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News and media

Mind will keep you up to date and informed about news and media at Mind and in the mental health area. 


As of 1 July 2014 Mental Health Complaints Commission comes into operation

The MHCC was established through Victoria’s new Mental Health Act 2014 to receive and resolve complaints about Victorian public mental health services. It is completely independent and separate from mental health services.

Anyone can contact the commission to talk about their concerns.

This includes:

  • People receiving or trying to access public mental health services (consumers)
  • Any person who is acting on behalf of a consumer
  • Any person who has a genuine interest in the wellbeing of a consumer

This means that consumers, carers, family members, friends, advocates, staff and any other person who has concerns about a person’s experience with a public mental health service can make a complaint to the commission.

What kind of complaint can you make?

You can talk to them about any concern or complaint about public mental health services in Victoria.

You can also talk to them if your complaint is about not receiving a service.

Even if it’s not something that they are able to deal with, they will help you find the best person to talk to and help you.

Mental Health Complaints Commission Website: http://www.mhcc.vic.gov.au/index.htm

You can make an enquiry or complaint by
Phone: 1800 246 054 (free call from landlines)
Email: help@mhcc.vic.gov.au
Fax: 03 9949 1506

Open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.


People with psychosocial disability want better health, jobs and friends: new research

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is in its pilot phase and according to new research at one trial site, people are clear about what they want from this ground-breaking change in service provision.

Improved health, economic security, more social connections such as friends, safe and stable housing and closer ties with families and intimate relationships are the priorities for people with a psychosocial disability.

The research, People Making Choices, was done in Victoria’s Barwon region and commissioned by Mind Australia. It was conducted with the Centre for Mental Health, the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, the University of Melbourne and the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University.

To download the summary report, People Making Choices: The Support Needs and Preferences of People with a Psychosocial Disability.


Radical reform needed for mental health system says peak body

Australia’s mental health sector needs radical and sustained reform to remedy a “fundamentally broken system”, says the Mental Health Council of Australia in its latest submission to the Federal Government’s review.

“We need substantial change not just tinkering at the edges to achieve change,” says the MHCA’s Chief Executive Frank Quinlan in the organisation’s recommendations to the National Mental Health Commission which is conducting the government review. The commission will report its findings by November 30.

The Mental Health Council of Australia is the peak, national non-government organisation representing the interests of the Australian mental health sector. It is committed to achieving better mental health for all Australians.

The council says the following steps need to be taken to help create a high-performing mental health system:

  • Government endorsement and commitment to a common set of whole-of-life targets for improved consumer and carer outcomes;

  • Priority to mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention;

  • Matching consumer and carer needs with the right assistance;

  • Seamless integration and coordination of policies, services and programs (both within the health system and across systems such as employment, housing and education);

  • Building systems that support recovery and

  • The Commonwealth should provide national leadership and hold responsibility for areas of mental health in which national consistency is critical.

“Only through the careful consideration and execution of the measures submitted by the MHCA to the review can we hope to lay the structural foundations for reform and begin to drastically improve outcomes for consumers and carers,” says Mr Quinlan.


The Mind Colloquium Series

in collaboration with VICSERV and The Centre for Mental Health, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.

The next Colloquium will be held on Thursday 3 July 2014.  Ellie Fossey will present on "Possibilities for connecting with others - learning from lived expertise" For more information, click here.


PRESS RELEASE: Recommission Outcomes for Victoria

Reforming Community Support Services for People with a Mental Illness: Outcomes for Mind Australia click here.


Trauma and Homelessness Initiative (THI)

The Trauma and Homelessness Initiative (THI) was launched in early May.

The initiative is a partnership between the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and four homelessness service providers: Sacred Heart Mission (SHM), Mind Australia, Inner South Community Health (ISCH), and VincentCare Victoria. The importance of understanding the impact of trauma is increasingly recognised amongst services working with people who experience homelessness. The initiative involved a series of four studies designed to investigate the nature of the relationship between trauma and homelessness, with each study building on the findings of the last.

As part of the launch a suite of resources were developed and are available here:

To download the Trauma and Homelessness Initiative Research Findings click here [2.8MB]
To download the Trauma and Homelessness Initiative Trauma and Homelessness Service Framework click here [1.8MB]
To download the Trauma and Homelessness Worker Guidebook Part 1 click here [4.4MB]
To download the Trauma and Homelessness Worker Guidebook Part 2 click here [4.6MB]


Community Recovery Program launch

Austin Mind CRP Launch

The Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge officially opened Austin Health’s new Community Recovery Program (CRP), co-located with the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital on 17 April 2014. The CRP is a joint initiative between Austin Health and community mental health provider, Mind Australia, providing an additional 22 beds for people with mental illness.

With a mix of one and two bedroom units, the program supports the recovery and integration of people with a severe mental illness within a community model. Clients, supported by Mind and Austin Health staff including consumer and carer peer workers and a consultant psychiatrist, can stay for up to two years at the facility. 


Mind Carer Development Fund 

 On 26 March 2014, guests and Mind staff gathered at The Boulevard in Kew to celebrate the launch of an exciting new initiative for mental health carers — the Mind Carer Development Fund. The fund is an important outcome of the recent merger between Mind Australia and ARAEFMI Victoria, who have both contributed $750,000 as part of a shared commitment to developing services and supports for families and carers of people with mental ill-health.

Mind’s Deputy Chief Executive Margaret Grigg emceed the event and introduced the guest speakers — Jeremy Coggin, Andrew Concannon, Ruth Vine and Julian Gardner — who talked about the merger, explained the purpose and role of the Mind Carer Development Fund and introduced the Advisory Committee. The launch was wrapped up with the unveiling of a plaque that acknowledged the occasion and the inaugural screening of a new Mind video clip.

While the afternoon was an incredible success, the real success will be seen in this new and progressive phase of development for families and carers. Mind is strongly committed to improving the family and carer agenda, listening to families and carers, undertaking research and seeking to inform and influence stakeholders about the needs of families and carers.

Carers, Please Tell Your Stories

ARAFMI Australia is currently seeking personal stories from mental health carers for their website ‘My National Voice’. The ‘My National Voice’ website raises awareness of carer issues through publishing personal stories online, and collating these stories for national advocacy initiatives. The website is currently being developed and they are planning to launch it mid this year. For more information; contact Jane Henty on arafminational@mindaustralia.org.au  or call (03) 9457 7130. Subsequently we will discuss with you the next steps of writing your story. You may be anonymous if you wish.  For fact sheet please click here. 

Victorian Government’s Mental Health Review Needs You

An important review of Victoria’s mental health system is underway and needs your help. The review, which started in December last year, will include consultations with consumers, families and carers, self-help groups, volunteers and workers in mental health services - including peer workers and recipients of peer support services. 

These consultations are taking place in January and February with the aim of finding the best practice in design and management of programs covered by the review which include a variety of Mind programs including respite, ARAFEMI carer helpline and services and our Pals program. To see the list of relevant programs and activities being reviewed, please click here.

The consultations will be run by Deloitte Access Economics at venues in Ringwood, Dandenong, Prahran and Melbourne’s CBD as well as Sale and Prahran. Spaces are limited and you will be reimbursed with a $53.40 Coles Group & Myer card for your time. If you are interested, please contact Sasha Zegenhagen at Deloitte on 9671 6218 or szegenhagen@deloitte.com.au

There will also be surveys for you to complete either online or on paper, so please, watch this space and we will let you know when they are available.

The review, to be completed by mid-2014, will advise the State Government on how current funding may more effectively support consumers, families and carers and strengthen their participation in the mental health system.

A highly qualified reference group has already been working with the Department of Health on preparatory research and analysis.

For more information, please visit the Department of Health website.


Join Our Insurance Campaign

If you have lived experience of mental illness and believe you have been treated unfairly by an insurer, you can join a campaign working to make insurance fair and accessible. 

Mind Australia has joined with the Mental Health Council of Australia, an independent mental health organisation, and the anti-depression initiative beyondblue in tackling the issue of improving access to insurance for people with mental illness. 

The MHCA and beyondblue started the campaign and believe people with a history of mental illness (and even people who insurance companies suspect could have an undiagnosed mental illness) are often unfairly refused access to a range of insurance products. 

They hear stories about people having difficulties with life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, income protection and travel insurance. These organisations believe insurers may be discriminating against people with lived experience of mental illness without a reasonable legal basis. 

So they are asking people in this position to come forward and tell your stories about ways in which insurance companies may have discriminated against them because of their lived experience. You can do this in the following ways:                                                                            

Visit http://www.beyondblue.org.au/about-us/programs/system-reform-and-access/discrimination-in-insurance/tell-us-your-story and fill out the simple form regarding your story; 

Call Emily Clay at the council on (02) 6285 3100 or email emily.clay@mhca.org and tell her your story; 

Or call Sally Fisher at Mind Australia on (03) 9455 7991 and she can take down your story or send it to Sally at Mind Australia, 86-92 Mount Street, Heidelberg Vic 3084.

Your story is important and change can only come if we all work together.


Seeking National Mental Health Leaders - National Call for Nominations

The National Mental Health Commission is seeking nominations from Australians of all backgrounds for a mentoring and development program aimed at supporting existing leaders and advocates, and finding the next generation of mental health leaders. Specifically, the Commission is seeking nominations of those with lived experience of mental health issues, either as a person living with mental illness or as a primary family member or other significant support person. If you or anyone you know might be interested visit:

http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/our-work/seeking-national-mental-health-leaders.aspx to find out more. 


Transition to Support Facilitation: a 2 day training

Mind is offering the opportunity for interested workers to participate in the newly developed training for workers who will be moving into PIR Support Facilitation or Care Coordination roles.  For more information, click here


DisabilityCare (NDIS) to be rolled out across Victoria

The Victorian Coalition and Commonwealth Governments reached a historic agreement that will allow for the full roll-out of the NDIS, now known as DisabilityCare Australia, across Victoria. 

The agreement will provide more than 100,000 Victorian residents with significant or profound disability choice and control over the care and support they receive.

For bulletin click here.

Mind sponsors a forum on what the NDIS means for mental health service providers

Mind Australia held a forum for stakeholders in mental health, including service providers, consumers and carers, to consider the likely impacts of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on the delivery of mental health supports and resources.

The forum was chaired by Dr Rhonda Galbally AO and addressed by the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing. People heard from presenters from government and other service providers who are involved in the implementation of the NDIS.

Click on the folowing links to download more information including the day’s program, a sample of speaker presentations and a summary of the key points from participant discussions.

  1. NDIS Program
  2. NDIS Forum discussion - key points
  3. David Meldrum presentation
  4. Frank Quinlan presentation
  5. Margaret Springgay presentation
  6. Alexandra Gunning presentation
  7. Roland Naufal presentation


The Prevention and Recovery Care Exit Survey

This report outlines the process and outcomes of conducting an exit survey over a three month trial by three participating Mind Australia Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) services. The report is written by Dr Lisa Brophy, and Michael Loh, Service Development Manager at Mind.

Click here to download a copy of the report.


Using Outcome Measures in Mind Australia: discussion paper

Mind Australia has a commitment to examining the quality and effectiveness of its services, and outcome measurement provides an important contribution to this commitment. Click here for more information.




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