In this issue

•  Welcome to our new website
•  Mental illness is not like a broken leg
•  Parliamentary Advocacy Day
•  Peer support program for young people
•  Mental Health Week Art Competiton

Regular features

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

Welcome to our new website

All of us here at Tandem are very proud to announce the launch of our new website. This is the product of a lot of hard work and dedication from the whole team to bring together a website that we hope will be a very useful resource for carers, families and friends. It uses simpler navigation and features plenty of helpful information so that you can easily find what you are looking for.

Occasionally a few technical teething issues can arise so if you have any problems with the site please let us know so we can take a look. We welcome your positive feedback too!   

Mental illness is not like a broken leg

(Lisa Sweeney @ The Huffington Post)

Tandem Board member, mental health advocate, and executive member of Australians for Mental Health Lisa Sweeney's recent Huffington Post article talks about the common misconceptions and prejudices surrounding mental illness and the issues that underpin mental health recovery. Read   

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 CEO update. More

Frank Quinlan’s open letter to the new Federal Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt. More   

Peer support program for young people

Space4us is a peer-support program for 13–18 year-olds who live with – or have significant contact with – a parent and/or family member who has a mental illness. Space4Us gives these young people an opportunity to share their experiences and receive support from other young people in similar situations. More 

Mental Health Week Art Competition is now open

The aim of Mental Health Week (MHW) is to promote mental health and wellbeing, prevent mental illness and remove stigma. The art competition supports community involvement of people living with mental illness. Entrants may submit up to two artworks. Artworks may be paintings, drawings, mosaics, photos, computerised images and other art mediums. More    

Families Australia Policy Survey 

Families Australia has been working at the national level for policies that promote greater family well being. Their key goals are to build stronger Australian families in all their diversity, end child abuse and neglect, eliminate family and domestic violence and advance the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.To stay effective and focused on issues of concern to members and families in general, they would greatly appreciate your views. Your feedback is important and will help them to improve the effectiveness of Families Australia as it works to improve outcomes for families and children. Closing date 17 February 2017. Survey

Supporting adult behaviour change in family-based interventions

The journal Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention is calling for papers for a special issue of the journal titled Supporting adult behaviour change in family based intervention. The issue will focus on innovations in prevention and early intervention in family-based interventions aimed at supporting positive mental health among children and parents. 

The journal is seeking papers including research articles, case studies and reviews of literature that explores how interventions involving parents and other carers in the family as change agents can influence the functioning of family members across diverse populations, with the aim of furthering the understanding of how to best support the mental health of children and adults. Learn about the process for making a submission. Abstracts of 200250 words due 1 March, 2017. Full manuscripts of no more than 6000 words 1 May, 2017.   
Ready, Steady, NDIS

Tandem activities

The Tandem Ready Steady NDIS webpage has up-to-date information and resources about the NDIS. Click on the Ready Steady NDIS button on the Tandem website to find out more.   

Other news

NDIS Joint Standing Committee – inquiry into psychosocial disability

The Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities provides a much-needed opportunity to feedback the many challenges that families, friends and significant others who care for people with psychosocial disability related to a mental health condition have been experiencing with the NDIS and how improvements can be made around NDIS supports for people with psychosocial disability and their families and carers.
Tandem will be drafting a submission on behalf of families and carers of people experiencing mental health challenges. 
Should Tandem members wish to contribute to Tandem’s submission we would welcome your perspective regarding the following:
  • Issues regarding eligibility criteria for the NDIS for people with a psychosocial disability for themselves or people they care for.
  • Issues arising regarding the transition to the NDIS of all current long and short term mental health Commonwealth Government funded services.
  • Concerns regarding the transition of current long and short-term mental health state and territory government-funded services to the NDIS.
  • Feedback or concerns regarding the planning process for people with a psychosocial disability, you as the carer or family member, and the role of primary health networks in that process.
Submissions for this inquiry are due on 27 February, please email your feedback to
If you wish to make your own submission, information on how to submit can be found here

NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework

Tandem welcomes the release of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, by The Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council. The Framework will provide nationally consistent protections for participants in the NDIS. For more information see the COAG Disability Reform Council Statement.

NDIS Review brought forward

The Productivity Commission review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme costs will take place in 2017. Originally planned to begin mid 2017, the review will now be complete before the end of the year – the final report is due to be delivered in September. Results will be used to shape the full scheme You can view the terms of reference here.

ILC Toolkit videos and helpline

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has developed the ILC Toolkit to help organisations get ready for Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC). In addition to the resources already available on the Toolkit website, the NDIA has now added three introductory videos and a helpline to the tools and resources page.

The NDIA has also engaged Social Ventures Australia (SVA) to operate a helpline to help organisations make the most of the Toolkit. The Helpline will provide general advice only. The Helpline cannot help you with completing your grant application or comment on the quality of your proposed idea for ILC. The ILC Toolkit Helpline is available now until Tuesday 7 March 2017 (subject to time availability). To book a time, organisations can call 1800 77 99 69 or visit the ILC Toolkit website.

New NDIS platform receives funding

Seeva, a commercial platform intended to link NDIS participants with providers was announced as one of the successful entrepreneurs receiving grants from the state’s LaunchVic, a $60 million start up initiative. Seeva received funding to develop an innovation hub that supports start-ups and entrepreneurs to drive change within the disability and health sectors.


Have your say

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. Click here to participate in the survey.

Information sessions 

NDIS webinar

On Tuesday 28 February between 2–3pm AEDT the National Disability Insurance Agency will be hosting a webinar on the NDIS planning conversation, how to prepare and what to do to put your NDIS plan into action. It’s free to watch, includes Auslan interpretation and live captions, and if you can’t join on the day, the webinar will be posted to the NDIS website following the event. If you have questions about the first plan process or want to hear about how you might best implement your plan, this is the webinar for you!  Register

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 session in Central Highlands

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Disability Loop project is running six NDIS Understanding workshops directly for people with disability and families in Bendigo. The half day workshops will be held over 3 days (20, 21, 22 February) at the Quest Bendigo Central. More

NDIS information sessions for Carers

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 at their Office in Footscray. Further details can be found on their website.

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 February

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.

Lived Experience 7–9pm AEDT Tuesday 14 February. Dealing with the mental health reform – staying calm during change. More

Carers 7–9pm AEDT Tuesday 21 February. Having a partner with BPD. We look at BPD and share information, experiences and tips on the illness and how you and your partner can create and maintain a healthy relationship. More   

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. Read the latest edition here.

Alfred Health

Mindfulness Workshop in Highett on 16 Feburary. An introductory session for carers of someone with a mental illness. Bookings by 6 February. More

Mindfulness course in Berwick. For carers supporting an older person, or someone living with dementia, a disability or mental health condition. This six week course commencing 23 February has been specifically tailored for carers to reduce the stress which can sometimes feel overwhelming. More

Effective Communication in Mornington. This series of 3 x weekly workshop sessions commencing 1 March aims to provide carers with practical tips and strategies to help you communicate more effectively with friends, family and professionals. More

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic)

Parenting Anxious Children Seminar. 8 March, 6.30–8.30pm, Eltham. Does your child worry and feel anxious at times? Attend this seminar to gain a greater understanding of anxiety and learn some helpful strategies to support them. More

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

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

For a more comprehensive look at what Carers Victoria is up to check out their regular newsletter Voice. 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

Mind offers a range of training and education courses for clients, their families and the broader community. Click here to learn more.

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.



Facilitator two-day training program. 20 & 21 February at Wellways in Fairfield. Participants will be introduced to the program’s concepts, structure, and content through a largely experiential style of learning. More


Learning more about BPD: a Workshop for Families & Friends. 6 March, 9.30am–4.30pm, Fitzroy. This 1-day workshop for families, friends and others who support someone with BPD (or a likely diagnosis of BPD) provides information about BPD and how to best support the person whilst still caring for yourselves. Register


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

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

For a more comprehensive look at what Wellways is up to, check out their regular newsletter here.   
21 February, 6–8pm, Brunswick
Family Mental Health Begins with Parents. You are warmly invited to attend a very special evening seminar hear Professor Joanne Nicholson talk about her seminal research with parents who have a mental illness. Light supper provided. Cost $20. More

22 February, St Vincents Hospital
FREE film screening: Chasing Asylum. From Academy Award winner Eva Ormer, Chasing Asylum gives us documentary insight into the lived experience of asylum seekers in offshore detention. This film does more than invite us to imagine the lives of others. It shows the stark realities of life in offshore detention. This is a special FREE screening of Chasing Asylum. A film about Human Rights. A film about Mental Health. A film about collective responsibility. It will be followed by a panel discussion. Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 2.30pm.

28 February 2017, 10am–3pm, Preston
East North West Melbourne Advocacy Workshop.
Consumers, families, community organisations are individuals who are interested in learning about advocacy, and creating community based plans, are encouraged to attend. More

1 March 10am–12pm, Dandenong
Mental Health Compass: Mental Health Service Information Session.
Are you a carer or consumer and would like to know more about the mental health system and how better to navigate to reach better outcomes sooner? More

7 March, 7–8.30pm, Richmond
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Manifestations and Current Thinking.
In this important talk, Jim Goodin, President of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria), gives the latest insights and treatment options for OCD. The seminar will present very useful and current information to both  consumers and professionals. 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  

CHAMPS (Children and Mentally Ill Parents)

Peer support program starting on 22 February in Dandenong. This 6 week peer support program for primary school students aged 8–12 years who have a parent with a mental illness or mental health issues. CHAMPS provides a regular time for children to socialise, eat, have fun, and explore their feelings. Parent Information Consent form Referral form


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.   
23–24 Feburary, Sydney
TheMHS Summer Forum: Choice and Control, Personalising the Mental Health System.
This forum will investigate the impact of our evolving mental health system on people and services, and ask how citizenship for consumers can be achieved. Register here.

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

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 February, 10 March, 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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