In this issue

•  Carer Event at Queens Hall on 27 March
•  Register of Mental Health Consumers and Carer Reps
•  Carer Lived Experience Workforce
•  National Close the Gap Day
•  Consumer and Carer Survey for the Evaluation of the NMHCCF
•  Parliamentary Advocacy Day
•  Experience with depression research
•  Overview of the Australian Health System

Regular features

Have your say
Ready, Steady, NDIS
Sane Forums
Training Opportunities
Carer Support Group Update
Have you heard?

Carer Event at Queens Hall on 27 March

Please join Tandem for Devonshire Tea at Queen's Hall, Parliament House, Melbourne on Monday 27 March from 10–11.30am.

Together we will hear the findings of the research report The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia, commissioned by Mind Australia Limited and conducted by The University of Queensland. The report puts the value of informal mental health caring in Australia at $13.2 billion.The key findings of the report will be presented by Dr. Gerry Naughtin, CEO of Mind Australia.

RSVP at by 20 March 2017.

Please download a copy of the invitation to distribute amongst peers and carers you think may wish to come.

Important information. All guests are required to undergo a security screening at Parliament House. Please allow an extra 15 minutes prior to event start time.

If you have any enquiries, please email or call Tandem on (03) 8803 5555.    

National Register of Mental Health Consumer and Carer Representatives

Tandem is pleased to announce that our CEO, and three members of the Tandem Board, have been accepted as Carer Members of the Mental Health Australia (MHA) National Register of Consumers and Carers. Marie Piu, Michelle Swann, Rachael Lovelock and Lisa Sweeney will join a pool of 60 trained mental health consumer and carer representatives from across Australia, who work at the national level to provide a strong consumer and carer voice in the mental health sector.

Members of the National Register use their lived experience, knowledge of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate and promote the issues and concerns of mental health consumers and carers.

Tandem is also pleased to hear that Judi Bursytner, co-ordinator of the Inner South Family and Friends has been accepted as a reserve member. Read more about the Register here

Carer Lived Experience Workforce

The Carer Lived Experience Workforce (CLEW) had their first networking day of the year at the Bouverie Centre on 2 March. The meeting was attended by 30 members, and there were presentations from the Second Psychiatric Opinion Service (SPOS) which operates out of Melbourne Health, and from the Statewide Peer Workforce Development Team. More information about the SPOS service is available on the Tandem website
Jeanette Murphy and Jacqui Hill. Dr Ruth Vine, Director North Western Mental Health Services.
Judy Anderson and Jan Korolew, Chair of the Carer Lived Experience Workforce. Helen Lococo, Liz Ward, and Jeanette Murphy on the occasion of Liz's retirement from Forensicare after many years in the carer peer workforce.

National Close the Gap Day

March 16 is National Close the Gap Day. It aims to bring people together, to share information – and most importantly – to take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030.

Equal access to healthcare is a basic human right, and in Australia, we expect it. So what if we told you that you can expect to live almost 20 years less than your next-door neighbour? You wouldn’t accept it. No-one should. But in reality, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People can expect to live up to 10–17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians.

Join one of the many events in Victoria – anyone can take part and make a difference. Your actions can create lasting change. Be part of the generation who closes the gap. View events   

Consumer and Carer Survey for the Evaluation of the NMHCCF

The Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Principal Committee (MHDAPC) of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council has requested an evaluation of the progress and achievements of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). The evaluation is occurring in the lead up to the next funding round. Key to successfully fulfilling this role, is mental health consumers and carers across Australia knowing about the Forum, knowing what it does, knowing how it can be contacted and knowing how to both contribute and use the resources developed by the Forum.

People who identify as a mental health consumer or carer, are warmly invited to respond to this 5–10 minute poll

The survey closes COB Friday 17 March 2017. For more information about the Forum and the evaluation please read the discussion paper or visit the NMHCCF website.    

Parliamentary Advocacy Day

Thursday 23 March
Mental Health Australia: Parliamentary Advocacy Day at Parliament House in Canberra
Mental Health Australia invite everyone to participate in the Parliamentary Advocacy Day at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 23 March. Input on this day will help to push for the real reform needed in the mental health sector. More

Frank Quinlain’s latest newsletter contains the latest information about the aim of the advocacy day.   

Experience with depression research

Mental Health First Aid Australia and the University of Melbourne are conducting research to update the mental health first aid guidelines for depression. They are seeking to recruit people with a lived experience of depression, carers and/or those who provide significant support to someone with depression, and mental health professionals. More  

Overview of the Australian Health System

Watch Consumers Health Forum of Australia's webinar to gain a deeper understanding of how the Australian Health System works. This presentation will help anyone who has an interest in improving the way healthcare is experienced in Australia.   

Research on carers and the NDIS

Researchers from Southern Cross University are calling for carers to take part in a study measuring their wellbeing before, during and after accessing the NDIS. They are looking for anyone who is a carer in Australia, regardless of the person’s disability or whether they are in the NDIS or not to take part in their survey. Click here to participate in the survey.

Show your support for fair rental laws in Victoria

The Victorian Government is currently reviewing our Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), which controls safety, security and privacy for 1.2 million people across the state. This is a rare opportunity to make positive changes to these laws, to improve safety, security of tenure and privacy for low and middle income tenants in Victoria. More   
Ready, Steady, NDIS


NDIS Joint Standing Committee – inquiry into psychosocial disability

Tandem’s submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities, along with over 100 other submission from organisations, peak bodies, individuals and service providers national-wide are available for review here.

Productivity Commission study into NDIS costs

The Productivity Commission is currently undertaking an inquiry into the cost of the NDIS. Click here to read the Issues Paper and make a submission. Every Australian Counts explains the inquiry in simple terms. The closing date for submissions is Friday 24 March.

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) will be making a submission to this Inquiry. If any organisations wish to provide input to this submission, please contact Shauna McDonald at VICSERV by Tuesday 14 March.

NDIS quarterly report, numbers nearly doubled but is it at the expense of quality

The NDIS Quarterly Report, covering the period from 1 October to 31 December 2016 has been released. The key findings included:
  • The number of participants in the Scheme doubled to 61,000 in six months, with strong growth in the last quarter.  
  • 85 per cent of surveyed participants rated their satisfaction with the NDIA and the planning process as either good or very good. This rate has dropped slightly from the high levels recorded at the NDIS trial sites.
  • There were 9,370 participants in Victoria with approved plans at the end of December 2016. 
In a report on the growth of the NDIS, ABC reported that the push to meet targets could come at the cost of quality.

LGBTIQ strategy

In partnership with the LGBTI Health Alliance, the NDIA is conducting a nationwide consultation that will contribute to the development of an LGBTIQ strategy. An Expression of Interest is now open to apply to participate in a workshop to be held in Melbourne on Friday 31 March. An online survey is also available to ensure that people from around Australia can contribute their experience and ideas to this consultation. More information can be found on the LGBTI Health Alliance website.


NDIS glossary

A new glossary of NDIS terms is now available on the NDIS website. An easy english version will be added soon.

The NDIA question and answer update

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has recently introduced a weekly question and answer update. The update is a new way for the NDIA to respond to the most common questions asked by people on the NDIS social media channels. You can find the first couple of updates on the NDIS website, Facebook and Twitter

Information sessions 

NDIS Info Van tour in Loddon

In December 2016, NDIS LAC partner, Intereach, began their ‘Info Van’ tour of the Loddon area in Victoria. This includes the City of Greater Bendigo and the Shires of Campaspe, Loddon, Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges. More

NDIS information sessions for carers

Carers Victoria Mental Health Program: Carers, Families and the NDIS
Carers Victoria are also running specific information sessions for carers and families who are caring for a person with a psychosocial disability commencing on 5 April at their Office in Footscray.
VALiD Families as Planning Partners course
VALiD are running workshops to support families and carers supporting someone with disability to prepare for the NDIS planning conversation.
The 'Function Room', Campaspe Shire Offices, Heygarth Street, Echuca on 20, 27 March, 3, 10 April 2017 (optional 5th session 24 April 2017)
To register or for more information contact VALiD or phone 9416 4003.

Our Choice Expo in Bendigo, 16 March

Bendigo Exhibition Centre, Prince of Wales Showgrounds. More

Service provider workshops

NDS and VICSERV are offering a Workforce Planning Training for Community Mental Health subsidised training course in 2017. Spaces are limited. More            

Topic Tuesdays in March

SANE's online forums provide social connection and support in a safe, anonymous and caring online community. Moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals through our partnership with SANE Australia, each month we host special events on topics of interest to our members. Click here to join the events and register as a community member.

Carers 7–9pm AEDT Tuesday 21 March
'CBT for Carers', joined by an expert guest from Northside Community Forum, as part of Brain Awareness Week. More

Lived Experience 7–9pm AEDT Tuesday 28 March
'Bipolar and Denial', joined by an expert guest from Bipolar Australia, as part of Bipolar Awareness Day. More   

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic)

For a comprehensive list of ARCVic's upcoming events and seminars click here.

Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM)

Saturday 13 May, 2–5pm. ACNEM is launching a series of public nutritional medicine education lectures in Melbourne. In the first program, Feed Your Brain, nutritional medicine experts will discuss the connection between nutrition, digestion and mental wellbeing. More

The Bouverie Centre

Fostering Realistic Hope. 21–22 April in Brunswick. This two day workshop is for carer families/partners supporting a family member with Borderline Personality Disorder. More

The Bouverie Centre offers an array of short courses for helping professionals. Download their 2017 calendar or for more course details and registrations, browse their range of workshops here.

Carers Victoria

Education Services Workshops. Carers Victoria offers carer workshops and educational programs to help carers and Carer Support Groups enhance their knowledge about how to best support themselves and the people they care for. Workshops include: Introduction to Aged Care System, Introduction to Dementia for Carers, Caring for Yourself and Aged Care Program: Families and the System. More


Rein it In. In partnership with Victoria Police, EACH presents 'Peaceful solutions for families: Supporting parents and adolescents in finding better ways to get along'. Contact Deb Bodsworth 8878 3809 for information and start dates. More

MIND Australia

Click here to learn more about training and education courses for clients, their families and the broader community.

Mind Recovery College

The Mind Recovery College 2017 course guide is now available. Enrol in a course today and learn about mental health and life skills that help you build a more positive, connected and meaningful life. Courses are led by people who have been on their own recovery journeys. Courses are designed for everyone; including people experiencing mental ill heath, family members, carers or professionals looking for new understanding and insights into themselves and others.


The VICSERV Training Calendar is available here.


Snapshot is an education program designed to assist family members and carers to maintain their own wellness and support the recovery of their family member or friend with a mental illness. The next program is on 18 March. More   

28 March, 2–8pm, Wangaratta
The Thrive Health and Wellbeing festival – the first of its kind – aims to empower and educate the Hume community to improve their understanding of the areas that can impact on mental health, and provide some strategies that they can use to promote their own positive health and wellbeing. More

21 April 2017
Mental Health Expo in Frankston. 
Lets Talk About Mental Health Frankston is a FREE event to provide information about mental health and other support services available to the Frankston and Peninsula communities. Listen to, and be inspired by, people’s real life experiences. More 

5–7 April, Mt. Eliza
Wellways Youth Peer Support Camp.
This camp is specifically aimed at young people aged 1318 who are caring or living with someone who has a mental illness. More  


Family and Friends Peer Support Groups. Grow provides free and on-going support to carers who are caring for their loved ones experiencing a mental or emotional health issue. The groups are open to anyone over the age of 18 who supports a family member or friend and recognises the need to also look after their own well being. Groups are currently held in Caulfield South, Noble Park, Nunawading and Reservoir. More

Mind Australia

Melbourne East Family and Carer Respite has some new activities in 2017. In addition to their monthly activities they will also be providing two carer support groups, a carer fitness program and a mindfulness program. Enquiries to Alicia on 9872 2221 or or Mignon on 9872 2220 or


Mental Health Education Programs Calendar: February – April 2017. These education programs provide an opportunity to learn about mental health and recovery. Designed for individuals experiencing mental health issues, families and community groups, these programs facilitate learning through the sharing of up to date information and personal experience. More

Pathways for Carers

Come relax and share a walk with other carers. The Pathway for Carers project offers carers of people with a disability or a mental health issue, an opportunity to share walks in Maroondah and Yarra Ranges with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. More

Uniting Care Life Assist

Hampton Park Carer Hub. Caring for someone can be a tough but rewarding experience. It is important for carers to connect with other carers, access carer supports and look after their own well being. The Carer Hub offers you a chance to chat, share with other carers and find support. More 

For Tandem's comprehensive list of Carer Support Groups please visit our website.   
29 August – 1 September, Sydney
TheMHS Conference 2017: Embracing Change through Innovation and Lived Experience.
Mental health services across Australia and New Zealand have undergone unprecedented change over the past 10 years. Adherence to the principles of recovery and recognition of lived experience as key to mental health reform are expanding the range of choices beyond traditional illness management.This conference will explore new directions and conversations that are based on building on the extraordinary strengths found in individuals, families, and communities. More

4–6 October, Adelaide
Carers Australia is proud to host the 7th International Carers Conference. The conference aims to re-imagine caring into the future, providing a catalyst for innovation and collaboration; sharing improvements in the way we support unpaid carers, care-recipients, their families, networks and communities. For more information click here.

11–13 October, Albury NSW
9th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium. 
Mental Health reform in rural Australia – Working Together, integrating care. More   

Here's what others are saying.

Alfred Health Carer Services. Alfred Health's Carer Services weekly newsletter is an up-to-date comprehensive resource of events, workshops and support groups in Melbourne's south east. More

Carers Australia. Carers National News. More

Headspace happenings in March. More
VICSERV. See what VICSERV is up to in their newsletter Factsline. More

SANE Australia. Sane Express. More   

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. Material deadline dates for the first quarter are: 24 March and 7 April.  
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 © 2017 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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