Category Archives: Communication

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.

Building Homes for People Living with Mental Illness 6 July 2021

6th Jul 2021

Building Homes For People Living With Mental Illness

The Andrews Labor Government is investing $49.2 million to build 162 new supported independent living homes, ensuring Victorians living with mental illness have the security and stability of a home.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Housing Richard Wynne today announced $21.1 million to build 62 supported independent living homes across regional Victoria, as part of the nation-leading Big Housing Build.

The 62 new homes are being built in four priority regional areas – Seymour, Ballarat West, Drouin and North Bendigo.

It adds to the 100 supported independent living homes already announced, with 84 under construction in Pakenham, Mooroopna, Epping and Laverton – including 16 homes that have been completed in Highton.

In total, the investment in independent living homes will create around 450 jobs during construction, including almost 100 direct jobs.

The homes will provide safe, stable accommodation for people who require support to live independently. Each home will include self-contained kitchens, bathroom and laundry facilities along with a private courtyard or balcony.

By delivering tailored care, closer to home, the Labor Government is strengthening its commitment to rebuild our mental health system from the ground up.  Ensuring Victorians living with a mental illness get the right support, when they need it.

The homes are being delivered in partnership with the Haven Foundation, which is contributing almost $1.2 million towards the new homes. Mind Australia will provide supported independent living services, to help residents live as independently as possible, while building their skills.

The Labor Government’s historic Big Housing Build is delivering more than 12,000 new homes across Victoria, while creating an average of 10,000 jobs per year over the next four years.

The Big Housing Build will deliver 2,000 homes for Victorians living with mental illness, ensuring provision of adequate housing – one of the recommendations in the final report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The Labor Government will implement all recommendations of the Royal Commission and has invested a record $3.8 billion in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 to begin implementation.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re committed to building a mental health system that is tailored to the needs of Victorians. That means delivering more services and care that supports Victorians at every stage of living with an illness.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing Richard Wynne  

“Victorians with a mental illness are more likely to experience homelessness and our unprecedented investment in social and affordable housing will change lives.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“Our investments in Geelong are ensuring our most vulnerable community members have they support they need.”

Quote attributable to Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman

“Our Big Housing Build is investing $1.25 billion in regional Victoria – including a minimum of $180 million in the greater Geelong area.”

TheMHS Melbourne Conference 12-15 October 2021

TheMHS Consumer & Carer
Conference Bursaries

Applications Now Open!


The upcoming TheMHS Melbourne conference will bring the mental health community back together to share our learnings, insights and innovations.

The voices of people living with mental ill-health, and carers and families, will be at the core of this event.

You can access more information by clicking on the link below:


VicHealth How does alcohol affect the brain 29 June 2021

Author: VicHealth works with health promotion experts to create a Victoria where everyone can enjoy better health and wellbeing.

Any information mentioned is accurate at the time this article was originally published (29 June 2021).

 In Australia, it is recommended that adults consume no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks per day to reduce the health risks from alcohol. With this is mind, it’s important to understand how exactly alcohol affects our brain and what implications this may have on our overall health.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • Short and long-term effects of alcohol products
  • Alcohol and brain damage
  • Tips on cutting back on alcohol consumption

Be Healthy was created by VicHealth to provide helpful tips and advice on how you and your family can stay healthy. You can read more Be Healthy articles here.  

 Short and long-term effects of alcohol

Before looking into the short and long-term effects of alcohol on the brain, it’s important to know that alcohol effects every person differently. Your gender, mental and physical health, medical conditions and use of other drugs and medication all play a key role.

It’s also important to keep in mind that alcohol can affect you more quickly if you:

  • Drink on an empty stomach
  • Weigh less
  • Have a lower percentage of muscle
  • Are a young person

No matter how little or how much you drink, alcohol effects our whole brain matter, causing both short and long-term effects. Brain matter is a major component of our central nervous system and when negatively impacted, it can have various short- and long-term implications.

Short term effects can vary depending on the amount of alcohol products we drink, but can include:

  • An interrupted sleep which can in turn have a negative impact your mental wellbeing
  • Alcohol slows your body down and changes the chemical makeup in your brain
  • It can alter our mood, energy levels, concentration and memory
  • It can alter our judgement and movement, create slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting
  • Create difficulty breathing and even be the cause of coma or death

Long-term, alcohol can affect both our brain and other parts of our body and can cause:

  • Ongoing mental health conditions
  • An increased risk of diabetes and weight gain
  • Increased risk of a range of cancers
  • Heart issues, such as high blood pressure, heart damage and heart attacks
  • Liver failure
  • Brain related damage impairment (ARBI)
  • Fertility issues

While alcohol consumed at even moderate levels can have a negative impact on the brain, this can become more dramatic depending on how often a person consumes alcohol and the amount they drink on each occasion.

Alcohol and brain damage

Alcohol’s toxic effect can cause significant brain injury, referred to as alcohol related brain impairment (ARBI) and is more likely to occur if a person drinks heavily on an ongoing basis over a long period.

ARBI can also occur over a shorter time frame, and this is dependent on the amount a person consumes. This way of drinking is often referred to as ‘binge drinking’ and that is when a person drinks a lot of alcohol in a single session on a semi regular basis.

Brain injury can be caused by alcohol because it:

  • has a toxic effect on the central nervous system (CNS)
  • results in changes to metabolism, heart functioning and blood supply
  • interferes with the absorption of vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is an important brain nutrient
  • may be associated with poor nutrition
  • can lead to falls and accidents that injure the brain

Does alcohol kill our brain cells?

Despite alcohol causing brain damage, it does not kill our brain cells. It does however damage the ends of neurons called dendrites, making it hard for neurons to relay messages to one another.

Tips for cutting back on alcohol

Alcohol products are heavily promoted yet alcohol companies often downplay the harm they can cause to our health. To cut through the spin, here are some tips from VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio on what we can do to reduce the harm from alcohol:

  • Learn to reward yourself or unwind without alcohol – you can get active, revisit old hobbies or try a new one, get a massage, call a friend or relax with a book.
  • Mix up your routine – go for a walk around the block instead of having a wine after work or replace your alcoholic beverage with a peppermint tea or soda water.
  • Focus on what you’ll gain by cutting back – you might be motivated by saving money, boosting your memory and concentration, sleeping better and having more energy and patience to do things you enjoy.
  • The Daybreak app from Hello Sunday Morning also helps – it provides confidential health advice and a supportive community to help people reduce their drinking and protect their health.

Read more articles like this: 

StarHealth is now offering COVID-19 vaccines

High Risk Accommodation Response Project

News Update

What a first half of 2021: a roller-coaster ride in Victoria to say the least. Tough days have shown levels of resilience and kindness that have shone through in our community during the pandemic, helped in no small part by organisations and groups such as yours. 

Keeping our community safe and well continues to focus our efforts. A leap forward in helping achieve this goal is the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

StarHealth is offering COVID-19 vaccines to our community  through two clinics, the Prahran Town Hall clinic and the StarHealth mobile vaccination clinic.

Please help us spread the word! 

The StarHealth COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Prahran Town Hall (Greville Street side) offers AstraZeneca for those over 60 years of age, and will be offering the Pfizer vaccine for the 16-59 age group. Thousands of residents are vaccinated here each week, with our friendly, trained nurses administering under the eye of our on-site GP. Bookings at this clinic can be made by calling 9066 1601 or by visiting our website.

Our new StarHealth mobile clinic commenced last week to make access to vaccination easier. Pop-up sites across the Cities of Port Phillip and Stonnington will see the clinic visit for a week, and circle back again a few weeks later to administer second doses vaccines. Again, trained nurses and an on-site GP will make sure you are in good hands. No appointments are necessary at the mobile clinic, but appointments can be made by calling 0436 475 518 during office hours.

Please share the Mobile Vaccination Clinic information below with your group or members. For more information or to request the text-only version, email us using the button below.

StarHealth Mobile Vaccination Clinic

What is the StarHealth mobile vaccination clinic?

StarHealth’s mobile vaccination clinic is now operating in the Cities of Stonnington and Port Phillip. This program offers both the AstraZeneca  and Pfizer vaccines. It will pop-up at several different sites across the area for one week in each location and revisit the same location to deliver the second dose of vaccination for people. See table below for the schedule.

Who is it for?

While anyone over 16 years of age can be vaccinated at the StarHealth mobile clinic, it primarily supports more vulnerable residents in our community who may find access to health services difficult or who are more at risk of COVID-19 due to their health, ability status or residential setting. Residents of accommodation who are at higher risk of COVID-19 transmission due to shared facilities including laundries, stairwells, kitchens etc are  encouraged to be vaccinated.

Do I need to book?

You do not need to book at these clinics – simply go along on the day and time that suits you (see schedule below) and take your Medicare card if you have one. If you prefer to make an appointment, call 0436 475 518.

Please be advised that there might be a waiting time, and staff may suggest a time to come back later when it is less busy. Perhaps bring a warm coat and a book to read or something else to do while you wait.

What should I take with me on the day?

Take your Medicare card if you have one. If you don’t have a Medicare card, ask for an individual health identifier (IHI) at your nearest Medicare office. Please also take your identification such as a driver licence or similar and a contact phone number and your address details.

Which vaccine will I receive?

If you are over 60 years of age, you will be eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine needs a second dose 12 weeks later.

If you are between 16 and 59 years of age, you will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose for Pfizer is due 3-6 weeks after the first dose.

Where and when can I go to the mobile clinic?

Clinics are open Mon-Thurs 9:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 1:45 pm.

The upcoming clinics schedule is as follows. The next rounds of visits to the mobile vaccination sites will be published later in June for people who will need to return for their second doses in August through to October. Stay tuned for details or call our booking number on 0436 475 518.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

In 2021, we all know much more about COVID-19 and how to slow the transmission risk than we did last year. Keep your information current and ensure it’s from credible sources.  Visit the StarHealth website for simple, easy-to-read Fact Sheets that tell you what you really need to know, without all the noise.

Translated Fact Sheets are also available in seven languages, and we are adding more on topics such as vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding, vaccination and drugs and alcohol, and common myths. We would love to hear from you if you have other questions.

COVID-19 Fact Sheets

Additional information & resources about the Vaccine

Click any of the links below to view the information

Frequently Asked Questions
General Information
How to book your appointment
How to prepare for your vaccine
Information for those with a weakened immune system
AstraZeneca vaccine information

Find out more about how COVID-19 vaccines are developed, tested and approved.
More information about how COVID-19 vaccines are being delivered in Australia.
Find information in your language – click here to view translated videos about COVID-19 & the vaccine.