In this issue

 A profound insight into the realities of caring
 SDM project website launched
•  Tandem and Mental Health Week
 Ready, Steady, NDIS
•  Mental Health Week Events
•  Carers Count!
 VMIAC Awards


Regular features
SANE Forums
Training Opportunities
Carer Support Group Update

A profound insight into the realities of caring

Lisa Sweeney, Board member of Tandem, executive member of Australians for Mental Health and tireless advocate for the mentally ill and their carers, talks in a recent Huffington post about her life with her brother, and coming to terms with serious mental illness and the possible tragic consequences of it. Read more

Supported-decision-making (SDM) project website launched

This interdisciplinary project investigated and supported the rights, agency and self-determination of people in the mental health system. The joint Monash University and University of Melbourne Australian Research Council Linkage project, 'Options for Supported Decision Making to Enhance the Recovery of People with Severe Mental Health Problems' was led by Associate Professor Renata Kokanovic (Monash University). It was supported through partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Neami National, Tandem Carers, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council and Wellways (formerly Mental Illness Fellowship).​

A key output of this project was the production of two internet resources based on research participants’ stories of living with severe mental health challenges and carers’ experiences. Launched in June 2016, the resources can be found on the Healthtalk Australia website.
Mental health and supported decision making: Lived experience perspectives
Mental health and supported decision making: Carers’ experiences
For more information about this project, visit the SDM project website.
© Book Lin, (image cropped). License.

Tandem and Mental Health Week 

NDIS World Cafés

Banyule, Nillumbik. For people living with a disability or mental illness, their families and carers from Chinese (Mandarin), Somali and Vietnamese speaking communities. Monday 10 October, 10am–1pm, Banyule Community Health Service. Yarra. This session will be on 3 November at the Richmond Town Hall. Registrations: Carly Donaghey on 5224 5430 or 

Darebin. This session will focus on people living with a psychosocial disability, their families and carers who are from Greek, Italian and Chinese (Mandarin) speaking communities. Wednesday 12 October, 10am–1pm, Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre. Registrations: Emma McGoldrick on 8803 5555 or  

Mental Health Week Official Launch

Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage Victorians about mental health through a week of interactive events across the state, including an official launch, community festivals, art exhibitions, music, theatre and seminars. Tandem will be at the launch which will be held on Tuesday 11 October, 5–7.30pm at the Edge Theatre, Federation Square.
Ready, Steady, NDIS

Mental Health & NDIS Forum – date change

Tandem are delighted to be participating in the VICSERV and National Disability Services Victoria hosted Mental Health & NDIS Forum, which will focus on current and future considerations for community mental health organisations and other stakeholders. The forum will be held on Wednesday 26 October, 9.30am–4.00pm. More information and registrations here.

NDIS consumer and carer experiences in the Hunter region

A short video was released by the NSW Mental Health Commission which features the experiences of a mental health consumer and carer in the NDIS in the Hunter region NSW. 

DHHS releases Interim Practice Advice for Health and Aged Care Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a document titled 'National Disability Insurance Scheme and the health and aged care sector – Interim practice advice for health and aged care services' which outlines the responsibilities of the health and aged care systems and the NDIS for people moving between health and hospital supports and disability supports. A similar document outlining practice advice around mental health services is in development and will be promoted in a forthcoming edition of Tandem eNews once published. 

Update DHHS state-wide data collection

In edition 16 of Tandem eNews information was provided about the DHHS state-wide data collection. DHHS has since released a document providing further information on this process which will enable the transition of clients in defined programs to the NDIS and Commonwealth continuity of support arrangements. Information regarding the state-wide data collection project is available through the Funded Agency Channel, with further instructions to be securely emailed to service-providers in the coming weeks. The NDIA has issued a section 55 notice to the department under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. This notice supersedes both the Privacy and Data Protection Act of Victoria (2014) and the Health Records Act (2001) and means the department is required by law to collect and provide client information to the NDIA.

NDIA releases final report of trial data

On 18 September the NDIA released the NDIS Quarterly Report for April–June 2016, the last report for the three-year national trial period. The report lists up-to-date statistics on NDIS participants, plans and average costs of support. Psychosocial disability remains the third most common primary disability for NDIS participants in Victoria, with 'daily living' and 'independence' identified as their most common support needs. The NDIA is currently reviewing how people with psychosocial disability access the Scheme, developing strategies to better deliver supports to participants with psychosocial disability and devising an efficient pricing model for psychosocial disability supports.

Mental Health Expo in Macedon Ranges

Tandem will be taking part in the PS My Family Matters / Macedon Ranges Health Services Mental Health Expo on Wednesday 19 October, 5.30–7.30pm in Gisborne. Community members, GPs and agencies will be able to network and learn about the NDIS. To register click here, or contact PS My Family Matters on 0401 042 777.

Service provider workshops

Breakthrough are holding a Key Learnings from the NDIS Information Sharing Session on their experiences and learnings operating in NDIS trial sites on 12 October. Information and registrations here.
NDIA are holding a number of sessions to assist providers with the operation of the My Place Portal. Information and registrations here.
NDIA continues to run its core information sessions for providers. Information here.

Mental Health Week Events


Fluro Friday

The Southern Melbourne Primary Care Partnership (SMPC)P will be hosting this special community event at the Mentone Lifesaving Club on Friday 14 October. More information can be found here.


As an activity leading up to Mental Health Week The Eastern Health Mental Health Program have launched a twitter space to collect stories and images of hope for recovery. They invite you to join in and submit your stories and images at #HopeMentalHealth

Carers Lunch for Mental Health Week

On behalf of the Eastern Metro Region Carer Respite Services Network, MI Fellowship invites you to join them for a free, relaxing lunch and an afternoon of entertainment at Killara Estate in the Yarra Valley on Wednesday 12 October, 10.30am–3.00pm. Enquiries Suzi Tsopanas 8873 2509, or Catherine Vine 8873 2510.

Monash Health

Mental Health Week Expo, Wednesday 12 October. Open to anyone with an interest in mental health. More information can be found here.

NDIS: A Mental Health Perspective

Join VMIAC in Mental Health Week for a performance addressing the issues around NDIS for people with mental ill health. More information can be found here


Suicide Prevention Awareness Network for Melbourne Eastern Suburbs is holding a local family friendly event to support the community who have been touched by suicide on 9 October. More information can be found here.

Yarra Ranges Mental Health Expo

Celebrate World Mental Health Day on Monday10 October at the Mooroolbark Community Centre. More information can be found here.

Carers Count!

National Carers Week 2016 takes place from 16–22 October and is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution Australia’s 2.8 million unpaid carers make to our nation. The theme this year is ‘Carers Count’, and all Australians are encouraged to let carers know how much they count and thank them for their extraordinary contribution to Australia. Take 1 minute out of your day to offer thanks and show your support so together we can build a carer-friendly Australia. Click here.

VMIAC Awards

The inaugural VMIAC Consumer Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of consumers and consumer workers. Please see the nomination form for more details. The awards will be held at the Northcote Town Hall, on Friday 14 October at 6.00pm. Register for this free event here.
For a Carers Week special edition of Topic Tuesday SANE will joined by Mind Australia and ask the tough question that people are too apprehensive to ask: Should I stay or should I go? Register as a Forum member to participate on the night.

Click here for the latest SANE blog post.
Family & Carer Project Officer – Mental Health
Mind Australia is looking for an innovative and dynamic project officer to join the Consumer and Carer Participation Team in Heidelberg, working part time, 22.4 hours per week fixed term contract until 30 June 2017. Applications close 5 October. More information can be found here.

Anglicare Victoria

Breaking the Cycle. An eight-week therapeutic program for mothers, fathers, stepparents and carers whose adolescents are abusive or violent in the home. Commencing 6 October. More information here.

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria

safeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone. 5 October, Surrey Hills.
ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. 6–7 October. Surrey Hills.

For further information or to register, visit the ARCVic website.

Carers Victoria

Carer Support Group Facilitator Training. 26 October. A one-day comprehensive program suitable for new facilitators or for those wanting to start up a carer support group. 
Dementia Program. A four week program for caring families who are supporting a person living with dementia is a practical, interactive and offers clear take home strategies for carers. Monday 7, 14, 21 & 28 November.

Click here to register and see all Carer's Victoria courses and events for 2016.

Drummond Street Services

'Best Mood' is an 8-week program designed in partnership with Deakin University to offer an evidence-based approach for parents and families with an adolescent aged 12-16 years with depression or dysthymia. Commences 11 October. More information.


Caring for People with Psychosis and Schizophrenia. Explore the key issues related to caring for a relative with psychosis or schizophrenia, with this free online course that will also provide opportunities to share your views and experiences with carers from around the world. More information here.


Mental Health First Aid Training

Maroondah City Council is offering Mental Health First Aid Training to 25 community members on 17–18 October. The training will be fully funded, but participants need to commit to the full two day program. Register here.

Mental Health Foundation of Australia 

The MHFA has many great events scheduled during Mental Health Week, 9–15 October. Click here for more details.

MIND Australia – Carer Education Workshops

Building carer resilience. 8 October, 5 November.
Challenging behaviours. 22 October, 12 November.
Recovery and hope. 29 October.

See the full calendar of workshops here.


Psychlopaedia™ is an online publication devoted to psychology. It aims to make this immense field – the discoveries, the disorders, treatments, as well as insights into the human mind and behaviour – accessible to all.


Voices Vic

Voice Profiling. 6 October, 9.30am–4.30pm
The Hearing Voices Approach. 23 & 24 November, 9.30am–4.30pm

More information and other courses can be found here.


Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Work. VICSERV is pleased to announce that registrations are open for the 2017 program of the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (CHC43515), commencing in February 2017. More information can be found here.
Mental Health & NDIS Forum. 19 October, 9.30am–4.00pm at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). 20–21 October (2 days), 9.30am–4.30pm at the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare.

The full VICSERV Training Calendar May 2016 to February 2017 is available here.



MI Recovery, 6 October, 12.30–3.30pm, Warnambool.
Wellways' full schedule for July to December is available here.

Women Reclaiming their Lives

An 8 week group for women who have experienced or are experiencing violence in the home. Monday 10 October 1–3pm. More information is available here.

Yarra Ranges Council

Autism Spectrum Kids (ASK). A free social skills group for young people 10–15 who live in the Yarra Ranges. Eight week program commencing Tuesday 11 October. More information available here.
Paying Attention to Self (PATS). PATS is a peer support group for 12–18 year olds who have a parent with a mental illness. Eight week program, commencing on Wednesday 12 October. More information available here.
1 to 7 October
Australian Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Week

2016 marks the year that clinical and not-for-profit and BPD organisations are collaborating to raise awareness of the need for access to evidence-based treatment, expanding early diagnosis, and family education to promote resilience and positive recovery for BPD. More information about Awareness Week and related events can be found on the BPD website.

7 October
Grow is running a mental health anti-stigma campaign titled Odd socks day – because anyone can have an odd day and would like you to be part of it. To increase support for their campaign they are encouraging people to don an odd pair of socks, take a ‘selfie’ and send it with a message of support that can be posted on their website  and Facebook page. Please email your image and message to

19 October, Fitzroy
Access Forum. 
The Turning Point and Spectrum Consumer and Carer Committee are holding a forum where consumers and carers’ voices are heard highlighting difficulties accessing everyday services and the difference this can make to people’s lives. Registration is free.      
Exploring Meaning in Experience. A number of regular weekly groups based on the principles of the Hearing Voices Approach and Intentional Peer Support for people with lived experiences of voices, visions and other forms of altered states and perceptions. More information can be found here.

MI Fellowship runs a range of programs, activities and events all year round. You can meet people, try new things and learn news skills in your local area. We hold events for people living with mental illness and their family and friends. Find out more about what's happening near you here.
Span Community House in Thornbury
Introduction to dementia & services – A Good Place to Start. Suitable for family and friends of those who may have a diagnosis of dementia. Wednesday,12 October, 1–3pm.
Wellbeing for carers in our Community. This introduction will be about an upcoming program to help carers look after themselves to sustain their caring responsibilities. Wednesday, 19 October, 1–3pm.
A pizza night and get together for dads and male carers with kids on the spectrum with the aim of bringing people together who are struggling with similar issues. Second Tuesday of every month 7–9pm. More information can be found on the Span website or by calling 9480 1364.

Reservoir Community House
Hearts in Mind
is specifically for women caring for children on the autism spectrum. Available Monday and Thursday. Contact, Lisa and George 0430 724 910.
GROW – Mutual Support Group. Are you caring for someone with a mental illness or intellectual disability? Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 10am–1pm. Contact. Louise on 9528 2977.

The Pathway for Carers project offers carers of people with a disability or a mental health issue, an opportunity to share walks in Manningham, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. Further information can be found here.
6 October, Sydney
The 6th Annual National BPD Conference
.The conference will focus on the latest evidence that the prognosis for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is positive and is aided by a cooperative approach involving clinicians, support workers, employers and the person's family and/or friends. You can book online, via email or by phoning (03) 8805 5512. Registration is essential. More information can be found on the BPD website.

11 October, Brunswick
Different Elephants, Same Room – Family Violence & Mental Health. This mini-conference explores the especially challenging territory involving the intersection between family violence and mental health. Details and bookings can be made on the The Bouverie Centre's Training and Professional Development page.

13 October, Lakeside Community Centre, Benalla
The Hume FaPMI Conference, Supported Families – Resilient Kids. Practical evidence-based approaches to working with vulnerable families. Register here.

17 October, High Street Centre, Frankston
Peninsula Carer Council Annual General Meeting. The guest speaker, Dr. Peter Mc Kenzie from the Bouverie Clinic Brunswick, will be outlining the basic principles of a relatively new approach to treatment of people with a mental illness – the Open Dialogue Approach – which started in Finland in the 1980s, and gradually spread across Scandinavia, Europe, UK and USA. For more information can be found here.

18–19 October, Brisbane
Workplace Heath Association Australia (WHAA) National Workplace Health Conference. 
This year’s theme, 'The Puzzle of Workplace Health – Putting the Pieces Together' ties in with current industry trends for program integration with OH&S, EAP, state-based Initiatives or external providers. Register here

24–26 October, Brisbane 
12th Biennial Asia Pacific International Mental Health Conference (AsPac).The Conference Program highlights a focus on early intervention, suicide, cross cultural learnings and innovative service developments. Visit for more information.

25–27 October, Adelaide
42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Nurses Striving to Tackle Disparity in Health Care.This conference will look at how disparity in health care impacts on mental health consumers, carers and their families. The conference will offer opportunities for collaboration and partnership within the mental health and nursing sectors. Register here.
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 © 2016 Tandem Inc., All rights reserved.

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