Category Archives: News

Tandem – Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Edition 8

Royal Commission – Public Hearings 
Today was the third day of the Public Hearings of the Royal Commission, with witnesses addressing the topics of Prevention and Early Intervention.  Four witnesses were called, the hearing list is available here

Discussion of Prevention and Early Intervention continues tomorrow at 10am in the Town Hall.  The witnesses to be called are:

Community witness
Dr Gaynor Blankley,
Perinatal Psychiatrist at Mercy Perinatal, Mercy Hospital for Women
Shaun McClare, Principal at Kalinda Primary School
Dr Ric Haslam, Director of Mental Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Professor Patrick McGorry AO, Executive Director of Orygen, Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and a Founding Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Full transcript of Day 1 (Opening Statements)  is available here:
Individual Witness Statements from Day 1 have also been published:
Witness Statement, Wayne Schwass
Witness Statement:  Nicole Juniper
Witness Statement: Andrew Robb
Witness Statement:  Daniel Bolger
You can access the full report via the link below:


Alfred Health Carer Services Friday Extra 28 June 2019

TheMHS Conference Bursaries – applications close 5 July
The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference is Australasia’s leading and most diverse mental health conference. The 2019 conference will be held in Brisbane on 27-30 August.
Bursaries are offered to Consumers who wish to attend The Mental Health Services Conference of Australia and New Zealand. A limited number of Bursaries are offered to each Australian state/territory and to New Zealand. Carers/families may also apply, but will be considered after consumers’ places are finalised.
Learn more here

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – Submissions close 5 July
Tandem can provide you with support to make a formal or informal submission.  A formal submission can be made by uploading or sending a written, audio or video submission. You can choose to respond to some or all of the questions. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape a Victorian mental health system for the future.
Read more here

You can access the complete Friday Extra via the link below:


Tandem eNews 28 June2019

Previous Winners of the Tandem Awards

Join us in celebrating family inclusive practice in the mental health system. These awards are for persons and services who have significantly improved the experience of family and friends of people in the mental health system in Victoria. We encourage you to nominate those who have made an exceptional contribution in the areas of NDIS support, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those over 65 years of age, LGBTIQ, multicultural communities, and children and young people.

For more information about award nomination categories and to download a Nomination Form, please click here. Nominations close on Friday, 30 August 2019. 

You can access the complete eNews via the link below:

Inner South Family and Friends Annual General Meeting 7pm Tuesday 9 July 2019

You are invited to join us at our AGM for an opportunity to chat with the the Hon Martin Foley, Minister for Mental Health, you can also enjoy free pizza before the AGM and a delicious supper after the meeting.  It’s not a night to miss, even if it hails and snows in Prahran.

Please see flyer for details of our Annual General Meeting: AGM Flyer Martin foley 9 July 2019

Alfred Health Carer Services Friday Extra 21 June 2019

Neami National’s NDIS Access Project has been extended until 31st December 2019
Neami National in conjunction with ACSO and EACH, are undertaking a Victorian DHHS NDIS access project targeting vulnerable individuals experiencing significant social and economic disadvantage to access the NDIS and receive the support they deserve. The project has a psychosocial/mental health focus and currently has capacity to take on new referrals. Support includes a comprehensive assessment, completing Access Request Forms, obtaining consent to liaise with the NDIA, G.P, Psychiatrists from allied health, writing comprehensive psychosocial reports, submitting signed reports to the NDIA, and where possible attendance of NDIS planning meetings.
Learn more here

Getting ready for the NDIS – a FREE information session on 24 July in Brighton for people with a mental illness and those who support them
Alfred Health Carer Services invites people with a mental illness and those who support them to attend this session to help you better understand the NDIS, how to prepare to transition to the NDIS and build confidence within the new disability system.
See flyer for details

You can access the complete Friday Extra via the link below:

Alfred Health Carer Services Friday Extra 14 June2019

Hi Everyone,
As many of you would be aware, Lindy Alcorn has retired from her role as Carer Resource Worker – Mental Health after 20 years of providing support to families affected by mental illness. I have stepped in to fill the role in a part time capacity until a permanent appointment is made in the coming months. Lindy was a wonderful networker and has left some big shoes to fill; I will be doing my best to clomp around in them! Please feel free to call me with any questions relating to Friday Extra & supporting carers of loved ones with mental health support needs and I’ll do my best to help you connect with the support you need.

I’ll be working Wednesdays and Thursdays and the occasional Friday – if you need a response outside of these times please call 1800 052 222. As always, if you or are carer you are supporting requires respite please call 1800 052 222.

My contact details are   Ph: 9076 6204   Mob: 0418 506 112   Email:

Integrated Carer Support Services
The Department of Social Services has published a range of information on the upcoming Integrated Carer Support Services model, set to become the chief means by which unpaid carers can receive federally funded services and supports. New online supports will be available as well as a new phone-based counselling service from July, with carer-specific supports and services available from September via a network of Carer Gateway service providers who can work with you to plan and access tailored services.
These changes do not affect other carer services delivered through My Aged Care, the National Disability Insurance Scheme or state and territory governments.
For more information, see this Factsheet

You can access the complete Friday Extra via the link below:


will be held at Uniting (formerly Prahran Mission) 211 Chapel Street Prahran, between High St and Prahran Town Hall
Free parking in Chapel Street or carpark behind JB Hi-Fi­­­­. Refreshments will be available from 6.45pm

The AGM will be immediately followed by ISFAF Monthly Support Group meeting  at 7.30pm


Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Meeting Tuesday 11 June 2019


Guest Speaker is Kent Burgess, General Manager, Healthy Communities, Star Health


 Star Health is a leading provider of Primary Health Services, including GP Services, Community Connections Programme, Counselling, Bayside Alcohol and Other Drugs (BAODS), Dental Services, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Dietetics and Diabetes Education

at Uniting (formerly Prahran Mission) 211 Chapel Street Prahran (between High St and Prahran Town Hall)

Free parking – Chapel Street or carpark behind JB Hi

Alfred Health Carer Services Friday Extra 31 May 2019

Male suicide: Men’s mental health research reveals extent of problem
Groundbreaking new research shows Australia’s male suicide epidemic is worse than previously thought, with at-risk behaviour among blokes up to three times higher than current estimates indicate. Mental health organisation Beyond Blue has released a world-first study investigating ambulance call-outs to men experiencing acute mental health issues, self-harm and suicidal instances.
See weblink here for full article

NDIS Information

Getting ready for the NDIS – a FREE information session on 24 July in Brighton for people with a mental illness and those who support them
Alfred Health Carer Services invites people with a mental illness and those who support them to attend this session to help you better understand the NDIS, how to prepare to transition to the NDIS and build confidence within the new disability system.
See flyer for details

FREE information sessions in June in Caulfield:  Are You Making the Most of the NDIS?
The City of Glen Eira together with Carer’s Victoria will be running NDIS Information Sessions for participants and/or carers. The topics include: How are you managing?; Working on the Challenges: Preparing for Review.
See flyer for details

Please click on the link below to read the complete Friday Extra:

Mental Health Australia CEO Update 10 May 2019

Mental health announcements so far…

Next week we’ll drill down into the final few days of the campaign and how the major parties have responded to our 2019 Election Asks. For now, see below a summary of the many announcements so far.

April 13: Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
“Our $503.1 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is the largest suicide prevention strategy in Australia’s history. It will ensure that government activities are coordinated, services are delivered to young Australians at risk and support is available for friends and families.”
Plan focuses on:

  • Strengthening the headspace network,
  • Indigenous suicide prevention,
  • Early childhood and parenting support.


April 16: New headspace for Katoomba
“The Morrison Government will establish a new headspace in Katoomba to provide innovative mental health support for young Australians in the Blue Mountains.”

April 20: Strengthening Australia’s World-Class Health System
“The Morrison Government’s ‘Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System’ will guarantee Medicare, deliver record bulk billing, an additional $31 billion for hospitals over the next five year agreement, $40 billion for new medicines and research backed by our $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.”
The Liberal Health policy:

April 23: $2 million for the National LGBTI Health Alliance 
“The Morrison Government will provide an additional $2 million to the National LGBTI Health Alliance over two years for the peer support telephone and online support service, QLife.”

April 24: Northern Territory health plan
“Funding for Northern Territory public hospitals will triple from $152 million in 2012-13 to $306 million in 2019-20 and further to $467 million in 2024-25, under a new hospitals agreement. We are investing $4.1 billion in Indigenous health over four years, there is record bulk billing in the Northern Territory and more than 2000 new medicines have been subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.”

May 1: More support for older Australians 
“The Morrison Government will continue to prioritise better support for older Australians by investing in a new targeted research centre, funding a new program to combat loneliness while ensuring the aged care workforce meets growing demand in the future.”

May 4: Record investment into Queensland health services
“The Morrison Government is investing an additional $100 million to support south east Queensland patients with new cancer and mental health services and critical hospital infrastructure.”

May 8: National Action Plan to Improve the Health of Children and Young People
“The Liberal Government launched the first National Action Plan for the Health of Children and Young People 2020-2030 which will improve children and young people’s health by focusing on healthy upbringing, prevention, addressing risky behaviours and childhood mental health.”

  • The strategy will:
  • Improve health equity across populations
  • Empower parents to maximise healthy development
  • Tackle mental health and risky behaviours
  • Address chronic conditions and preventive health
  • Strengthen the health workforce.

April 17: Labor to invest in community mental health in Higgins
Labor announce $4 million investment in new Star Health Mental Health Community Hub in Prahran

April 18: Labor’s health plan for the NT
“A Shorten Labor Government will upgrade mental health facilities, fund the purchase of a new Careflight helicopter for Darwin Hospital, and fund major improvements to remote health services as part of a $92 million Northern Territory health package.”

April 23: Labor to establish headspace centre in Gilmore
Labor candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Philips, announced the plan for a headspace centre in Batemans Bay

April 27: Labor pledges $12 million for youth drug and alcohol treatment
“A Federal Labor investment of $12 million will enable the Ted Noffs Foundation to expand its drug and alcohol treatment services for young people.”

April 29: Labor will invest in specialist care for intellectual disability 
“A Shorten Labor Government will improve the health of people with intellectual disability with a $9.5 million investment to tailor health care to their needs.”

May 4: Labor will boost resources for Kids Helpline
“A Shorten Labor Government will provide $6 million to Kids Helpline to ensure that children and young people across Australia can access 24/7 free national counselling and support services.”

May 5: Filling the gaps in our youth mental health system
“A Shorten Labor Government will invest nearly $200 million in headspace Plus – improving youth mental health services and ensuring young Australians don’t fall through the cracks in Australia’s mental health system.”

May 7: Labor will invest in mental health and suicide prevention reform
“A Shorten Labor Government will invest over $1 billion to drive vital mental health and suicide prevention reform.”
Media Release not available online

May 7: Labor will create Australia’s first national plan for eating disorders and body image research 
“A Shorten Labor Government will commit $20 million to create Australia’s first National Plan for Eating Disorders and Body Image Research.”
Media Release not available online

The Australian Greens
18 April: Greens launch transformative youth mental health policy

  • Make services effective, transparent and accessible
  • Improve access to online services
  • Support young people to help other young people with peer to peer services through providing 1,000 places for peer to peer workers and opportunities for young people to train as peer workers through our free TAFE initiative.
  • Improve services for young people in crisis by providing $250 million over four years in grant funding for community-based assertive outreach programs targeted at children and young people and improve access to face-to-face services by providing $25 million over the next four years for a trial of 50,000 children and young adults to each access 10 group sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
  • Support young people in the workplace by expanding the Individual Placement and Support trial.
  • Reduce mental health stigma by investing $10 million in a youth mental health stigma strategy.

Full policy:

23 April: Greens launch plan for universal mental health system

  • Make services effective, transparent and accessible.
  • Fund prevention and early intervention through $500 million in funding over the next decade for communities to implement assertive outreach programs, providing $25 million for a four year trial of 50,000 children and young people to each access 10 group sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and fund online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for a total of one million users.
  • Support people with severe mental ill health by building a fully funded and adequately staffed NDIS and provide an additional $450 million for community psychosocial services.
  • Build mentally healthy workplaces through providing $604 million over the decade for mental health workplace interventions in smaller businesses and $50 million per year for three years for mental health interventions in larger businesses and expanding the existing Individual Placement and Support trial.
  • Increase the numbers of peer workers by providing $166 million to fund a two-year national peer workforce trial with 1,000 places.
  • Reduce mental health stigma through an anti-stigma campaign involving those with lived experience.

Full policy:


29 April: Greens call for Newstart and Youth Allowance raise
In response to Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot, Greens release announcement calling for increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance

You can access the complete CEO Update via this link: