In this issue

•  Carer Statement Consultation on 13 April
•  Mental Health Report launched in Victoria
•  Research: Experience with depression

Regular features

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

Carer Statement Consultation on 13 April

The Victorian Government is preparing to release a Carer Statement in Carers’ Week this year, and has commissioned Carers Victoria to conduct consultations and an online survey to ensure that there is an opportunity for a broad range of carers to have their say. You can read more about the Carer Statement and consultations here.

To contribute, and to make sure that the specific experience of mental health caring is incorporated in the document, Tandem will host a specialist consultation at the 13 April Monthly Members’ Meeting. After a short ordinary meeting, the consultation will commence at 10.30am. The consultation will be capped at 35 carers, so please RSVP when meeting papers are sent out.

You can also help to ensure that the voices of mental health carers are heard by completing the online survey, available here.   

Mental Health Report launched in Victoria

March 27 saw the Victorian launch of The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia report. Research for the report was conducted by the University of Queensland's School of Public Health and commissioned by Mind Australia. The launch was hosted by Tandem in partnership with Carers Victoria and Mind Australia, in Queen’s Hall at Parliament House, with a fabulous turnout.

Dr Gerry Naughtin from Mind Australia presented the findings of the report, which highlighted a number of significant disadvantages facing mental health carers today. More   
A captive audience in Queen's Hall, Parliament House yesterday.
Left to right: Colin Fryer, Tandem Chair; Sarah Pollock, Executive Director Advocacy, Mind Australia; Phillip Norman, former ARAFEMI Board; Michelle Swann, Tandem Deputy Chair; Frances Sanders, Tandem Board and General Manager of Business Development: NDIS, Mind Australia; Marie Piu, CEO Tandem, Dr Gerry Naughtin, Chief Executive, Mind Australia; and Katrina Clarke, Tandem Board.
Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter Welcoming everyone to Country; Carers Victoria's Annie Hayward and CEO Caroline Mulcahy share a cup of tea with Frances Sanders from Mind Australia.
Carolyn Dzur and Melanie Ryan; Katrina Clarke and Lisa Tesoriero: Violete Peterson and Jacqui Hill.

Research: Experience with depression

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  

The association between gratitude and carer burden

Murdoch University are conducting a study to establish whether feelings of gratitude influence the burden experienced by carers of people with severe mental illnesses. This is a forerunner to the development of a resource that could be designed to lessen the burden that carers of people with mental illness experience. More    
Ready, Steady, NDIS


Issues in NDIS rollout

Tandem continues to work with Mental Health Carers, NDIA, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in order to resolve rollout issues as they arise.

Productivity Commission study into NDIS costs

Submissions to The Productivity Commission Inquiry closed on Friday 24 March. Submissions are available for viewing on the Productivity commission website.  

NDIA CEO David Bowen to retire in November 2017

The Chair of the Board of the NDIA, Dr Helen Nugent, announced that the Chief Executive Officer, David Bowen, had been re-appointed for a period of up to 6 months, at which point he would step down from the role. In the press release that accompanied this announcement, Dr Nugent thanked Mr Bowen for his 'excellent stewardship of the NDIA during its critical inception years'.

LGBTIQ strategy consultations

The NDIA is currently developing an LGBTIQ Inclusion and Access Strategy that will guide their work in the coming years to help ensure that LGBTIQ people and communities can access and benefit from the NDIS. As part of a nationwide consultation conducted on behalf of the NDIA, the National LGBTI Health Alliance has developed a survey that will contribute to the development of an LGBTIQ Strategy and guide the work of the NDIA into the future. This is an important and urgent opportunity to ensure that the wisdom of lived experience is incorporated into this new Strategy. The survey is open until 31 March 2017. The Lived Experience Consultation Workshop that was planned for 31 March 2017 has been postponed to re-design the consultation process. For further detail see the LGBTI Health Alliance website.

Protecting your personal details

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has recently become aware of a potential scam involving participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the attempted collection of personal details by a third party.
Please be aware that the NDIA will not ask you for personal information, such as Centrelink details, over the phone or in an email. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the NDIA and requesting this information, do not give it to them. Take the person's contact number and their name and tell them you will call them back.
If you believe it is a scam please report it to, your local NDIA contact, or call 1800 800 110. They will be able to confirm whether the caller was from the NDIA. For further details see the NDIS website.

NDIS engagement strategies released

 The NDIA has released two new strategies to ensure the NDIS is delivered successfully for all Australians. One is to guide their engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the other outlines their approach in rural and remote areas. The NDIA has promised to continue to work collaboratively with communities – to 'listen, learn, build and deliver'.  To achieve this the NDIA has committed to training all staff so they can engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a culturally respectful and supportive way. They have also promised to provide accessible and culturally appropriate information so that communities can understand the NDIS and plan for its arrival. The strategies developed in consultation with local communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, people with disability and their carers and informed by the knowledge gained from the NDIS trial sites are available on the NDIS website.

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Issues Backgrounder

The Issues Backgrounder, published by the NSW Parliamentary Research Service, provides a collection of key sources on the NDIS including information and reports published by the National Disability Insurance Agency, government departments, statutory bodies, and parliamentary committees. It also includes references to commentary from the media, academics and non-government organisations.


The NDIS Q&A update

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has recently introduced a weekly Q&A 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. The weekly Q&A from 24 March is available on the NDIS website.  

Information sessions 

NDIS Van Tour in Loddon

NDIS LAC partner, Intereach, continue 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 Understanding workshops for people with disability and families Warrnambool

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) will run six half day workshops for people with disability and their families in Warrnambool between April 11–13. The free workshops will explain the NDIS in detail. More workshops will be run in other regional centres in 2017.

NDIS information sessions for carers

Carers Victoria NDIS Information Session
Carers Victoria are holding an NDIS information session for carers on Tuesday 2 May 2017 from 10am–12pm at Carers Victoria in Footscray.
Carers Victoria Mental Health Program: Carers, Families and the NDIS
Carers Victoria is also running specific information sessions for carers and families who are caring for a person with a psychosocial disability commencing on 5 April over 4 weeks on Wednesday from 10am to 1pm at Carers Victoria in Footscray.

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    

Setting the Scene for the Scheme: An Introduction to the NDIS for service providers

National Disability Services (NDS) is providing information sessions for service providers in areas where the NDIS roll out commences from 2018.  For further details and to register for the sessions check the NDS website.

Victorian public health services workshop

National Disability Services (NDS), in partnership with the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA), is offering a training module that will support Victorian public health services to understand the overarching principles of workforce planning and capacity building required for their organisation. The workshop is targeted to HR managers, senior managers, staff involved with workforce planning and service delivery.

The workshops will be run across Victoria in the following locations: Traralgon/Warragul 30 March; Melbourne 5 April; Wangaratta 11 April; Warrnambool 27 April. For further information please go to the VHA events page.

National NDIS Mental Health Conference

Registrations are open to the National NDIS Mental Health Conference. The conference will be held over two days in November 2017 in Sydney. Dates, venue and event program to be released shortly. Register to be notified of important event updates and when tickets become available.            

Topic Tuesdays in March

SANE's online forums provide social connection and support in a safe, anonymous and caring online community. Click here to join the events and register as a community member.

Lived Experience 7–9pm AEDT Tuesday 28 March
To coincide with Bipolar Day, SANE Australia's Topic Tuesday will look at how to recognise the symptoms of mania, how to manage it, and what to do after a manic episode. 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. You will be able to explore the impact of caring on your emotional and physical health, and also gain practical advice on how to navigate the health and community sector. More.

Mind Recovery College

Enrol in a course and learn about mental health and life skills that help you build a more positive, connected and meaningful life. 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. Check out their courses page for more information about what's coming up near you. 


The VICSERV Training Calendar is available here.


Mental Health Education Programs Calendar: February – April 2017. These education programs provide an opportunity to learn about mental health and recovery. More   

4 April, Richmond
Parenting with a Mental Illness by Professor Anne Buist. 
Mental Health Foundation Australia is presenting this FREE session as part of their Community Education Seminar series 2017.Tuesday, 4 April, 7.008.30pm ath The Melbourne Clinic; Isaac Schweitzer Room, 130 Church Street, Richmond (enter via Tweedie Place). RSVP to Mental Health Foundation of Australia on 9826 1422 or email

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

29 May, Box Hill
Perspectives of Peer Work Forum.
At this FREE event you will hear from people who are using their lived experience to make a difference, meet service providers who employ peer workers, learn about job and training opportunities for Peer Workers, and have the opportunity to participate in afternoon workshops and presentations. Register   

Mental Health Compass

A user-friendly guide for consumers, carers, service providers and professionals. Includes live links to websites, services and helplines. 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


Wellways have a range of great community-based activities and events. Find out what’s happening near you. 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
7th International Carers Conference – UPDATE. Carers Australia is pleased to announce confirmation of keynote speakers, Vickie Cammack and Al Etmanski. Vickie and Al have been engaged as activists, teachers, innovators, entrepreneurs and writers in the world of caregiving and disability for more than three decades. More

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. More

Alfred Health Carer South News. Autumn eNews. More
COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness). March eNews. More

Wellways eNews. 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 are: 7 April, 28 April, 12 May, 26 May, 9 June, 23 June.  
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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