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6 February 2014
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Inside this edition (quick links):

>> Mental Health Carers Voice
>> Latest news from ACT representative, National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
>> Carers Corner
>> Carers ACT
>> ACT News
>> National and International News and Research
>> In the Media

**Meet your Carer Representative forum**

The first Networking & Consulting Forum for 2014 will provide mental health carers with an opportunity to meet with their representatives.  Carer representatives will be available to chat with you in an informal setting, and to provide you with information on the range of topics covered by their participation on local and national committees.  Representatives are keen to hear from you, and to listen to any concerns you may be experiencing in the mental health system.  An intended outcome of this forum is to provide carers with an avenue (by working through their representatives) for presenting a carer perspective on systemic issues at local and national group meetings.
Date: Tuesday 25 February
Time: 5.00 - 7.00pm
Location: Griffin Centre, Level 1, Meeting Room 6
Cost: Free. Refreshments will be provided
RSVP: Monday 24 February. Phone Emma Judges on 6296 9952 or email  Please let Emma know of any dietary requirements.

Carer Representative

A number of carer representative positions have become vacant due to the expiry of the terms of appointment.  The Mental Health Carers Voice program is inviting nominations from mental health carers for the following vacancies:

Division of Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services:
Information management & Information Technology
Publications Advisory Committee
Risk Management

Adult Mental Health Unit:
Clinical Effectiveness
Consumer and Carer Feedback

Mental Health Policy Unit, Policy Division:
Transcultural Mental Health Advisory Group

For more information about the committees or if you would like to enquire about becoming a carer representative, please do not hesitate to contact Emma on 6296 9952 or email
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from Janet Milford, ACT representative, National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum

Medicare needs a revamp --- but not at the expense of those who need it most

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has urged the Australian Government to establish a comprehensive inquiry aimed at ensuring Australia retains universal access to quality health care.

Recent disclosures concerning a proposed $6 co-payment to see the GP, and Medibank Private’s trial of a scheme giving preferment to GP patients with health insurance, point to a disturbing erosion of Medicare’s goal of access for all to primary health care. CHF believes the time is right to review the Medicare funding model – but not at the expense of those who need it most. Click here for the media release.
It is essential that consumer views inform and influence the coming debate and Government policy.
CHF needs your help.
CHF are encouraging consumers and carers to respond to a CHF survey at:
CHF are also encouraging people to contribute to the discussion on the OurHealth website. If you would like to share your personal story with CHF, please email Policy and Communications Officer, Priyanka Rai at or phone 6273 5444. 
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Call for stories

A carer has sent in this call for stories and poetry. Further information can be found at this website

You can contribute stories to Glimpses at and poetry to Minds Unleashed at

Only submit your contributions if you are happy for them to be distributed and forwarded freely.
Email or post your submission to:
Nicci Wall
Mental Health Advocate
c/o 43 Browallia Drive
Rose Park Vic 3214 email submissions preferred.

Carers input welcome

We are grateful for any input to the MHCV E-Bulletin from carers, if you have something that you may think is of interest to our readers, please let us know by emailing Emma at
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2014 Carers Gathering at Murramarang


The 2014 Carers Gathering will be held from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 March at the beautiful Murramarang Beachfront Resort on the South Coast.

Carers can take time out, enjoy good food, great company and participate in some relaxing activities or simply enjoy a walk on the beach.

All transport costs, accommodation, meals and equipment are provided by Carers ACT.

As places are limited, carers are required to apply to attend this event. Priority will be given to carers who did not attend the Carers Gathering 2013.

Applications close Friday 14 February 2014 and you will be notified of the outcome of your application by Friday 21 February 2014.

For more information or if you wish to request an application form, email or phone Jess on 6296 9961.

This event is open to current carers registered with Carers ACT living in the ACT or Southern Highlands.

Click here for the application form.

Introduction to Mindfulness


This introductory session will give carers the opportunity to understand why so many people with busy, stressful lives have found more peace and enjoyment of life through mindfulness. Come along, try some simple exercises, ask questions and find out how mindfulness can assist you in all aspects of your life. The session will be followed by a light morning tea.

Southside session:
Date: Wednesday 12 February 

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm

Location: Smith Family Building, Corner of Launceston and Easty Streets, Woden

Northside session:
Date: Tuesday 4 March 

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm

Location: Carers Hub, Carers ACT, 80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt

Bookings are essential. For further information or to RSVP please call 6296 9908 or email


Self-Advocacy for Carers

Skills workshops to enhance carers confidence, skills and capacity in representing family needs.

Session 1: Introduction to and achieving effective advocacy.
Session 2: Challenges and barriers to effective advocacy and how to overcome them.

Session 1 Date: Tuesday 18 February
Session 2 Date: Thursday 20 February
Time: 9.30am - 12.30pm
Location: Carers Hub, Carers ACT 80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt

Bookings are essential. For more information or to RSVP please email or phone 6296 9924.

Mental Health Carers

Southside Support Group

This is a support group for family members and friends caring for someone living with mental health issues. The group meets on one Wednesday evening most months.
Wednesday 26 March, 30 April, 28 May
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Location: Woden Smith Family, Corner of Launceston and Easty Streets, Woden
For further information please call 1800 242 636 or email

Northside Support Group

This is a support group for family members and friends caring for someone living with mental health issues. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

Tuesday 8 April, 13 May, 10 June
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm

Location: Carers ACT, 80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt
For further information please call 1800 242 636 or email


Mental Health Carers Respite – 1800 052 222

The Mental Health Respite Program provides flexible respite and other supports to meet the individual needs of carers of people with severe mental illness, autism or intellectual disabilities and their families. Services include respite options based on needs assessments, information and referral, links to education programs, counselling, peer support, advocacy services and social and recreational activities. Please call 1800 052 222 or email The Mental Health Respite program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs.  For more information about support available under this Program, visit the Carers ACT website.

Counselling at Carers ACT — Supporting Family Carers
— 1800 242 636

Did you know that Carers ACT can provide short-term counselling for family carers? Our counselling service can help you manage difficult situations and balance caring in your life. Qualified counsellors are located on site in Holt and Woden to provide carers with confidential and professional face-to-face and telephone counselling. Call the Carer Advisory Service to make an appointment on 1800 242 636.  Click here for more information on support that Carers ACT counsellors can offer mental health carers.
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Home away from HOME

Canberrans are looking to the success of HOME in Queanbeyan for their own take on community-run, supported accommodation for people with serious mental health issues.

Officially launched last October, My Home in Canberra is now seeking out high-profile members of the Canberra community to form a board for the fledgling organisation.

Planning committee chair John Tucker told The Queanbeyan Age that the organisation hopes to have the My Home in Canberra residence up and running by June 2015. And the HOME in Queanbeyan board had been a great source of inspiration and guidance, he said.

Click here to read further.

Invitation to the first NDIS community conversation for 2014

You are invited to The Imagined Future, an information and planning session to help prepare people living with disability and their families for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in July 2014.

Community Conversations are for people with disability and/or their families or other unpaid carers who would like to:
  • Think about how life could be different or better
  • Challenge their ideas about what a good life might look like
  • Share their stories, successes and challenges with others
  • Be as ready as possible for the NDIS, which will begin in the ACT on 1 July 2014
The conversation is facilitated by the Belconnen Community Service and supported by the Peer Led Working Group.

Date: Wednesday 12 February 

Time: 6.00 - 9.00pm

Social Bean Cafe, Belconnen Community Health Centre, Lathlain Street, Belconnen

This is a free event but bookings are essential by 7 February to or phone 6264 0232 / TTY 6205 0888. A light dinner will be provided

Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT)

MIEACT is recruiting volunteers to give presentations about mental illness to high school and college students as well as to the general community. All volunteers are fully trained, work in pairs and are reimbursed for expenses.

Who can volunteer?
Volunteers need to have lived experience of mental illness, either first person or as a friend or family member, and are able to be reflective of the processes, people and events that led to your recovery journey.
MIEACT are hosting two information sessions in late February for people who want to find out more about volunteering with MIEACT.
Thursday 20 February 6.30 - 9.00pm (light refreshments served both evenings)  
Tuesday 25 February 5.30 - 8.00pm
For more information or to book a spot in a session, please contact Ben Matthews on 6257 1195 or email

Conversations for Life

OzHelp Foundation are offering a new suicide prevention program called Conversations for Life.
This 1/2 day suicide prevention program is for everyone, and particularly those who are interested in keeping others safe and connected. It offers practical ways to reduce the risk of suicide before it becomes a crisis and is part of an integrated suite of uniquely Australian suicide prevention training programs.

Date: Wednesday 19 February 

Time: 9.30am - 1.00pm (morning tea provided)

Oz Help Foundation, Unit 6, 41-45 Tennant Street, Fyshwick
Cost: $70.00 per person

To register for this program visit< or contact Tricia Eldridge, OzHelp Community Service on 6251 4166 or email<

Heath InterACTion - Issue 17

Click here for the latest issue of Health InterACTion.

Included in this issue is an invitation from beyondblue and ACT Medicare Local inviting local health service providers and stakeholders with an interest in mental health to the ‘Take 1 Step’ for better mental health knowledge and network session.
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Review of Existing Mental Health Services and Programmes

The Australian Government has assigned the National Mental Health Commission to conduct a national review of mental health services and programmes.

This review will examine existing mental health services and programmes across the government, private and non-government sectors. The focus of the review will be to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and services in supporting individuals experiencing mental ill health and their families and other support people to lead a contributing life and to engage productively in the community.

Click here to read the Review Terms of Reference.

Report on Government Services: Health and Community Services

The Productivity Commission produces annual reports on government services. The reports  information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia with data for each state and territory. The 2014 Health component includes information about:
  • Public hospitals
  • Primary and community health services
  • Mental health management
  The 2014 Community Services includes information about:
  • Aged care services
  • Services for people with disability
  • Child protection
  • Youth justice services
Read the Health information here and the Community Services information here For the full report see

Report underlines Victoria's reforms to mental health treatment, care and recovery

The Victorian Coalition Government’s focus on supporting people with mental illness to live well in the community has been underlined by the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS). Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said that the report shows Victoria continues to have the highest proportion of total public mental health expenditure directed to community based services of any state in the country.

Click here for the media release.

More details on Victoria’s mental health services can be found in the December 2013 publication, Victoria’s Priorities for Mental Health Reform 2013-15, available from:

Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry

Inquiry into grandparents who take primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren

The Committee invites you to provide a written submission addressing issues that may be of relevance to you. The Committee would appreciate your submission to be lodged by 14 March 2014. Please contact the secretariat if you wish to make a submission but are unable to do so by this date.
The Committee prefers to receive submissions online as an attached document by accessing the committee website and selecting the Upload Submission Online link at Alternatively, submissions may be emailed as an attached document to

Should you require further information please contact the Committee Secretariat on 6277 3515.

LIFE News - issue 29

LIFE News is the online newsletter of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy in Australia. Published bi-monthly, LIFE News features project profiles, discussion questions, events, and more.

Click here for LIFE News 29.

Stop preventing people with disabilities from voting - Media release

The Australian Government should scrap discriminatory laws that prevent persons “of unsound mind” from voting, the Human Rights Law Centre has said in a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission.

The HRLC’s Director of Advocacy and Research, Emily Howie, said democracy was all about inclusion, not exclusion.

Click here for the full media release.
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Australian Story - Matthew Reilly

Blockbuster author, Matthew Reilly, reveals the story behind the torment that ledhim to the brink of disaster.

Click here for the interview transcript. To view the episode on iview follow this link

headspace — Australia’s innovation in youth mental health: who are the clients and why are they presenting?

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is the Australian Government’s major investment in the area of youth mental health. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing revealed that one in four young people experience a clinically relevant mental health problem within any 12-month period, compared with one in five in the general population.

Click here for the full study published by the Medical Journal of Australia.

More Older Aussies Working and Caring - Report

The number of older Australians balancing work and unpaid caring is growing and forcing more people to remain in the workforce for longer, a recent report has found.

The report, called A Juggling Act: Older Carers and Paid Work in Australia, by the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre used data from the 2011-12 Barriers to Employment for Mature Age Australians Survey, which involved 3,007 respondents aged between 45 and 74 years.

Click here to read further.

Links to current media that may be of interest to carers

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If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact Lifeline
131 114, beyondblue 1300 224 636, or Salvo Care Line 1300 363 622. 

The opinions expressed in this E-Bulletin do not necessarily reflect 
the opinions and views of Carers ACT.

Mental Health Carers Voice E-Bulletin is funded by the ACT Government.

Mental Health Carers Voice, Mental Health Carers Voice E-Bulletin, the content and design are Copyright © 2014 Carers ACT. All rights reserved.
Contact us:
Telephone: 6296 9952
Address: 2/80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt, ACT, 2615

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