Category Archives: News

Tandem eNews 16 February 2021







Tandem partnership with Merri Health to deliver COVID-19 mental health carer packages

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Merri Health to deliver Carer Gateway COVID-19 Mental Health Packages.

Packages are targeted to carers who are not eligible for support through the Area Mental Health Services Carer Support Fund and who are not receiving carer services from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victorian Support for Carers Program.

These packages can assist with emergency relief for food, fuel, or assist with accessing equipment, such as laptops.

All COVID-19 Mental Health Packages are linked to the Carer Gateway and we will make a referral to the Carer Gateway on your behalf.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact us at the Tandem Support and Referral Line on 1800 314 325.

You can read the complete newsletter by clicking on the link below:

TheMHS Learning Network Perth Virtual Conference 9-12 February 2021

Get Ready for Our Marvellous Monday! 
A fresh start, a clean slate, and a lot of potential for great things to come. That’s what Mondays really are, and that’s precisely what our pre-conference Monday looks like!
View Our Program

You can access more information via this link:

Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Meeting Tuesday 9 February 2021

SPEAKER: Christine Culhane, Psychotropic Drug Advisory Service (brochure attached)
AH_PDAS Consumer Brochure_Jan2021 Approved
TOPIC: The Latest on Psychotropic Medication
Alfred Health, Pharmacy Department
VENUE: Level 4, 549 St Kilda Road Melbourne and/or ZOOM

Please note If restrictions change, presentation will be via Zoom only, but current situation enables us to meet as ‘in the good old days’ to catch up with friends, chat, share our experiences and from 7.15pm to enjoy refreshments provided by our hard working committee.
Kindly check the website on the day to check for any changes.  You can also join via internet or phone line (even land line) Join Zoom meetings from a warm, comfortable spot at home, with some healthy nibbles.   A pen and some paper might also be handy to jot down notes.  A chat session will commence at 7.15pm, so please join early as Christine will start at 7.30pm.

To join the Zoom meeting jot down Meeting ID: 788 139 680 Passcode: 096604 and click on the link below:

or alternatively, phone any of the following numbers – you can participate even from a land-line. 731 853 730 or 7018 2005 or 02 8015 6011 or 861 193 900 or 08 7150 1149

If you are having trouble, please phone Eleni on 0412 018 722 or Judi on 0425 723 746 or 9528 2820

Tuesday 9 March Guest Speaker: Tanya Curlis, Grad. Cert. BA (Exec.) MSW MAASW, Clinical Director, Clarable

Beach Walk ‘n Chat on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. Walk from Northpoint Cafe Brighton at 1.30pm family members, including canines very welcome.

ISFAF office is not yet attended but please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling Eleni on 0412 018 722 or Judi on 0425 723 746 or 9528 2820 if you have difficulty in accessing any meetings
or would like information or just need to chat to someone.

Individuals who don’t have internet won’t have received this flier. They are likely to be the folk who have suffered the greatest isolation, so if you know someone who does not have internet,
please contact them, and/or let Eleni or Judi have their details if you would like ISFAF to contact them. Many individuals are unaware that they can participate in Zoom meetings without internet.

ISFAF committee is planning fun things for us to share
We are already planning a revised outdoor event and our 30th birthday celebration. If you have suggestions for venue / ideas for events please let Eleni or Judi know asap.

NDIS Newsletter 14 January 2021

NDIS | Latest news with a picture of Steve smiling, behind him is the beach

1800 800 110

In this edition:

  • Have your say on changes to the NDIS
  • Participant Spotlight
  • Beach Accessibility
  • Request for Tender: Participant Engagement Panel
  • Participant Spotlight

Have your say on changes to the NDIS

We recently released four consultation papers about how we plan to improve access, planning and plan flexibility, and how we support young children and their families.
We invite you to have your say on these changes to make sure the NDIS works for everyone.
The consultation papers are:

  • Access and eligibility policy for independent assessments
  • Planning policy for personalised budgets and plan flexibility
  • Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential
  • Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Implementation Reset- Project Consultation Report

Visit the Have your say page on the NDIS website to find more information, copies of the papers (including Easy Read versions).

There are a number of ways you can give feedback:

Feedback closes at 10.00am ADST Tuesday 23 February 2021.

A message for Carers from Kelly Armstrong, Metro Access Project Officer, City of Port Phillip

A short message to update you and inform as we approach the end of this year of madness!

I encourage you all to consider the Carers Victoria survey for Support Group facilitators in anticipation of establishing a community of practice in 2021.

Also, I can now share that my role has been extended at Council for a further 12 months. A component of my work plan is continuing to support Council in its’ response to the Carer Recognition Act. One of the actions of this year has been to create the Carer Information Hub webpage on Council’s website. Please let me know if you have any feedback to consider on improving this page.

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous festive season to you personally and to all in your networks.


I work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

Metro Access Project Officer Community Building and Inclusion
0421 583 773
St Kilda Town Hall | 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, Victoria 3182

Stigma Watch Bulletin December 2020

Welcome to the final edition of the StigmaWatch bulletin for 2020.

What a year it’s been! Between the drought and devastating bushfires affecting so many at the start of the year, and the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the entire country and sent us into a variety of lockdowns, alongside dramatic changes to the way we go about daily life, it has been a tough year for all of us.

The flow-on effects of restrictions and other COVID-19 measures have no doubt touched you and your loved ones this year. The demand for mental health support services has steadily increased throughout the year, with record numbers of people reaching out for help and to stay connected, including via the SANE Help Centre.

This demand is expected to remain for some time, making the work SANE Australia and StigmaWatch does to combat stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues more important than ever. We are confident that our work is making an impact and are hopeful that people who may have previously been hesitant to reach out for help, may do so now.

This edition, we celebrate the launches of both the National Stigma Report Card, that presents the findings from the Our Turn to Speak survey, and the new Life After Bushfires digital resource. We also chat with one of our SANE Peer Ambassadors, Jenni about her experience with stigma.

The SANE Australia StigmaWatch team wishes you all a safe, joyful holiday season and look forward to a less challenging 2021.

National Stigma Report Card

living with ocd covid

The National Stigma Report Card findings are in, and they show that people living with complex mental health issues experience high rates of stigma and discrimination in many important areas of their lives.

Almost 2,000 people shared their experiences as part of the study, led by SANE Australia’s Anne Deveson Research Centre in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The top five areas of life that survey participants said were most affected by stigma and discrimination in the previous 12 months were relationships, employment, healthcare, social media and mental healthcare. 

This world-leading research was launched during Mental Health Week 2020, via a webinar emceed by Natasha Mitchell – multi-award winning ABC journalist, podcaster, documentary maker and the founding presenter and producer of All in the Mind.

The webinar featured the wisdom and insights of people with lived experience, details of the findings, and recommendations about how the research can be used to create meaningful change. You can watch a recording of the launch online.

The comprehensive research report, the report summary and the Recommendations for action are available on the website, alongside reflections from real people with real stories of stigma and discrimination. The website also features the online data explorer, an interactive tool where you can compare survey results from different life domains, mental health issues and demographics.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this vital study. SANE Australia is committed to honouring everyone’s participation by using the National Stigma Report Card to drive meaningful, systematic change that sees people affected by complex mental health issues being supported and included as equal members of our community. 

The reality of stigma surrounding mental health issues – Q&A with Jenni


Jenni is a creative, positive person who believes that “the glass is always half full.” She enjoys sharing her mental health journey with professionals, carers, the general public and with others who have a lived experience of mental health issues.

Jenni is a SANE Australia Peer Ambassador. She has lived with a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder for over 20 years. Schizo-affective disorder is a mental health condition marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.

In this Q&A guest blog, Jenni shares some of her experiences about the everyday impact of stigma surrounding mental health issues and why she feels so strongly about changing attitudes and educating others about complex mental health issues.

Read the entire blog here.

Life After Bushfires: A new digital mental health resource from SANE

Mindframe language guide

SANE Australia is proud to launch a new digital mental health resource, Life After Bushfires, designed to help people who have been impacted by bushfires focus on their mental health as part of their bushfire recovery.

SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath says in the immediate aftermath of traumatic events like the recent bushfires, primary needs such as housing and physical health are an immediate priority and mental health can often be overlooked.

“The mental health impacts of traumatic events like the bushfire crisis can be huge, and long lasting. For people with a history of trauma or a complex mental health issue, this is particularly important. These people can be incredibly resilient in times of crisis, and often step in to help others in need, but after the worst is over, the delayed impact on them can be significant,” said Mr Heath.

“Recovery is a process, a long process that is not linear. As people continue to repair and rebuild after the traumatic Black Summer bushfires, the time is right to invest in mental health and wellbeing, particularly for those living with a complex mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”

Life After Bushfires includes real stories from people affected by both complex mental health issues and the fires and provides information, tailored support services and connection through online peer-to-peer Forums.

Go to our Life After Bushfires page to find tips on trauma recovery, self-care, connecting with others and seeking help.

New guidelines for reporting on  mental illness, violence and crime.

The way in which the media reports cases where severe mental illness is linked to violence can be incredibly stigmatising, and it is important that such stories are covered in a safe and responsible manner.

Mindframe has recently added to the suite of evidence-informed guides for media with the introduction of the Mindframe guidelines on media reporting of severe mental illness in the context of violence and crime.  These guidelines aim to encourage best practice media standards in order to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking.

The new guidelines form part of a PhD project, supported by graduate research scholarships from National Health and Medical Research Council (MHMRC) and Australian Rotary Health to Anna Ross (Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne).

To view and learn more about the Mindframe guidelines on media reporting of severe mental illness in the context of violence and crime, please visit the Mindframe website.

SANE Australia end of year appeal

2020 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all Australians, even more so for those affected by complex mental health issues.

In a time when uncertainty is rife, and our basic pleasures have taken a backseat to cope with the COVID-19 health crisis, the SANE Help Centre has seen demand for support increase by over fifty percent.

As we reflect on the dramatic changes to our lives this year, we hope that you will consider a donation in support of the Help Centre. All donations, no matter the size, make an enormous difference. Click the button below should you wish to contribute.

SANE Australia is a registered charity, making a real difference in the lives of the four million Australians affected by complex mental health issues through support, research and advocacy. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible

StigmaWatch on Twitter

Follow SANE Australia on Twitter where we use the hashtag #stigmawatch to share StigmaWatch news and information. We love hearing your thoughts on all matters to do with media coverage of mental ill-health and suicide.

Tandem eNews 24 November 2020

Tandem logo

Final Tandem Members Meeting for 2020 on 10 Dec

It has certainly been a challenging year for all. To celebrate and reflect on the year that was 2020, please join us for a virtual celebration on Thursday 10 December from 10am-12pm.

If you register for the Members Meeting by 3rd December, you will receive a $20 e-vouchert or purchase your own refreshments or nibbles to help celebrate. If you register after 3rd December, you will be reimbursed up to $20 for the refreshments or nibbles you purchased upon the presentation of your receipt(s).

We are also planning a fun activity! We look forward to seeing you there.

When you register to attend you will be sent a link that will enable you to login to the meeting online at its scheduled time and telephone numbers if you prefer to dial in using a telephone. If you have any feedback, reflections or questions you would like to ask, please contact us.

If you’re not yet a formal Tandem member, please join at the Tandem website to be able to attend. 

Register for Members Meeting

You can access the complete newsletter via the link below:

Inner South Family and Friends End of Year Dinner Tuesday 8 December 2020


6.30 pm Tuesday 8 December 2020 at The Camden Hotel, 414 Hawthorn Road Caulfield South


Places are very strictly limited.  Bookings will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. To secure your place, you must book by noon Wednesday 2 December 2020

To book: Email or mobile 0412018722.
In your email or phone message, please include:

  1. your phone number
  2. the names of all the people in your party
  3. the phone numbers of all the people in your party
  4. the choice of main course for each member in your party
  5. the choice of dessert for each member in your party
    Cost: $10 for pensioners with pension card, $20 if no pension card on the night.   Cost covers – three courses, coffee or tea but all other drinks to be paid individually immediately upon receipt.
    That is drinks other than water, tea and coffee are not included.


  • Fish of the Day (grilled or battered)
  • Seafood Linguini
  • Moroccan Chicken Warm Salad
  • Vegetarian Lasagna
  • Chicken Parmigiana


  • Chocolate Fondant or
  • Lemon Tart

 Dietary needs such as gluten free dishes will be catered for. Please advise of special needs when booking to assist in finding a suitable meal that pleases you.  Suggestions welcome.

There is no need to choose an entrée as the antipasto and salt and pepper calamari will be shared.


Walk ‘n Chat  Thursday 19 November:
Walk starts: 1.30pm at Brighton Beach at end of North Rd outside Northpoint Cafe.  Chat continues on our return at 2.45pm to Northpoint Café
Please feel free to join at 1.30 or at 2.45, Family and Friends welcome, including canines

Walk ‘n Chats are held on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month:

Thursday 3 and 17 December 2020

Thursday 7 and 21 January 2021

Thursday 4 and 18 February 2021

During the holiday season, Walk ‘n Chats will proceed, but please check on the ISFAF website or phone Judi on 0425 723 74 on the morning of the walk to check. Inclement weather has not stopped us to date.

Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) AGM Wednesday 4pm-6pm 18 November 2020

An important message from Maggie Toko, VMIAC CEO 
10th November 2020

Dear VMIAC members,
Please find enclosed the nominations for the VMIAC Committee of Management.  The nominees have provided a statement regarding why they wish to join the COM.  Please peruse and have the notice ready on the afternoon of the AGM so that you know who you are going to vote for.

Chair: Kathy Wilson
Deputy Chair: Chris Maylea
Secretary: Tom Wood
Treasurer: Ali Pain

Ordinary Member:
You will be asked to vote for one of the following – there are 3 positions
James Horton
Elvis Martin
Hamilton Kennedy
Rebecca Egan
Zoe Mithen

Please remember that you received a prior notice with the Eventbrite invitation which you will need to register for to VOTE. Please note that this is not a postal vote. If you are unable to attend the event, please ensure that you have returned your previously enclosed proxy nomination form. Any issues you may have, please contact us on 9380 3900.

Warm regards

Maggie Toko

click the following links to view nominees
Executive Committee of Management Nominations.
Ordinary Member Nominations.

If you are yet to register for the AGM, click here
For additional information head over to our website by clicking here.