View this email in your browser
Complex Mental Health and Disability News - April 2023
Karenza Louis-Smith, CEO

A message from our CEO

Lately I’ve been focused on ermha365’s new strategic plan, working with the executive team and our Board. This is an exciting process, and one that has had a great deal of key stakeholder, consumer and staff engagement. My colleagues and I have been out talking with our staff and consumers to get their input and I’m really looking forward to launching our new strategy in the next few months.

Jackie Ashmore, our Chief Operations Officer and I have met with several key stakeholders across the programs and services we deliver in partnerships. These have included meetings with many of our colleagues in mental health as we work our way through reforms.
Emily Webb and I will be recording our latest episode of Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability this week, with Mental Health Victoria CEO Marcelle Mogg as our special guest. It’s a conversation I’m really looking forward to as we talk about the Royal Commission and what’s happening in Victoria.

I have also met with many CEOs of NDIS services as part of the National CEO Collab hosted by our friends at Able Australia. We come together to talk about some of the big issues and opportunities that we are facing, and work together to advocate and bring about change. This month, we have been spending time talking about some of the challenges in delivering supported independent living and what we are each doing to continue to respond to COVID outbreaks as we support people with disabilities.

Finally, we have been working hard to implement a new client management system at ermha365. Alayacare will help us to achieve better outcomes for the people we support enabling us to efficiently manage, track and report on consumer, client and carer goals and outcomes.  We are excitedly working towards a go-live date in June 2023.

Mental Health and Community Services

Open Day buzz at Hive

The team at Hive Noble Park
The Hive / CPS team enjoying Open Day at Noble Park.

On 13 April our team at HIVE Noble Park and participants got together for some food, conversation (lots of laughter) and some art activities at our Hive Open Day. The opportunity to come together and talk and connect is part of why we do what we do, and HIVE Noble Park offers mental health support in the community with a focus on practical and tailored strategies for daily living.

HIVE is open to people who access ermha365’s Commonwealth Psychosocial Program (CPS).

Hive Noble Park opened mid-2022 at the site that was previously the ermha Op Shop. It’s located on Buckley Street, close to shops and public transport. Go to our website for more information and referral process for Commonwealth Psychosocial Program (CPS).

HIVE Noble Park is supported by funding from South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

Art Therapy - "My Story and Strengths"

Tori holding her graduate certificate
 Tori is one of the first participants to complete the Art Therapy program

Earlier this month we celebrated the completion of our first Art Therapy program “My Story and Strengths” at Living and Learning Pakenham. 

This pre-vocational art therapy course helps people with living experience of mental ill-health, either personally or as a carer (or both) to recognise, understand and express their own personal story – with a focus on the recovery principles of recognising personal strengths.

The eight-week, 3-hour sessions are led by Cheryl Jameson, Carer Respite Facilitator, as part of ermha365’s Carer Respite and Commonwealth Psychosocial Support (CPS) programs. Sessions were held at Pakenham Living and Learning’s art room and co-facilitated by Julie Humphreys, CPS Wellbeing Mentor, and Master of Social Work student Katie Bouys.
Tori's artwork and reflective journal
Some beautiful examples of Tori's artwork.

Tori was one of the inaugural participants and gave a short speech at the end-of-course graduation event.

"I really wanted to be part of this group, so that I was able to express my emotions in a happy, positive way, because I wasn't really liking the angry story anymore,” Tori shared.

“A big part of me is my Māori culture but I haven't really had an opportunity to explore that side of things until I did this course. So today, I feel like I've transformed through all this artwork, releasing all my internal emotions through my art.”
This program is also a pathway to exploring vocational opportunities to work in lived experience positions within the Mental Health, AOD and Disability fields. A huge thanks to Living and Learning Pakenham for their support too!

For more info email or phone Cheryl on 0498 547 862.

Our CPS service is supported by funding from South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

Celebrating Victoria’s Lived and Living Experience Workforce

Peer cadets at the LLE Workforce celebration
Late last month, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division of Department of Health invited partner agencies to join a celebration of Lived and Living Experience Workforce, in recognition of our shared progress in the state’s mental health system reform journey.

The event was opened by Mary O’Hagan, Executive Director Lived Experience Victoria, followed by an address by The Hon Gabrielle Williams MP, Minister for Mental Health, Ambulance Services and Treaty and First Peoples.

Minister Williams acknowledged and commended all the fabulous work being done across Victoria in the Mental Health LLE space and highlighted that Victoria is ‘leading the way’ in the provision of promotion and development of LLE prominence across all Mental Health services. 

Bianca Childs, Workforce Manager - Lived Experience Branch gave a snapshot of the increased funding available to support the development of the LLE workforce and to equip organisations to promote and increase LLE representation, integration, and collaboration within mental health service provision.

The event also celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of Peer Cadets from the Lived Experience Peer Cadet Program. Certificates were presented to 24 cadets who were congratulated on completing their cadetship, many of whom have achieved employment.

ermha365 welcomed five new people as part of the Mental Health Victoria Cadet program to our organisation. We’re excited by this opportunity and will have lots more to share in future newsletters.

Victoria State Government extends Early Intervention Psychosocial Supports Program (EIPSR) 

The EIPSR program in Geelong
The Victoria Government announced late last month that funding for Early Intervention Psychological Support Response (EIPSR) has been extended, so more Victorians aged 16-64 who aren't eligible for or can't yet access the NDIS can obtain one-on-one and group-based wellbeing support. 

In Victoria, ermha365 is one of 10 NGOs delivering the EIPSR program. In partnership with Barwon Health, our EIPSR program supported 258 clients across the Barwon (Geelong) region in 2022.

We also deliver EIPSR for Forensicare, supporting people with complex histories and presentations to reintegrate into the community and live safely on their transition from Thomas Embling Hospital in Melbourne.


Opportunities available

Young man on street wearing headphones

We offer a wide range of career opportunities at ermha365.

For all current opportunities please visit ermha365’s Careers page.


Talking Mental Health & Disability podcast

Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability
Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability presents frank and fearless conversations about mental health and disability, including people with lived experience, frontline workers in the industry, as well as policy-makers and advocates.

You can listen, rate and review GET REAL on your preferred podcast listening platform including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and  Stitcher.
Our latest episode is with Satellite Foundation CEO Rose Cuff and Youth Coordinator Mia Boonen. Satellite Foundation is a fantastic Victoria-based organisation focused on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people where a family member, like a parent or sibling has a mental illness or mental health challenges.

You can listen here.

Ahead of Anazc Day on 25 April, it’s timely to remember the mental health impacts for people who have or are serving in defence forces and their families.

We’ve covered the topic of mental health for the veteran community and aligned occupations on Get Real - Veterans’ mental health with RSL Victoria’s Adam "Buzz" Lawson and Dr Carolyn Deans, and PTSD in humanitarian Aid workers.

Reading, watching, listening

National Farmer Wellbeing Report 2023

In recent years, nearly half of Australian farmers (45%) have felt depressed, with almost two thirds (64%) experiencing anxiety. More than a quarter of the farmers who took part in the research say feelings of loneliness or isolation, combined with limited access to mental health services have had the biggest impact on their mental health. 
Turn Up the Volume

Turn Up the Volume is a great youth drama you can catch on ABC iView. It’s about a talented but unlikely group of female and gender diverse teenagers who start a band and discover the strength to make their voices heard. 
Butterfly: Let’s Talk (podcast) 

The Butterfly Foundation Let's Talk podcast talks about eating disorders with experts, people with a lived experience and their families and carers. Whether you’re personally affected, you’re caring for a friend or family member, or want to find out more about body image issues and eating disorders, this is a great place to start.

Useful links and resources

Satellite Foundation logo
Creativity and Connection for mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting young people aged 8-25 in Victoria where a family member, such as a parent or sibling has a mental illness or mental health challenges.   

Visit the Satellite Foundation
ermha365 - Complex Mental Health and Disability
South-East Melbourne | North-West Melbourne | Geelong | Bendigo | Darwin
Follow us:
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
LinkedIn LinkedIn
Instagram Instagram
Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Subscribe here 

Acknowledgement of Country

ermha365 acknowledges that our work in the community takes place on the Traditional Lands of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and therefore respectfully recognise their Elders, past and present, and the ongoing Custodianship of the Land and Water by all Members of these Communities.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Share Share
Copyright © 2023 Ermha Ltd, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.