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Victoria Legal Aid

Our new look

We have been working closely with mental health consumers and others in the mental health sector to get input on the logo and branding for Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) – and our new brand, with some examples of how it might be used, can now be unveiled.

New IMHA logo and examples of brochures and posters

How we developed our logo and brand

‘As we are a new service, we wanted to make sure that the logo would stand out and that people would get a strong sense of what we stand for,’ says Helen Makregiorgos, IMHA Manager.

‘We have heard from consumers that it can seem there are a lot of services around, and it can be confusing and frustrating to know the right one to turn to.

‘Creating our unique logo and brand, which will be used across all our written and online materials, will help us to be easily recognised, and symbolically portrays what people can expect from IMHA.’

Helen says that the initial focus group with consumers established some key ideas that have been vital in the development of the brand identity.

‘Central were themes such as healing, support and care. The focus group gravitated towards brighter, warmer colour tones, which are evident in the colour palette we chose.

'We also heard that it was important to convey that the service would be approachable and take a holistic view, and we think the design captures these characteristics.

‘Our expert reference group also provided helpful advice and feedback as the brand was refined and developed.

‘We feel that these concepts have been really well translated by our designer, Simone Colburt. It is distinctive, looks great and sends a very positive message about IMHA and its approach.’

Our bulletin has now been renamed and will be known as 'Advocacy Matters.'

Spotlight on: Allan Pinches – consumer consultant

With more than 20 years’ experience in mental health consumer participation roles, Allan Pinches has a thoughtful and well-informed perspective on the opportunities and challenges that our new service will encounter, and a hopeful vision of what can be achieved by unlocking the potential of the Mental Health Act 2014.

Read more about Allan's views on the Act and IMHA.

Connecting with carers: our gig at the Tandem Carers’ Forum

A recent forum held by Tandem, the Victorian peak body of organisations and individuals who are carers of people diagnosed with a mental illness, provided a great opportunity for us to speak with, and listen to, others in the mental health sector.

Chris Povey, Victoria Legal Aid’s Manager Mental Health and Disability Advocacy, was a guest speaker at the forum, 'Caring Counts'.

‘It was a chance for us to talk to, and hear from carers and families,’ Chris says.

‘There has been a lot of interest in IMHA and we welcomed the opportunity to let everyone know more about what sort of help it will be providing.

‘While we will not be providing advocacy services to carers, we hope that carers and families play an important role in connecting consumers to our service and will access our advocacy resources as they are developed.

‘In addition, of course, many carers are involved in advocacy for consumers and want to support their family members to have a voice in decisions made about their treatment, care and recovery. Carers and families are an important group for us to connect with.’

Chris spoke on a panel alongside Dominique Saunders, Deputy President of the Mental Health Tribunal; Lynne Coulsen-Barr, Mental Health Complaints Commissioner; Robyn Humphries, from the Mental Health Branch, Department of Health and Human Services, and Michelle Swann, a Carer Advisor with North Western Mental Health.

‘It was a great opportunity to speak alongside leaders in the sector. We’ve been working closely with them as we establish IMHA’, Chris says.

Dominique Saunders and Michelle Swann are both on IMHA’s expert reference group, as well as representatives from the Mental Health Complaints Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services.

At the forum Chris also provided an overview of Victoria Legal Aid’s Mental Health and Disability Legal program, which provides legal representation to people appearing before the Mental Health Tribunal.

The conference focused on a range of issues including the reforms brought about by the new Mental Health Act and the National Disability Insurance Scheme which is to be rolled out nationwide from July 2016.

Free booklet: Going to a Mental Health Tribunal hearing

A new booklet, produced by Victoria Legal Aid, can help people receiving compulsory treatment who wish to represent themselves at a Mental Health Tribunal hearing.

The free publication has information about treatment orders and compulsory treatment, the tribunal and hearings.

There are also worksheets to help people think about what they will say in their hearing and what evidence is needed.

Order the free publication: 'Going to a Mental Health Tribunal hearing'.

This June 2015 edition has been updated in line with the Mental Health Act. Please recycle old editions.


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