Category Archives: Communication

Hoarding Home Solutions July 2021

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.  Each month we’ll answer your FAQs.

FAQ: Do you watch the hoarding TV shows? Do you like them?

Answer: What makes good television seldom makes good practice. The shocking environment, frustrated family members and resistant person at the centre of the drama makes for entertaining viewing.  Unfortunately, rapid cleanouts focus on taking care of the results of the hoarding behaviour but do not address the underlying issue. Feelings of loss and anger can create severe emotional distress and statistics from the USA indicate that in over 50% of cases the person will quickly reacquire and in 15% of cases the hoarding worsens.

The Adventures of Kat

Kat Looks for Shelter

Kat was glad to have Bill back again. She had melted into his reassuring arms when he’d come home the night before. But then she hadn’t slept a wink. His words kept ringing in her ears. “I’ll order a skip tomorrow.” Can she come up with an alternative?

Read Kat Looks for Shelter

For more information click on the link below:


SPEAKER Carolyn Crosse AM, Innovation, Mental Health & Employment WISE Employment

TOPICAssistance with finding employment for individuals with mental health challenges – WISE Employment’s WISE Ways to Work program,  NDIS and other employment support options’

VENUE   Level 4, 549 St Kilda Rd Melbourne and/or ZOOM

 We plan to share the evening as ‘in the good old days’ catching up with each other, chatting, sharing our experiences while enjoying refreshments provided by our hard working committee from  7.15pm.  However, if restrictions prevent face to face contact, the meeting will proceed via Zoom.  Kindly check the website on the day.

For more information click on the link below:


Alfred Psychiatry Community Program Newsletter July 2021

Community Program Newsletter

A message from the AMAH Community Program Manager, Susanne Birks.

It was my pleasure last week to attend the Annual General meeting and 30th Birthday celebration for Inner South Family and Friends (ISFAF). The event was held at Prahran Mission and was luckily just prior to us returning to lockdown.
ISFAF is a local, independent volunteer run group providing support, connection and information for those people supporting individuals experiencing mental illness since being formed in 1991. Robyn Humphries, a founding member of ISFAF, and a current Director of Operations at Monash Health gave a key note address reflecting on the journey of carer participation within the mental health sector, and on the specific achievements of ISFAF over their 30 years of operation, and acknowledgement of the tireless members who have given of their time so generously over the years.
The event was attended by a large number of families and carers, representatives from all levels of government, and local service providers, including from AMAH. At the conclusion of the formal part of the AGM, ISFAF President Judi Burstyner invited guests to join ISFAF members and supporters for a delicious celebratory lunch.
Congratulations to Inner South Family and Friends for a wonderful 30 years, and best wishes for the next 30 years of your important work!

Susanne Birks
Community Program Manager

You can access the complete newsletter via the link below:

Community Program Newsletter July 2021-1

Inner South Family and Friends 30th Annual General Meeting and Celebration Tuesday 13th July 2021

AGM Notice 13 July 2021

From left to right – Judi Burstyner Chair, guest speaker Robyn Humphries original co-founder of Inner South Family and Friends, currently Director Clinical Operations (Mental Health), Monash Health, Judith Rafferty and Judy Carroll original members of ISFAF.

Report from Chairperson

2020-2021 has been a year of great highs for ISFAF and regrettably some truly terrible lows. Sadly, death is part of the normal ebb and flow of life, however it should not be ’normal’ that a young man is facilitated with other residents of a registered drug rehab organization to swim (while medicated) at a spot that is known to be dangerous and where others have drowned. It’s not normal that a young lady managing her life while studying at university should die and leave six siblings and family grieving, with each of their lives scarred forever. And it should not be normal that a loving mother loses her life at the hands of the son for whom she has sought help for decades, but her pleas have been ignored, or even worse, patronized.   Our hearts are with these families from ISFAF and with many similar families because unfortunately these stories are not unusual and each of them reflects serious failures within our society and especially within our current mental health system. We mourn the loss of the young lives as well as the loss of our long-time members – Judy Bednar who worked tirelessly for the ISFAF committee for decades and Raya Berman a long-time member who sadly lost her brave fight against cancer in January 2021.
You can read the complete report by clicking on the link below:
Chairpersons Report AGM 13 July 2021

Invited Guests

Birks Susanne AMAH Manager, Community Programme, AMAH
Byrne Elizabeth Physiotherapist, Manager, Eldon Park
Denborough  (Dr) Paul AMAH Director Alfred Child and Youth Mental Health Service and Headspace South East Melbourne
Grueva Val AMAH  Senior Clinician St Kilda Road Clinic, Nurse Manager
Holt Jan AMAH Carer Consultant, Aged Programme AMAH
Incerti Kate CoPP Team Leader Housing and Homelessness, Community Building and Inclusion, City of Port Phillip
Keppich-Arnold (Assoc.Prof) Sandra AMAH Clinical Service Director/Diector of Nursing, AMAH, Clinical Associate Professor, Deakin University
Kuklych Jacinta AMAH Family Carer Consultant.

Alfred Child and Youth Mental Health Service and Headspace YEPP

Lococco Helen Mercy Mental Health Carer Consultant, Mercy Mental Health, Past Carer Consultant, AMAH.
Malic Marija AMAH Mngr. Early Psychosis Programme, AMAH
Taylor Nina Vic Gov Nina Taylor MP, Govt. Whip,  Legislative Council, Member for Southern Metropolitan
O’Hanlon (Dr.) Brendan Bouverie Centre Mngr, Mental Health Team, Bouverie Centre
Oxley Julia AMAH Family Services Co-ordinator – Adult Community Program, AMAH
Peterson Violeta MiCare Strategic Engagement Co-ordinator, MiCare, Past Carer Consultant, AMAH.
Petrakis (Dr) Melissa Tandem /Monash Snr. Res. Fellow, St Vincent’s MH, Snr. Lecturer, Monash U, Chair, Tandem Board.
Piu Marie Tandem CEO, Tandem
Saraf (Dr) Sudeep AMAH Programme Dir. Alfred Mental and Addiction Health.
Toko Maggie MH Complaints Commission Assistant Commissioner, Mental Health Complaints Commission.
Tsiros Mary AMAH, MH Complaints Commission Family Carer Consultant, Adult Programme, AMAH,  Member, Mental Health Complaints Commission Advisory Board.


Stonnington Disability and Access Committee Film Screening 31 July 2021

Please join us in launching the very first Disability Forum-Film screening in partnership with Council’s Stonnington Disability and Access Committee.

Compelling and authentic. Two women on the opposite side of diagnosis, True Vision is an exploration of dealing with unexpected obstacles, and the perceptions that go hand in hand with diagnosis and disability. The film is written, directed and produced by documentary filmmaker Diana Fisk and executive produced by award-winning feature film and documentary producer Sue Maslin.

This special event includes a screening of the film (28 minutes) and a panel discussion facilitated by the fabulous Carly Findlay OAM, disability advocate and Australian writer. We will hear filmmaker and mother Diana Fisk, Australian Paralympian Jessica Gallagher, who both feature in the film and members from Councils Stonnington Disability and Access Committee.

When: Saturday 31 July, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Where: Malvern Banquet Hall.  In event of COVID-19 restrictions the event will be moved on-line.

The session is free, and registration is essential. Book here.

For further information contact 8290 1333 or

Please register your interest and share with friends, colleagues and networks.  We hope to see you there!

Mental Health and Wellbeing Act now Live on Engage Victoria


This is your chance to help improve on the Mental Health Act (2014).

A new consultation is now live on Engage Victoria.

Dear Judi,

Mental Health and Wellbeing Act: Update and Engagement is now live on Engage Victoria.

This consultation relates to Health.

Contribute to the development of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.


The Engage Victoria Team.

Produced by The State Government of Victoria. All rights reserved.

Update on the Psychotropic Drug Advisory Service Alfred Mental and Addiction Health July 2021


To Inner South Family and Friends

You may already be aware that Christine Culhane has left her PDAS post earlier this year and we are in the process of reviewing and redesigning the overall service structure within our existing pharmacy team.

In the meantime, we are definitely interested in ensuring all our stakeholders have the most relevant and up to date information/contact details for the service. We have developed a website which includes an overview of the service for both health professionals and consumers/carers:

Most current service contact details are as follows:

Psychotropic Drug Advisory Service (for Victorians only – clinicians, consumers, carers, and other support organisations)   

For advice and guidance on: 

  • Treatment options and response
  • Potential adverse effects of psychotropic medicines, as well as other psychoactive substances
  • Medication interactions, including psychotropic medicines and other drugs, complementary and herbal/natural medicines
  • Medication monitoring, including plasma drug levels and metabolic monitoring with psychotropic agents
  • Information on the use of medications by special populations e.g. children, adolescents, the elderly, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Phone: (03) 9076 8036


Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm 

After hours and Public Holidays – you are welcome to either, leave a message – please provide your contact details; – or send an email. A team member will respond to your query as soon as possible. 

Can you please help distribute above to ensure PDAS contact details are available/visible to all our Victorian service users?

Thanks in advance – do let us know if there’s anything our service can help with.


Viandro Borja B.Pharm (Hons), GradCertPharmPrac, MClinPharm
Lead Pharmacist – Alfred Mental and Addiction Health program
Teaching Associate – Monash University, Experiential Development and Graduate Education
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Alfred Health
55 Commercial Road
Melbourne VIC 3004
PO Box 315 Prahran
VIC 3181 Australia


Alfred Health Carer Services Events – Events for Carers 14 July 2021

Upcoming Motivational Mornings and DIY Classes
FACE to FACE Events are back, as well as ongoing ONLINE Classes
Please find following the details for the next round of events

In or out of COVID lockdown, our events continue to offer you an opportunity to connect with other carers, and take some time out. 

Express Interest in Motivational Mornings Events Here
Express Interest in Gentle Yoga & Meditation Class Here
Express Interest in the Greek Feast Cooking Class
Express Interest in the Mosaic Class
Express Interest in the DIY Hand Painted Planters Class
Express Interest in the Stained Glass Painting Class

Stonnington Disability and Access Committee Seeking New Candidates

Stonnington Disability and Access Committee

Applications are still open-closing July 31

The Stonnington Disability and Access Committee (SDAC) has a brand-new name and renewed vision and is looking for new candidates to join its 12-member committee.

The SDAC play an important role in advising Council as we create an inclusive community with access for all.

We are keen to have representation from a disability service provider so if you would like to throw your hat in the ring, please consider nomination.

For more information contact our Access and Inclusion Officer on 8290 3224 or visit our website to apply.

Alana Lucas
Disability Access and Inclusion Officer | Community Support and Diversity
T: 8290 1192

Please note I work Monday-Thursday.