In this issue

•  Tandem Annual General Meeting and Inaugural Awards
•  December Tandem Meeting
•  Fifth National Mental Health Plan
•  Draft Model for future care support service system
•  Veteran and ADF services review
•  Help start the conversation on recovery

Regular features

Ready, Steady, NDIS
Training Opportunities
Carer Support Group Update

Tandem Annual General Meeting and Inaugural Awards

Thanks to the 70+ carers and partners, agencies and representatives who attended the Tandem AGM in Abbotsford yesterday. The first keynote address was presented by Dr Margaret Grigg who provided an update on the current initiatives of the Mental Health Branch outside of the NDIS, particularly all the work being done to implement the 10 Year Strategic Plan. Dr Grigg emphasised that the Government will develop a Carer Statement to outline the important considerations for furthering carer needs and issues. Tandem input is sought to provide the specific perspective of mental health carers.

The meeting was also addressed by Kali Paxinos, who provided reflections and stories from her years as a mental health carer. Kali was the recipient of the Lifetime Contribution Award for Exceptional Services to Families and Carers in Mental Heath. This special award was part of the Award Ceremony that followed the AGM. 

2016 was the inaugural year for the Tandem Awards to recognise exceptional service to families and carers in mental health. A total of seven awards were presented by Dr Grigg and Tandem Chair, Colin Fryer. The two awards for services were presented to:
  • North West Area Mental Heath Service (Clinical Service)
  • MIND Australia Carer Helpline (Community Sector)
Three individual awards were made to people who have made an outstanding contribution over many years:
  • Cate Bourke, Eastern Health
  • Jan Mcintire, CATT Team Alfred Psychiatry, and 
  • Frances Sanders, General Manager of Business Development, NDIS at MIND Australia.
A Chair’s Award was presented to Chris Wynn from Thomas Lloyd Guitars, Monsalvat, whose guitar-making workshop has been life-changing to participants.

Commendations were awarded to:
  • Serena Griffin, Barwon Health
  • Simon Kroes, NEXUS Dual Diagnosis Service
  • Amanda Latrobe, Senior Administrative Officer, Waiora Community
  • Violeta Peterson, Carer Consultant Alfred Psychiatry
  • Judith Rafferty, Volunteer Administration, Inner South Family and Friends, and
  • BBQ Boys Carers Group.
The awards will be presented annually and Tandem congratulates all nominees and award recipients. Please email Deanna at Tandem if you would like copies of photos taken on the day.
MIND Australia's Ian Brooks and Anna McNaughton with Dr Margaret Grigg; Kali Paxinos.
Jan Macintire; Frances Sanders and Dr Margaret Grigg; Cate Bourke.
Anthony & Sandy from BBQ Boys; Chris Wynn and Chair, Colin Fryer; Tandem Board member Matthew Jackman and Violeta Peterson.
Liz Ward and Kathy Collet; Board members Rachael Lovelock and Cathy Spencer; Wurundjeri Uncle Colin Hunter.
Deb Carlin, Jenny Burger and Annette Mercuri; Tandem CEO, Marie Piu.

8 December Tandem Meeting

The last 2016 meeting for members will largely be devoted to hearing from you and celebrating the year just past. We hope you can join us from 10am–1pm, including an end of year lunch, or for part of the time.
Workshop with KPMG on the Re-design of the Clinical System.
 The consultant firm, KPMG, has asked Tandem to assemble carers and other Tandem members to a workshop to respond to their draft mental health clinical service planning principles with Tandem members and carers.

Strategic planning.
 What should Tandem be doing for the next three years? Consultant Allison Hallahan from Birru Health will facilitate this discussion to form Tandem’s 2017–2020 Strategic Plan.

12.15 onwards
Let's celebrate. Please join us for an end of year celebration in appreciation of your committment and support throughout 2016.

Call for public comment

Fifth National Mental Health Plan

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, has invited the community to have their say on a new draft of the National Mental Health Plan. Minister Ley said the consultation draft for the Fifth National Mental Health Plan has been approved by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) on behalf of all Health Ministers and is now ready for public comment. 'This is an important document and has been widely anticipated by the mental health sector,' Minister Ley said. 'The Fifth National Mental Health Plan articulates national priorities for collaboration across states and territories, the Australian Government, the sector and consumers on mental health for the next five years'.The National Mental Health Plan aims to improve the lives of people with mental health issues. More details on the consultation process here.

Draft model for future care support service system

Share your thoughts on a draft model for a future carer support service system. The Australian Government is committed to supporting and sustaining the vital work of unpaid carers, and has developed a draft Service Delivery Model for a proposed new integrated carer support service system.The Department of Social Services invites you to share your thoughts and feedback on a draft Service Delivery Model for a proposed future service by making a submission or by participating in the carer survey. Please visit to have your say until 5pm 16 December 2016.

Have your say

A Review of the services available to veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force in relation to the prevention of self-harm and suicide was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 11 August 2016, and is being undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission. An interim report to Government is due this December, the final report in February 2017.

Everyone is welcome to have their say on self-harm and suicide prevention services available to current and former members of Australia’s defence forces.Your privacy is respected, and all survey responses are confidential. The survey and submissions close on Tuesday, 22 November 2016. More information on participating in the survery is available here.

Placing relationships at the heart of mental health recovery

Emerging Minds is encouraging mental health leaders from consumer and carer organisations, professional associations, leading mental health organisations and policy makers to read the article, an article Relational Recovery – Beyond individualism in the recovery approach and identify how best we can start a conversation across our diverse peak bodies and service providers to mature and broaden the recovery approach. Read more here.
Ready, Steady, NDIS

ILC Commissioning Framework

The National Disability Insurance Agency released the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Commissioning Framework. The Framework sits under the NDIS ILC Building Policy and outlines the grants process and next steps for NDIS transition. This version incorporates feedback that was received as part of the ILC consultation sessions held earlier in the year. Tandem welcomes your comments and feedback.

Do you find the NDIS a bit confusing?

MHCC wants to hear from you!

The NSW Mental Health Co-ordinating Council has been funded to develop an online resource to assist in understanding the NDIS and its application to psychosocial disability. The MHCC is asking for suggestions as to what this resource should contain. They are asking people to give input by completing a survey before 15 November. The survey can be accessed here. More information is available here

NDIS Update from Tandem and partner events

World Café

Multicultural NDIS information session in City of Yarra held on the 3 November. The Yarra World Café at Richmond Town Hall, a collaborative NDIS readiness initiative by a number of agencies, was successful in its aim of bringing together people with disability – including psychosocial disability and their families and carers – from a range of diverse backgrounds to learn more about the NDIS.

VICSERV NDIS and Mental Health Forum

Tandem presented a mental health carer perspective at the VICSERV NDIS Forum (Mental Health in the NDIS World) on 26 October. The Forum brought together key stakeholders from national, state and local levels for discussion around issues and developments relevant to mental health organisations, consumers and carers in Victoria during the NDIS roll-out.
Tandem welcomes the mental health developments at a national level in the NDIA especially the following: 
  • The development of a mental health ‘Recovery Suite’ eLearning package to be used by all NDIA and LAC partner staff.
  • The ‘hard to reach cohorts’ pilot project in the Barwon region being undertaken by Diversitat targeting homeless, refugee and CALD populations.
  • The Psychosocial Support Design Project recommendations for a number of additional support items including “carer support’. The report from the project is due for imminent release.
  • Support coordination as a standard item for participants with psychosocial disability and the increased flexibility of supports in plans to accommodate the episodic nature of mental illness.
Further information, presentations and links to documents and websites from the day can be accessed via the VICSERV website.

NDIA to increase face-to-face planning in North East Melbourne Area (NEMA) 

In order to move more people into the NDIS by the end of 2016 in the North Eastern Melbourne region, the NDIA will soon enter a more intensive phase in transitioning people from defined programs. This will involve establishing temporary sites throughout NEMA to enable more face- to-face planning sessions to occur.
The new planning arrangements will support people (participants) transitioning from defined programmes, including Individual Support Packages, Disability Support Register and Shared Supported Accommodation, in accordance with the participant phasing schedule in the NEMA region.  Those who are transitioning from these programs will be contacted by an NDIA representative for a discussion to develop their First Plan to enter the NDIS. The participant will be asked whether they would like a face-to-face planning meeting with an NDIA planner or have this occur over the phone at a time of their preference. 

Tandem welcomes these changes to the planning process which will enable more face-to-face planning conversations to occur for people transitioning from the above programs who may have a dual disability.

If in doubt, speak up

Tandem has been hearing that some carers in NEMA who are supporting people with dual disability are being asked to have planning conversations over the phone. Tandem hopes that the changes to the planning process outlined above provides carers with the options available to them for the planning conversation. We want to remind carers that they can always insist on having a face-to-face planning session rather than over the phone. 

Social media campaign calls for people with lived experience on the NDIA board

Federal Minister Christian Porter recently moved to appoint new NDIA board members for 2017, including replacing Bruce Bonyhady (current chair and founder of the scheme). Leaked documents have revealed that no new members proposed for appointment have a disclosed disability or lived experience. With the NDIA board to be announced soon, there has still been no confirmation the new members of the NDIA board will include people with a lived experience of disability or with service expertise. Add your voice to the campaign here.

Other NDIS News

DHHS releases NDIS: Information for Specialist Clinical Mental Health Services

The document outlines the responsibilities of the NDIA and Clinical Mental Health Services and key areas of interface between specialist Clinical Mental Health Services and the NDIS and has been developed to support Victorian Area Mental Health Services throughout the transition to the NDIS. The document will be regularly updated to incorporate feedback and reflect refinements in the roll-out of the NDIS. If you have a question or suggestion for this document please email Julie Skilbeck.


New resources

A new factsheet and checklist are available from the NDIA to help develop your first NDIS plan and get ready for you planning conversation.

Carers Australia have provided two de-identified templates of the carer statement to assist carers in preparing their own carers statement. The NDIA does not have a formal template for the carer statement so every carer statement will be a unique. Tandem recommends that carers use these statements as a guide only. Template 1 Template 2    

Information sessions and events

Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) pre-planning workshops. Pre-planning workshops are being held across NEMA at all BSL offices and are designed to assist participants prepare for their planning meeting with a Local Area Coordinator. 

Locations, days and times
Whittlesea (1/1 Latitude Blvd, Thomastown), Wednesdays 10am–12pm, Thursdays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
Yarra (95 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – Training Room 5), Fridays 10am–12pm.
Banyule and Nillumbik (65 Main Street, Greensborough), Tuesdays 10am–12pm, Wednesdays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
Darebin (293 High Street, Preston), Thursdays 10am–12pm, Mondays 5.30pm–7.30pm.
If you require any further information, please email Linkage Coordinator Maree Ellul, or call her on 9223 4208 or 0437 106 577.

NDIA events

NDIA are holding a range of information sessions in Central Highlands.  Please click here for further details.

Service provider workshops

NDS and VICSERV are offering a ‘Workforce Planning for Community Mental Health’ subsidised training course in 2017. Spaces are limited. For further details, click here.

Alfred Health Carer Services

The Alfred Health Carer Services website features a number of resources available for carers. They have developed a new promotional postcard for carers to see across the Southern region. Please contact Lindy on 9076 6204 or if you would like multiple copies of the postcard sent to you. Please list the number of copies required and address for postage.

Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. 1 December. Surrey Hills. For further information or to register, visit the ARCVic website.

Carers Victoria

NDIS Information Session For Carers. Come along to this information session if you would like to know more about NDIS and are a carer. 29 November, 10.30am12.00pm, Carers Victoria, Footscray. 

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

MIND Australia
Carer Education Workshops

Challenging behaviours. 12 November. Recovery and hope. 29 October. See the full calendar of workshops here.

Becoming a Peer Worker – Information session
This one-day workshop has been designed for people who would like to learn more about using their lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery in the peer workforce. This course is for consumer and carers. 1 December 2016, 10am3.30pm, Nunawading. Download the flyer for more information.

SANE Australia #TopicTuesday

#TopicTuesday is an online community discussion held and moderated on the SANE Forums.
Emotional wellbeing for parents. Everyone's experience of parenthood, including perinatal anxiety and depression, is different. However, with the right treatment and support, new parents can make a full recovery. 15 November, 79pm.
Setting boundaries. How exactly do we maintain boundaries? How do we know what an appropriate boundary is? And more importantly, what can and what should we do when our boundaries have been crossed? 22 Nov 79pm.

Voices Vic

The Hearing Voices Approach. 23 November, Prahran. 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.

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



Snapshot. Education program designed to provide family members and friends of people with a mental illness with essential information, resources and support on mental health. 16 & 23 November, Banyule Community Health, Heidelberg. Wellways' full schedule for July to December is available here.
15 November, Abbotsford
Forum on Carer Grief: Experience of Living with Children's Trauma. For parents and carers raising children with complex, traumatic backgrounds who often experience unacknowledged grief at being unable to “heal” their child’s past. Information and registrations here.

16 November, Melbourne Town Hall
Mental Health Tribunal Consumer and Carer Forum.
 Consumers and carers are invited to attend the second Mental Health Tribunal Consumer and Carer Forum entitled ‘Enhancing Our Act’. Download the flyer for more information.

24 November, Moorabbin
Alfred Child and Youth Mental Health Service
together with Eating Disorders Victoria are inviting parents, carers, young people and service providers to a community education evening which is focussing on the importance of early recognition of warning signs of an emerging eating disorder. The forum will include identifying treatment options and referral pathways as well as providing an opportunity for participants to listen to a parent with a lived experience of caring for a child with an eating disorder. Download the flyer for more information.

27 November, Tyabb
Peninsula Carer Council – End of Year Celebration.
Carers, families and friends are all invited to spend an afternoon at Eldon Park in Tyabb from 12.30–4.00pm. Please bring a plate of food to share with others. See flyer for details.

27 November, Ringwood
FaPMI Family Fun Day. A day for families where a parent or carer has a mental health concern. This is a multi-age event with lots of activities including a sausage sizzle, pony rides, card making, zorb ball and henna hand painting. Entry is free but bookings are essential. More information, registration and photo consent forms can be downloaded here.      
BPD Community Support Group
The next Information Night will be on Wednesday 8 February, 2017 at 7.00pm. The topic is 'Should we change the name?' Presented by Prof David Castle, it promises to be an informative and engaging discussion. If appropriate, please print off the flyer in the newsletter and draw it to the attention of any who may be interested. Their Carer's Group continues to meet monthly. 

Carer Workshop – Taking Time to Care for Ourselves
Do you take better care of the person you are caring for than yourself? If the answer is yes, you may benefit from this workshop. Carers Victoria will  explain why your health and wellbeing is important in your caring role. If you feel well then you will be a better carer. 17 November, 1.30pm - 3.30pm, Caulfield South. See flyer for details.

Information session for new carers
Have you recently been caring for someone with a mental health issue? Are you lost or confused by the mental health system? Attend a free information session on 1 December, 10am12pm at Ermha Ltd. Community Mental Health Services, Dandenong South. Download the flyer for more information.

This is a workshop (to be offered twice) on Managing Close Relationships for carers who are supporting someone living with a mental illness and live in the Local Government Areas of Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia. The role of the carer is very demanding and can be lonely and isolating. The workshops will explore ways to manage feelings of loneliness and loss and the impact on one’s self-esteem. 24 November at Balla Balla Community Centre, Cranbourne. 8 December at Cardinia Cultural Centre, Pakenham.

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.

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.
23–24 Feburary 2017, Sydney
2017 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.
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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