Category Archives: Research

Tandem eNews 23 March 2023

Dear members and supporters,

Ramadan Kareem to all of our Muslim families beginning their Ramadan celebrations today!

We are sending a special edition of eNews today to ask for your input into our advocacy work on the NDIS Review.

If you have experiences of the NDIS as a family member, carer or supporter, please complete our survey.

We’re interested in understanding the impact of the NDIS on you as the family member, carer or supporter – rather than on the person you support – so please keep this in mind as you answer the questions.

We also encourage you to make your own statement to the NDIS Review, which you can do by either answering some questions, or by uploading a written, audio or video submission. The person you support can make a statement too.

Did you miss out on asking the Minister your question?

Thanks again to everyone who attended our Members’ Meeting in March. If you attended but did not get a chance to ask Minister Williams your question, please email it to us and we will follow up, as promised on the day.

You can access the Tandem eNews via this link: Tandem eNews March 2023

Talking Point Free Seminar Series 22 March 2023


Talking Point – Wednesday 22nd March 2023, 1pm – 2pm

Lived experience & academic partnerships: a case study of meaningful collaboration demonstrated through the AOD patient journey project, presented by Amelia Berg & Dr Leanne Francia

These days there is a lot of talk in research about co-design with lived experience consumers.  This Talking Point will present on recently completed project in the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, as a case study that demonstrates meaningful partnerships between lived experience and academic researchers. The presenters will go behind the scenes to identify what worked in the collaboration; the development of tangible findings as they related to those with lived experience; and the effective implementation of knowledge translation as a staff education program rolled out to local health services.

Amelia Berg, BA (Criminal Justice Administration)
Leanne Francia: PhD, BSocSc (Psych)(Hons), BSocSc (Psych), AssocDegLaw (Paralegal)
Amelia Berg currently works at the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC) as a lived experience peer worker. Amelia has worked in harm reduction for over ten years and has experience working with people who use drugs in an outreach capacity and in research.  Amelia is currently working on Fuse Initiatives in partnership with Harm Reduction Victoria to expand and support the Living Experience Peer Workforce in Victoria.

Dr Leanne Francia is a researcher at Turning Point and the Monash Addiction Research Centre. Leanne’s qualitative research centres on the lived experiences of those endeavouring to seek help from and engage with healthcare services, the systems and organisations with which they interact, and program evaluation. Leanne has a broader background in researching vulnerable and sensitive populations including people who use violence, victim survivors of family violence, and sexual offenders in the criminal justice system.

Date: Wednesday 22nd March 2023
Venue: Online
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm AEST
Cost: Free – Talking Point is a free seminar series but registrations are essential
Register: click here to register

Click here to subscribe to the Turning Point mailing list

If you have enquiries regarding registration please call (03) 8413 8413.

theMHS Forum 2023

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Due to feedback from delegates who missed out, we are extending early bird rates for 1 WEEK ONLY, so get in quick!Diverse presenters and perspectives, bi-lateral
policy contexts and real-life examples will inspire you to develop, refine
and deliver effective suicide prevention services within a mental health,
drug and alcohol or trauma setting.
For those inter-state/overseas or those who can’t travel, we wanted to ensure you can still attend TheMHS Forum, so BOOK YOUR VIRTUAL REGISTRATION NOW!
Dates: 21 and 22 March 2023
Venue: Mercure Sydney
Matthew Tukaki, Director, Suicide Prevention Office, New Zealand

Building back better: The future of the suicide prevention and postvention workforce
The pressure on New Zealand and Australias clinical and non-clinical workforce when it comes to Suicide Prevention, postvention, mental health and addictions will continue to be a challenge in the decades ahead if we dont take a new approach to meet the demand that is already here. Read more…

Ellie Hodges, Chief Executive, Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network (LELAN)

The power of lived experience defining the care experience and building connection with peers in distress
LELAN are systematically bringing the Alternatives to Suicide approach to South Australia. Due to its systems change focus, LELAN’s Alt2Su work is disrupting existing governance arrangements and demonstrating that peer-led community-based options work. Read more…

Paul Pfeiffer, United StatesThe PREVAIL trial: Can a peer specialist intervention prevent suicide attempts?

Dr. Paul N. Pfeiffer is the Susan Crumpacker Brown Research Professor of Depression in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He is also affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs health system. He is a psychiatrist who conducts research related to peer support interventions for depression and suicide prevention. Read more…

SAVE MORE – Group bookings of 5 or more delegates will receive a 5% discount automatically so REGISTER NOW!

Turning Point Free Seminar Thursday 23 February 2023

Psychedelic-assisted treatment for substance use disorders:
long overdue but now overhyped?

presented by Professor John Marsden

After a long hiatus, there is astonishing interest and international research on the question of whether psychedelic drugs can help people reduce harm and recover from substance use disorders (SUD). This presentation will, trace the history of this topic, summarise a recently completed systematic review of studies of classical and contemporary psychedelic drugs with SUD outcomes, reflect on the limitations and strengths of the extant literature and discuss the challenges and features of high-quality studies that will be needed to secure policy support for these interventions.

John Marsden is Professor of Addiction Psychology at the Addictions Department, Institute of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, Kings College London. Holding professional appointments in the Addictions treatment and research field since 1987, John is a clinical research psychologist and cognitive behavioural psychotherapist and a senior member of the addictions department. John is the Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Addiction.

Date: Thursday 23rd February 2023
Venue: Online
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm AEST
Cost: Free – Talking Point is a free seminar series but registrations are essential
Register: click here to register

Discovery College November courses

Discovery College November courses


Discovery College has some new free courses starting this November.

Anxious Feeling
Attend a course that explores anxiety and anxious feelings. Stories from people who have experienced anxiety will be shared, including stories from people who have cared for someone with anxiety. Some tools and skills on how to manage anxiety will also be explored. Register to attend.

When: 11:00am – 1:00pm 7 November.


What is a diagnosis?
A youth panel will explore different perspectives around a diagnosis, how a diagnosis is made, and the different cultural perspectives around diagnosis. Register to attend.

1:00pm – 3:00pm 14 November.
Where: Online.

Inner South Family and Friends upcoming events for October and November 2022


Alfred Health Carer Services has a wide range of wonderful programmes to celebrate Mental Health Month.

Carers Victoria has a wide range of wonderful programmes to celebrate Carers Week 2022 – Sunday October 16 to Saturday October 22

These are two organisations that we should all join. Each provides support, education, activities and events targeted at us. They advocate for us and need as many members as possible. The more members they have, the greater their power to advocate for us. Membership is free. If you are not yet a member, please join to benefit you, your loved ones and the mental health and carer community.


Monday 10 October 2022, 12.30pm-2pm
– ISFAF Event for World Mental Health Day
There IS such a thing as a free lunch.  Please join ISFAF and AMAH staff at ground level 549 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

This location has been chosen as we have invited staff of AMAH, most of whom work nearby.
Your contributions – fiscal or nutritional – are welcome, but not required.
For catering purposes, kindly respond to by 5pm Monday 3 October

Tuesday 11 October 2022 , 7.30pm – ISFAF Monthly Meeting
Topic: Psychosis, Psychedelics and Mental Health
Guest Speaker: John Watkins, Psychologist, Educator, Writer and Researcher
John has written many books. He has specifically referred us to read his book ‘Únshrinking Psychosis’, especially chapter 7 which discusses psychedelics. ISFAF library has a copy which is currently on loan. It is a great reference book well worth owning. However if you cannot buy one in time, borrow from your local library and encourage the library to buy extra copies.
Venue: Level Four, Spotless Building, 549 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Tuesday 8 November 2022ISFAF Monthly Meeting
Do you have lived experience as a carer?
Do you want to be heard?
Is the system not working for you?
Are you frustrated at times?

Let’s Brainstorm with Sue Belmore, Senior Consumer Consultant in Quality Governance AMAH and Jaqueline Rozario, Carer Consultant AMAH to workshop how to make the system work better for us as carers and subsequently for our loved ones. Come armed with your feedback and ideas. All feedback and suggestions welcome.  Violeta Peterson who is returning to AMAH as Director of Lived Experience plans to join us.

Venue: Level Four, Spotless Building, 549 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.  The “Spotless / Downer Building’ is a little to the city side of Wesley College and has white umbrellas in the forecourt. At night there is lots of free parking in the centre lanes of St Kilda Road, but beware, parking during the day is expensive and difficult.  Prahran Station is 1km away and St Kilda Road trams stop at the door. If you are having trouble with transport/seek further information or just need a chat, please phone Judi on 0425 723 746

For all meetings, please come early to enjoy post lockdown return to our customary snack and chat.  For evening meetings, a light supper is available from 7.10pm. Due to security needs, we are required to pay a concierge at the door of the building.  If you come late you may not be able to enter.


Sunday 6 November 2022 – ISFAF Film and Lunch
Exact times to be advised after confirmation of your booking at If you have any questions, please phone Eleni on 0412 018 722 or judi on 0425 723 746.

Film:  Mrs Harris Goes to Paris
(approximately 10am) at Como Palace Cinema, corner Chapel Street and Toorak Road South Yarra.  See it with ISFAF and enjoy a delicious lunch across the road at Blossom Thai immediately after.
Lunch at Blossom Thai (approximately 12.45pm) 37 Cunningham Street, South Yarra.
Bookings are essential by Monday 31 October
Pensioners $12 Non-pensioners $24
Contact Eleni or Judi for bank account details
and send confirmation of payment to
Please include name(s) of individuals attending and
phone number(s) of all attending (preferably mobile).

ABC Your Mental Health August 2022


Jack Heskett, a young person with a beard, sits outside in the bush and smiles towards the camera

After attempting suicide, ER made things worse for Jack

Australia’s national peak body for suicide prevention is calling for alternatives to emergency department care for young people in mental distress.

You can read the article by clicking on the link below:

Tandem Enews Edition 179, 9 August 2022

Dear members and supporters,

The last fortnight has been busy in the mental health reform space, with some exciting new developments taking shape. Here are 6 things you can do this week to help improve the Mental Health and Wellbeing System. 

1. Write to your local Member of the Legislative Council to support the passing of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill

Thank you to all Tandem members who wrote to their local MP or used their personal social media channels to support the passing of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill. The Bill passed through the Lower House of Parliament last week! It will now be debated by Victoria’s Upper House, the Legislative Council.

Help to maintain the momentum by writing to your local Member of the Legislative Council to encourage their support of the Bill. In case you missed it, our CEO Marie Piu recently joined other leaders to support the passage of the Bill. Read more about this below!

2. Have a say on Victoria’s new suicide prevention and response strategy

You are invited to help shape Victoria’s new suicide prevention and response strategy. The strategy includes several Royal Commission recommendations within it, including ways to provide support to people bereaved by suicide, and to set up a statewide, peer call-back service for families, carers and supporters caring for people experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviour.

Participate by filling in a survey or by making a public submission via the Engage Victoria website by Monday 29 August.

3. Check out the engagement calendar for the strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint – and consider applying to join the External Working Group

There are opportunities to participate in the development of this strategy, outlined in the engagement calendar on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Reform website. Expressions of interest are currently open for an External Working Group, which will develop specific elements of the strategy using co-design principles. Expressions of Interest close 2 September 2022. If you are interested in joining the group, please read the description position and email the completed EOI form to

4. Read the new Service Framework for Local Services

A new Service Framework for Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services (Local Services) has been developed to guide the operation and service delivery of Local Services across Victoria. Up to 60 new Local Services will provide an easy way to get treatment and support for people aged 26 years and over who are experiencing mental health challenges – including people with alcohol and drug addiction treatment and care needs. Read more about Local Services, and find out the location for the first 27 of these.

5. Spread the word about Our Reform conference and get a ticket if you haven’t already!

This landmark event will be an excellent opportunity to understand what is happening in the mental health reform space, and get stuck into some conversations about making real change.

6. Join our Participation Register

Tandem Participation Register gives participants the opportunity to represent Tandem at events as well as shape the direction of Victoria’s mental health reform. Register to join here

We hope you enjoy taking these small but significant steps to making a real difference!

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

Tandem enews 9 August 2022

Mental Health Australia CEO Update 29 July 2022

Mental Health News

Mental health and suicide in Australia
Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emma McBride, says more than 3,000 Australians died by suicide in 2020, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) latest report: Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring. “The report provides insight into the mental health and wellbeing of Australians at the start of the pandemic, with the country seeing an average of around nine deaths by suicide per day. The report indicates that males are three to four times more likely to take their own life than females, while females are more likely to attempt suicide or be hospitalised for intentional self-harm.

Read more

Please click on the link below to access the complete newsletter: