Category Archives: Recreation

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.

Creative Control inspired by the International Day for People with Disability 2020


Creative Control presents a digital showcase of work by artists, writers and creatives with disability, inspired by the International Day for People with Disability 2020 theme, seeing the ability in disability.

Creative Control features a series of events and experiences including a virtual exhibition, panel discussion, workshops and film showcase across seven days from 3-10 December 2020.

View the full program below.

International Day of People with Disability Thursday 3 December 2020

International Day of People with Disability

Celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) with us on 3 December.

IDPwD aims to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

This year’s theme for International Day of People with Disability is about creating conversations to challenge common perceptions of disability and help create a more inclusive Australia.

We can work together to see all abilities and create an inclusive Australia.

Ahead of the day, check out our website where you can find a poster to display at home, your workplace or within your community.

More information is available on the official IDPwD website including an event calendar and event planning kit.

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:

Pronia Caring for Carers program

We invite you to take a little time each week for self-nurturing and support.   Join PRONIA’s four week connection and meditation program for Carers

This program is for you if:
You are a primary carer of a loved one
COVID restrictions and isolation has impacted your sense of wellbeing You would like to slow down a little

Caring for the Carer
Who cares for you when you are caring for others?
Group 1:
Every Monday 3pm – 4pm 23 November – 14 December

Group 2:
Every Thursday 11am – 12pm 26 November – 17 December
This program is presented free by PRONIA for Carers, as part of its community engagement programs in alleviating the negative impact of COVID-19.

Sessions will be conducted in English and will be facilitated by Lucy Louca*, Community Engagement Officer at PRONIA.
*Lucy holds Counselling qualifications and is a registered meditation teacher with Meditation Association of Australia.
For more information call (03) 9388 9998 or email

Connecting Carers Virtual Expo Monday 30 November and Tuesday December 2020

 Carers Victoria invites you to the free Connecting Carers Virtual Expo

Come along and connect to local service providers and community organisations, listen to engaging speakers, live chat with exhibitors and take part in fun activities.

The expo will be a great opportunity to:

  • Hear from expert speakers on relevant topics
  • Connect with local service providers and peak bodies
  • Find new information to assist you in your caring role
  • Listen to panel discussions and download resources
  • Enjoy fun activities and events
  • Learn new ways to boost your health and wellbeing.

Guest Performer: Christine Anu

We are pleased to announce that renowned Australian vocalist Christine Anu will join us to perform for the 2020 Connecting Carers Virtual Expo. Christine is one of Australia’s finest female vocalists. She sings from the soul of Australia with a deep connection to her indigenous heritage. Christine is arguably Australia’s most successful female Indigenous performer and one of Australia’s most popular recording artists, backed by an award-winning repertoire spanning across music, theatre, dance, film, television and children’s entertainment. Christine will perform on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December from 7.45pm-8.15pm.

Expo Schedule

Monday 30 November
Day 1
will focus on Connecting to Systems.  You’ll gain knowledge about the Carer Gateway, the NDIS, carer benefits, aged care and more.

Tuesday 1 December
Day 2 is all about Connecting to Wellbeing. It’ll be a fun day of health and wellness events, fun activities and ways to connect with others including carer support groups.

Expo Full Schedule

Click here to see the full schedule.

Register Now

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.