the same level of care for our mental health as we do for our physical health
  2. Increased access to services - Australians will be able to access appropriate mental healthcare when needed irrespective of where they live and how much they earn. 
  3. Better quality, smarter mental healthcare - Health services will provide higher quality, recovery-oriented mental healthcare. 
  4. Rights and humanity respected in care - The rights, humanity and dignity of Australians experiencing mental ill health will be respected, and the care they receive will do them no harm. 
  5. Expanded prevention and early intervention - Prevention and early intervention measures will be expanded to reduce the incidence of mental ill health and maximising recovery rates. 
  6. Contributing, rewarding and included lives - Australians who experience mental ill health will live rewarding lives, free of stigma, and participate in society as valued members of it. 
To find out more and support this movement, click here

TheMHS Awards 2016
TheMHS Awards celebrate outstanding performance, best practice, excellence and innovation across a broad spectrum of disciplines relating to mental health services both in theory and in practice. To submit an entry, make a nomination or access more information click here.

Distributed Advocacy Day
Mental Health Australia (MHA) is calling for all those who are passionate about mental health to meet with their local federal politicians to highlight the local and national issues being faced in relation to reform, transition and sustainability. MHA has developed some key, overarching messages to complement discussion with your local federal politician on the direct impacts these issues are having on your local area. For more information click here.

A Useful Guide to the Complaints Process Developed by Disability Services Commissioner and Mental Health Complaints Commissioner
Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) - Newsletter Summer 2015
The DSC have been dealing with complaints made about NDIS funded disability service providers since the commencement of the NDIS Barwon site in 2013.
So far DSC have received a smaller than expected number of complaints. Indications are that all participants are not informed about who to contact to raise issues and that some people are fearful that making a complaint might lead to a reduction in funding or service. To read more and view the complaints pathway, click here

First Round of NDIS Housing Funds Announced
The Federal Department of Social Services has released $10million for disability housing projects, available in the form of grants which can be applied for until 11 February. You can get all the information you need on their website

2 Mums Housing Video
A good example of parents finding housing solutions for their sons with disabilities under the NDIS trial in the Hunter Valley that you can watch online

Carers Australia Peer Conversation Project
Carers Australia‘s Peer Conversation Project supports carers of people eligible for, but not yet enrolled in, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by putting them in touch with carers who care for someone receiving supports from the NDIS. Click here to view the full series of videos which look at a range of relevant NDIS-related topics. You can also get more information on their website or by contacting them directly at Carers.NDIS@carersaustralia.com.au or (02) 6122 9900.

Guide for Mental Health Carers on the National Disability Insurance Scheme
This guide is for people who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a psychosocial disability* associated with a mental illness or mental health condition. It covers your role, consent, suggestions for carers and much more. To download the guide, click here

Mental Health Carer Check List: prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme assessment & planning meetings
This checklist is designed to assist carers to describe the support they provide to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS*) planning process for someone with a psychosocial disability. It is not a compulsory part of the NDIS planning process and you do not have to complete it. It may be of use to you in the preparing for your participation in planning sessions or in talking to the NDIS about your role. To download the information sheet, click here


Education and Training
Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (CHC43515)
VICSERV is pleased to announce that registrations are open for the first five programs of the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (CHC43515). Click here to view a printable flyer about this announcement.
This specialist, nationally recognised course has been developed by VICSERV and is specifically designed for workers who:

  1. have lived experience as either a consumer or carer; and
  2. work in mental health services in a role that supports, mentors or advocates for consumers or carers.
Registrations forms, including program details, dates, pricing guides and registration requirements are now available. For more information and to download the paperwork to complete your registration click on the place names below, or click here to access the full training calendar. Registrations will be processed in order of receipt.
To enrol in this qualification, participants must be currently working in a peer work role (paid or unpaid) at least one day a week, for the duration of the course. If you are not eligible for this course but are considering a future career in peer work, you may wish to read our document entitled 'So you want to be a peer worker?'. Download the document here.

Carer Support Groups Run Well with Good Facilitation –   Learn More About Group Facilitation at This Workshop
A one-day comprehensive program suitable for new facilitators, a refresher for current facilitators or for those wanting to start up a carer support group, a refresher for current facilitators. 
  • Fee per carer is $50  / Fee per worker is $100. Book your preferred session
  • When: 10.00am - 2.30pm, Wednesday 23 March 2016 quote #3328 
  • When: 10.00am - 2.30pm, Wednesday 20 April 2016 quote # 3329
  • When: 10.00am - 2.30pm, Wednesday 15 June 2016 quote #3330  
Where: Carers Victoria, Level 1, 37 Albert Street, Footscray
Booking Essential: Call 1800 242 636 or email: education@carersvictoria.org.au. Download the flyer here 

Caring for Yourself 
Do you take better care of the person you are caring for than yourself?  If the answer is yes, you are invited to this workshop where we will explore why your health and wellbeing are important. We will also discuss and share strategies to help you care for yourself. 
  • When: 10.00am - 12.00 pm, Tuesday 15 March 2016 quote #3374
Where: Carers Victoria, Level 1, 37 Albert Street, Footscray
Booking Essential: Call 1800 242 636 or email: education@carersvictoria.org. To
find out more, click here

WIRE - Dealing With Difficult Calls PD workshop

March 30th 2016 9.30am – 12.30pm
3-hour workshop | Cost: $88* (incl. GST) |  WIRE 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne | Book online. For phone-based workers who are the first point of contact for service users and customers, including phone intake and response workers, reception and call centre staff. 

Enduring Powers of Attorney 
May 31st, 
10:00am – 12:00pm,
This is an information session only, and does not provide legal advice. The term legal capacity will be defined as well as the types of Enduring Powers of Attorney.   Administration and Guardianship of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will be outlined.  The information provided in this session is sourced from the Office of the Public Advocate and Legal Aid Victoria.  Written resources will be provided. Bookings are essential: Call 1800 242 636 or email: education@carersvictoria.org.au quote #3366

Conferences and Events
THeMHS Summer 2016 Forums: Cracks in the ice? Illicit drugs and the mental health impact on our communities.
Early Bird Registrations are available until 15 January 2016.

One of the most pressing issues in mental health is the impact on our communities of illicit drugs. The mental health consequences of these drugs present new challenges for consumers, families and carers, governments and mental health services. To register, or for more information, click here

6th VMIAC Consumer Workforce Conference: A Changing Landscape
March 21st and 22nd, 2016 - Mantra Bell City, 215 Bell Street, Preston
VMIAC is delighted to announce that Mary O’Hagan has agreed to be our keynote speaker. As an initiator of the service user movement in New Zealand, the first chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, an advisor to the United Nations and World Health Organization and a Mental Health Commissioner for New Zealand, Mary is uniquely placed to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of working for increased consumer participation in a changing landscape. Enquiries about eligibility to attend, or other issues, can be made via email to david.mithen@vmiac.org.au 
Call for papers: Guidelines for submissions of abstracts will be available on VMIAC’s website. Presentations can be either one hour workshops or 20 minutes papers with an additional 10 minutes for questions from the floor. The closing dates for abstracts is Friday 29th January, 2016, and successful applicants will be notified in February.

No Bullying Conference
April 18th - 19th - Gold Coast
If you would like to present at the No 2 Bullying Conference abstract submissions are open. Submit your abstract by COB 18 January 2016 
 at http://no2bullying.org.au/submit-abstract/ .The Conference, an initiative of the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, a non-Government 'not-for-profit' organisation will focus on key principles and best practice for creating a generational change towards bullying. To find out more, click here

Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference
16th -17th May 2016: Gold Coast

The Australian and New Zealand Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference will continue for its 3rd year, as we come together to address effective Collaboration, Education and Innovation across the common domains of Eating Disorders and Obesity. Call for abstracts and registrations are now open. For more information, click here

The Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference
18th - 20th May 2016: Gold Coast

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for The Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference being held on the Gold Coast in May.
The Program will include workshops, presentations and forums dedicated to sharing skills and understanding in the treatment of all addictive disorders, including alcohol and other drugs, behavioural addictions, and the emerging field of online compulsive behaviour in both adults and children.
The Conference promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers alike. To find out more, click here

VICSERV Conference 2016: Towards Recovery
19th -  20th May 2016, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne.
The call for Abstracts is open for the VICSERV Conference 'Towards Recovery: hope, innovation, co-design' are now open. At a time of significant change and development for mental health in Victoria and nationally this will be an event not to be missed. For further information visit the VICSERV conference website.

Call for abstracts: International Child Trauma Conference
June 2016, Melbourne, Victoria.

Abstracts related to the theme 'Tracing new developments in relational, body-oriented and brain-based approaches to recovery and change' are invited, closing 16 November 2015. For more information click here.

Careers and Volunteering
Inner West Area Mental Health Service –  Carer Peer Support Coordinator
Part -time position, 32 Hours per Fortnight @ The RMH - MOONEE PONDS
Do you have the lived experience of a being a family member/carer of a person with a mental illness? Has a member of your family experienced public mental health service treatment?  Would you like the opportunity to participate in service development & delivery “from the inside” as an employee with a carer’s voice?
The Carer Peer Support Coordinator will work within the Inner West Area Mental Health Service – The RMH to build service collaboration and inclusion of families and carers in program development to achieve better outcomes in service delivery. The Carer Peer Support Coordinator will be involved in a variety of activities including leadership and support of an evolving carer peer support workforce, provision of training, participation in the service Family & Carer Committee, participation in leadership groups of the service, project development and consultation and liaison with consumers and staff. 
Enquiries to: • Christine Chiappini - Area Senior Social Worker & Family Work Coordinator - 9377-3400 or Christine.Chiappini@mh.org.au // • Michelle Swann - Carer Advisor, NWMH  - 9342-4431 or michelle.swann@mh.org.au

Uniting Care LifeAssist - Consultant (Mental Health Carers)
LifeAssist is currently seeking an individual who is highly motivated and results focused to deliver high quality services to Carers in the Southern Metro region. The position is Monday to Thursday with some afternoon and weekend work that may be required. This is a fixed term position until June 2016, with the possibility of extension. To view the position description and selection criteria and apply for the role, please go to our website: https://careers.lifeassist.org.au/recruitment/. For further information or for a confidential discussion please call Catherine Rihak or Aimi Johnson on 9239-2500. For assistance in applying for this role via the portal – please contact Wayne Dalton in People and Quality. It is anticipated that interviews will be scheduled between 12/01/2016 to 22/01/2016. Closing Date: COB Monday, 11/01/2016

Re-advertised: Senior Trainer (Mental Health Peer)
Full time, part time or job share, Elsternwick, Victoria.
Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria (VICSERV) seeks a Senior Trainer with extensive experience as a mental health peer worker, together with solid education and training experience. Relevant qualifications, including Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work or equivalent competencies, and the Cert IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110) are also required. Excellent oral and written communication skills, together with excellent training facilitation and delivery skills, are a further requirement of the role. For more information click here.

Please forward employment and volunteer opportunities that might be appropriate for this publication to comms@tandemcarers.org.au

2016 Calendar

26 January Australia day
9 March Labor Day Victoria
25 March Good Friday
28 March Easter Monday
Term 1 Dates Jan 27th – March 24th
Term 2 Date April 11th – June 24th

If you have a new item, event or career opportunity, or other information that would be appropriate for this publication, please forward it to comms@tandemcarers.org.au
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.

To share your news or event though Tandem's ENews, email Karen.Fraser@tandemcarers.org.au
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