Category Archives: Communication

Turning Point – Working with trauma and addiction

Connect & Learn

Working with trauma and addiction – understanding it’s impact and the implications for our work,
presented by Sally Thomas & Anna Bough

This presentation provides a brief overview of what trauma is, paying particular attention to complex trauma, and the relationships between trauma and addiction whilst also addressing the social complexity clients may experience. We will present practical ideas and tools on how to work effectively with people presenting with trauma related symptoms and explore some of the challenges this may present.


· Further our understanding of the relationships between AOD use and trauma in treatment settings and the implications for our work

· Recognise the impact of social complexity and how this may hinder client’s engagement with services and what we can to foster client engagement;

· To introduce some practical tools, concepts and resources for clinicians and clients/consumers

Sally Thomas is a senior social worker at Turning Point, working with multiple programs to support clients navigate and link into AOD services as well as providing linkage to other psychosocial supports. These roles also involve supporting family members and concerned others. Sally also has background in youth mental health counselling and a further interest in understanding the socioeconomic determinants of health outcomes for AOD clients.

Anna Bough is a senior clinical psychologist who has worked at Turning Point over a range of programs, most recently the COPE program which is an evidence based treatment for trauma and substance use disorders. Prior to working at Turning Point Anna has worked in community health and homelessness. Through her work Anna seeks to highlight the value of connection in AOD treatment.

Who should register? This webinar is suitable for workers in the AOD, mental health, allied health and welfare sectors.

Date and time: Monday 24th June 2024 @ 1pm to 2pm AEST
Venue: online register here
Who should register? This webinar is suitable for workers in the AOD, mental health, allied health and welfare sectors.

Connect & Learn is a series of case-based webinars funded by the Department of Health, designed to support AOD clinicians throughout regional and metropolitan Victoria. Webinars are presented by experienced clinicians currently working in the AOD sector and facilitated by Turning Point.

Previous webinars are on demand at the Turning Point website:

Click here to subscribe to the Turning Point mailing list

Inner South Family and Friends Annual General Meeting 2024

7 pm, Tuesday 9 July 2024
Level Four, 549 St Kilda Road Melbourne
Dr Brennan will speak on the major changes in our MH system and how these are being introduced at AMAH.  Although Dr Brennan is at AMAH, the changes resulting from the Victorian Royal Commission on MH apply throughout Victoria and will be of interest to all.

 Nomination and Proxy Forms are attached / enclosed. Nominations and Proxy Forms must reach  by noon Tuesday 2 July 2024 or by private arrangement with ISFAF Secretary, Eleni Kontos, directly on or mobile 0412 018 722 by 10 am on the day of the AGM.

We have also included a current ‘Update or Apply for Membership Form’ and would appreciate all prospective and all existing members returning them signed and completed at the AGM or to reach us by post or email to by the 2 July 2024. Please note – we are asking existing members who may not have recently completed the forms to help us keep our records up-to-date and correct.

We thank Alfred Mental and Addiction Health for providing us with office facilities and a welcoming venue for our AGM and monthly meetings.

ISFAF is run solely by volunteers who provide time, hours of work and material contributions.

Donations, however small or large, are always very welcome.

2024 Nomination for ISFAF Committee
2024-7-9 Proxy ISFAF

Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Meetings and other Activities

Inner South Family and Friends Support Group Meeting 7pm for 7.30pm Tuesday 11 June 2024

INTRODUCING CHARMAINE CURTAIN, Carer Peer Worker Women’s Recovery Network, Adult Mental and Addiction Health

GUEST SPEAKER: EMMA WILCOX-DAVIES North West Region Manager, Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
TOPIC: Independent Mental Health Advocacy: Details of non legal opt out advocacy as required by the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act provides that individuals receiving compulsory mental health treatment have the right to be involved in all decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery. IMHA supports individuals receiving, or at risk of receiving, compulsory mental health treatment to make decisions and have as much say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery. 

VENUE: Level Four, 549 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.  The building is a little to the city side of Wesley College and is easily recognisable by white umbrellas in the forecourt. There is free parking in the centre lanes of St Kilda Road, with many trams stopping at the door. 

If you are having trouble with transport, seek further information or just need a chat, about ISFAF and/or issues faced by carers please phone: Judi on 0425 723 746 or Eleni on 0412 018 722.  Please come early to chat and to enjoy delicious snacks which will be available from 7.05pm.  For security, we are required to pay a concierge at the door of the building. Latecomers may not be able to enter.


Near the corner of South Road, 4 minutes’ walk from Brighton Beach station.

Previously this annual lunch has been a ‘pay-your-own get-together’, but with thanks to AMAH, we are able to subsidise it.  A donation to AMAH of $10 for pensioners or $20 for non-pensioners will provide those who book by 5pm Wednesday 26 June with a $30 to spend.  For any amount above $30 per person, there will be ‘honesty jars’ on each table.  The menu is available at the above link.

Bookings are absolutely essential as the bistro always fills to capacity.  Last year, members who failed to book in time were unable to find a seat at the tables.

  1. deposit donation ($10 / $20 ) to Westpac ISFAF Community One A/CBSB 033-169    Account No 258307,
  2. make sure your booking shows your name and the names of others in your booking
  3. email with proof of booking
  4. Please double check that your email shows the names of those for whom you have booked,

Confirmation email will be sent by 5pm Thursday 27 June. If you do not receive the confirmation email, but have paid, email urgently by 5pm Friday 28 June.

If you have questions regarding the bookings or the lunch, please do not hesitate to contact Judi directly on 0425 723 746 or

Tuesday 9 July Annual General Meeting – please note early start time – 7pm for AGM 6.30pm for refreshments – and as always we have a very special speaker planned. AGM Notices will be sent out shortly.

Excerpts from Weekly Update 29 May 2024

Read more

You can access the complete update via this link:
Mental Health Australia Weekly Update

Excerpt from Andrew Leigh’s May Report 2024


How Social Media Fuels Teen Anxiety

Over the past fifteen years, the mental wellbeing of young Australians has become much worse. In a two-minute video, I look at the evidence on how social media and smartphones affect teen mental health, offering seven key facts and four solutions (click to view). And if you’re curious about the emerging debate, check out my review of Jonathan Haidt’s The Anxious Generation, recently published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Screenshot 2024-05-01 at 11.53.27 PM

Social media and mental health – click to play

Excerpt from Mental Health Australia Weekly Update 8 May 2024

For more information and news check website at Mental Health Australia Weekly Update

Australians for Mental Health

Australians for Mental Health

Did you catch Vanessa Kenny’s compelling story about her family’s struggle getting access to mental health services over the weekend?

In a very blunt and powerful open letter to the Australian people — particularly politicians and other decision-makers — Vanessa charts what it is like to love a child with complex mental health needs.

You can read Vanessa’s letter in full here.

“The health system, their executives and our own Ministers likes to say that he “fell through the cracks”.  This is not true.  This is a system that is designed to fail.  Designed to push somebody onto another public service so that they do not have to address the issues at hand” she writes.

“We have endured accusations of domestic violence simply because our son needed us to restrain him during neurological episodes, an act necessary to prevent self-harm.  We’ve witnessed the havoc wrought by potent medications, rendering our home unsafe for all.  Like Cauchi’s family we’ve hidden sharp objects, transforming our household into a battleground where safety is a fleeting illusion.”

“Amidst the despair, I would like to think there’s a glimmer of hope—a call to action for greater empathy, for a society that sees beyond the surface and acknowledges the humanity in us all. It’s a call to recognise that behind every headline lies a story, a struggle, a life worth fighting for.”

These are stories that need to be heard: that’s the only way change will be possible.  In coming forward, Vanessa is taking a stand for her family, and we stand with her.

If you have experience trying to access the mental health system, either for yourself or someone you love, and would be willing to work with me to engage politicians with our stories, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ll be holding a Zoom call next Tuesday evening, 7 May at 5:30pm Sydney time.  If you’d like to join in please RSVP here.

If you’d like to be involved but can’t make that time, please let me know by clicking here.

Chris Gambian
Executive Director
Australians for Mental Health

Inner South Family and Friends Upcoming Meetings and Social Events



Check In and Departure: 9.15 am Dan Murphy Car Park, 823 Dandenong Road, Malvern East (diagonally opposite Monash Caulfield, allow 15 minutes to walk from Caulfield Station)
The bus will leave on time and cannot wait for latecomers.  Bookings are essential as places are limited and must be booked by noon Monday 22 April. 
We are obliged to pay a week ahead and therefore must have bookings in time.
    Pensioners $18   Non-pensioners $36
The donation includes bus, entry and final drink. It does not include food/lunch, towels and robes.  You are strongly advised to bring your own lunch, towels and a towelling style robe in a bag to carry with you throughout the day.

To book

  1. deposit donation to Westpac ISFAF Community One Account: BSB 033-169    A/c No: 258307,
  2. make sure your deposit shows your nameand number of individuals in your booking
  3. email burstyner@gmail.comwith proof of booking
  4. confirmatory email will be sent Tuesday 23 April. If you do not receive confirmation and have paid, email urgently and by Wednesday 24 April.If you have questions regarding the bookings or the outing, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on mobile 0425 723 746 or


Bookings by phone / text to the numbers shown are essential – times and starting points may vary.  Family members, including canines are very welcome.  Walkers generally meet at 1pm, with non-walkers joining us at 2.15pm for a drink provided by ISFAF.

Please book on the day prior to walk or by 10am on the day of the walk, phone Alexis 0423  939 949.   Meeting place will be advised when you book.

2024 Tuesday Walk ‘n Chat dates to diarise:  May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18, July 2 and 16.


GUEST SPEAKER  Taff Ruvaro, Co-ordinator, Bicultural Worker Research Project, AMAH/ Star Health
TOPIC  The Bicultural Project, Star Health


GUEST SPEAKER    Professor Lisa Brophy, Professor and Discipline Lead, Social Work & Social Policy, Department of Community & Clinical Health School of Allied Health, Human Services & Sport, Latrobe University

TOPIC  A Psycho-social perspective regarding supporting people experiencing serious mental illness 

Professor Brophy’s research ranges widely across mental health, including using highly participatory methods to evaluate interventions and models of care in areas including loneliness, recovery, social inclusion, residential services, human rights and smoking cessation. Her work is contributing to making a difference for people experiencing mental illness and psychosocial disability.


Travel to Geelong – Group to meet at Southern Cross Station – approximately 9am, details tba  (or drive yourself)

11am Tour of Special Exhibition:  Cutting Through Time—Cressida Campbell, Margaret Preston, and the Japanese Print

Lunch  ‘Northern Italian Cuisine in the Heart of Geelong’ Caruggi, a short walk from the gallery

Enjoy a ramble around Geelong or revisit the gallery to view their permanent collection, or other special exhibits, including

  • the O’Donohue and Kiss Gift of paper works from a range of prominent artists
  • Dianne Fogwell’s multi-panelled installation, Prescience
  • Future Creativesshowcasing young peoples’ creative talents in art and design