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Complex Mental Health and Disability News - February 2023
Karenza Louis-Smith

A message from our CEO

I can’t believe February is already upon us. It’s going to be an exciting year for ermha365 as we start developing our new strategic plan, embrace the Mental Health reforms in Victoria and look forward to a review of the NDIS from the Federal Government.

This month I will be meeting with the CEOs of Carers Victoria, On the Line and SHARC as we continue to build strong partnership as part of the Victorian Mental Health reform agenda.
On 16 February, Chief Operations Officer Jackie Ashmore and I will be meeting our DFFH liaison manager to talk about our Pathways Services here in Victoria and the great work our team does.

On 28 February I will also be attending the Board meeting of Mental Health Victoria (MHV) where I am a director and Chair of the Marketing Subcommittee.

Our podcast Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability podcast relaunched this week for 2023. Our first episode for the year is with journalist Elfy Scott who has just released a book called  "The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About: Exposing Our Untold Mental Health Crisis." It’s a powerful read.

Mental Health and Community Services

Lived Experience Peer Cadets to join our workforce

ermha365 has been successful in receiving funding from the Department of Health to have five Lived Experience Peer Cadets join our workforce for a year.

Commencing in March, the five Peer Cadets will be supported by a part time Project Lead while they will work two days a week in our mental health programs. Once they have been recruited, the Peer Cadets will be given the opportunity to be buddied up with an existing worker with lived experience and will also participate in ermha365’s Lived Experience Community of Practice.   

We look forward to sharing more about our peer cadets throughout the year.

Psychology Services at ermha365

Two seated women having a discussion
Last year we launched Psychology Services at ermha365, available for children and adults (NDIS-funded or private clients). 

Delivered by our skilled and trained registered psychologists, this service covers the following areas:
  • Counselling
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Social skills training 
  • IQ/cognitive assessments
  • Anxiety and Depression 
  • Self esteem
  • Communication skills
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Work stress
For more information, please contact Kiri Tsalparos, National Clinical Manager Behaviour Intervention Support and Psychological Services on 0459 962 871 or

Supporting Connections Christmas parties

Man holding a Christmas gift
As popularly requested by residents and staff, ermha365’s Supporting Connections team once again provided individual Christmas parties for approximately 290 residents and staff across 10 Supported Residential Services (SRS) facilities. 

A great time was had by all, with the residents participating in games including Christmas bingo, music, and burger meals. The highlight was a visit from Santa with each resident receiving gifts and a personalised card.

Our Supporting Connections team works with people with complex needs living in low-cost housing, or who are homeless. 

Impact Report 2022

Double-page spread of Impact Report 2022
Our Impact Report for 2022 is now available

The report is an overview of what ermha365 achieved over the past year. We’re proud to share our commitment to and support for people in Victoria and the Northern Territory with mental ill-health and disability.

You can access the report at our website.



New role for Geelong HOPE program

Support facilitator position available

Support Facilitator position

We have a full-time opportunity for a Support Facilitator to join our HOPE program in Geelong. HOPE is a service designed to assist those currently experiencing crisis and who are at risk of suicide.

This role would best suit a strong and empathetic communicator who can operate at the highest level, even in the most difficult circumstances. This is a diverse role in case management, crisis intervention and psychosocial outreach support, where you’ll be working in a multidisciplinary and risk-adverse environment.

Take a look at the position description for more information. For all other 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.
We’ve launched back into this year’s podcast series. Our first episode for 2023 is with Sydney-based journalist Elfy Scott who has written a book The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About: Exposing Our Untold Mental Health Crisis.

This compelling book is part-memoir about Elfy's living experience and that of her mum, who lives with Schizophrenia. It's also a journalistic delve into why there’s still massive barriers for people who experience mental health conditions. You can listen here.

We’d love to hear from you about topics around mental health that you think would make interesting and useful listening. We also want to hear from you about any guest suggestions or maybe, you’d like to consider being a guest!

Contact Emily Webb, our Advocacy and External Communications Advisor:

Reading, watching, listening

A Rich New Lens

Autistic woman and disability advocate Jessica Horner from Wagga Wagga, NSW is an ABC Regional Storyteller Scholarship recipient. Jessica’s online digital storytelling details experiences, including her own, of being diagnosed autistic as an adult. You can read here.
SANE's Bridging the Gaps Survey Results

SANE CEO Rachel Green gives a short video overview (2.40 m) of The Bridging The Gap Survey results from people who live with acute mental illness. The survey found four main issues are impacting the community when it comes to access to support for complex mental health issues: affordability, accessibility, adequacy and acceptance. You can watch here.
The OCD Stories (podcast)

Psychotherapist and counsellor Stuart Ralph hosts this podcast. It features living experience interviews with people who live with OCD and those who work in research, treatment and support. You can listen here.

Useful links and resources

SANE. We're people like you.
SANE’s Moderated Forums are an online supportive community where you can chat with others in similar situations. 

Visit SANE Forums

ermha365 - Complex Mental Health and Disability
South-East Melbourne | North-West Melbourne | Geelong | Bendigo | Darwin
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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.
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