CEO Weekly Update - 12 September

 CEO Update, Mental Health Australia

 Workplace stigma survey

This Week

Pro Bono State of the NFP Sector Survey

On Monday I attended the National Press Club for the launch of the Pro Bono State of the NFP Sector Survey. The speakers, including the Rev Tim Costello, highlighted the challenges that the NFP sector face in the current environment, and the important value that NFPs offer to the community and the economy. There was a call for both government action and support, and sector led reform. I commend the report to you.
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Mentally Health Workplace Alliance

The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance met mid-week to discuss its continued progress. There is a strong sense that this work is really gathering momentum with good uptake of the Heads Up resources. Perhaps your organisation has a role to play in supporting the work of the Alliance? You can get more information here…
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National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum Meeting

On Thursday I joined our Consumer and Carer team in Melbourne for a meeting of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). The meeting continues today and has covered a range of important issues including the National Mental Health Commission’s (NMHC) Review and NDIS implementation at the Barwon launch site. Today, the meeting will hear from David Butt of the NMHC and Matthew Wright, CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations who will be discussing areas of common interest between the mental health and disability sectors. For more information about the Forum please visit their website. 
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Late in the week I had the chance to meet with Board members from PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) who possibly have the best acronym of all Mental Health Australia members.  It is always inspiring to see work that is born out of peer work - live experience - providing such high quality and effective services to people in need.  Yet another set of psychosocial programs that bridge the gaps between the siloed funding pools that governments frequently offer.  If you are not familiar with their work I’d encourage you to take a closer look.
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A new survey on workplace stigma

A new study is investigating the links between stigma, depression and recovery beliefs, and workplace characteristics. Undertaken through the Australian National University by Emily Clay, our Manager of Policy and Projects, the research is now calling for people to complete an anonymous online survey, available by clicking on the link below. Open until midnight on Friday 4 October, the survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete. As a member of the National Mentally Healthy Workplaces Alliance, Mental Health Australia is pleased to support this research, and I encourage you to do the same by distributing the survey through your networks. For additional information and materials, please contact Emily at ​
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World Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September

Congratulations to the team at Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA)  for a successful World Suicide Prevention Day campaign this week. The day provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the underlying causes of this preventable human tragedy. There is no doubt that if the mental health system was fully functioning and people were receiving the help they needed, suicide would be significantly reduced. Mental Health Australia was part of a joint response to the WHO’s first global report on suicide. Lead by SPA, our response outlined a range of areas that need urgent attention including a national public health strategy for suicide prevention, diversity in our approach, timely accurate data, robust evidence about what works and what doesn’t, amplification of the voices of lived experience and the need for all this to happen urgently.
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World Mental Health Day - promotional materials available

October is nearly here, and so is World Mental Health Day 2014!  Each year on 10 October, Australia takes a moment to think about the millions of people who have a mental illness. This year, we are looking at ways we can break down stigma, encourage people to seek help if they need it, while connecting communities and individuals with a keen interest in mental wellbeing. To help us promote “Mental Health Begins with Me!” this World Mental Health Day please order free promotional materials by clicking on the link below. You can also make a mental health promise and share it with friends and colleagues.

Last year the cross promotion amongst Mental Health Australia members provided a very strong multiplier effect to the campaign. Please consider how your organisation might support us this year by making and sharing promises and promoting and distributing 1010 resources.  Please contact to explore the many opportunities that exist for you to directly support the national campaign.

Thanks for your support.
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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

As advised in a previous update, Mental Health Australia has been working with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to develop a fact sheet for mental health service providers. The fact sheet provides straightforward advice for service providers on how to help people to engage with the Royal Commission and tell their story, along with information on the importance of ensuring they are informed about complex trauma and its impacts. Many people with mental health issues have an underlying lived experience of childhood trauma. The existence of the Royal Commission and stories in the media may cause survivors of all forms of trauma to seek help and it is critical that service providers are equipped to listen, hear and respond empathetically to those who disclose. I would ask you all to download the fact sheet by clicking on the link below and distributing it among your networks.
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Grace Groom Memorial Oration - tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the Grace Groom Memorial Oration, please click on the image below to register.

Grace Groom Memorial Oration


Parliamentary news

Report from Parliamentary Social, Public and Affordable Housing Inquiry

A report was released this week from the Parliamentary Social, Public and Affordable Housing inquiry initiated by The Greens NSW Housing spokesperson, Jan Barham. The report identified key areas for reform to address the housing crisis in NSW. The inquiry received over 250 submissions and visited inner city, suburban and regional areas to see and hear first-hand from local communities. The full report can be downloaded from the website.
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FIFO workers and mental illness

A reminder that the WA parliament is currently accepting submissions to their inquiry into mental illness and fly-in fly-out workers. Submissions are due by 26 September and the Mental Health Law Centre WA is available to offer advice if required. Further details are available from the website.
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Victorian Government announcements regarding mental health

The Victorian Government this week announced that nine rural and regional mental health and alcohol and drug service providers will share in $130,000 worth of grants under the Victorian Government Rural Workforce Innovation Grants Program. To read the full announcement including a list of grant recipients please visit the website. 

Also announced this week was extra funding under the Safety of Women in Mental Health Care initiative for a number of youth, adult or aged facilities across Victoria to enable them to put locks on bedroom doors, build private or female-only bathrooms as well as create female-only quiet spaces.
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Red-tape cuts for Job Services Australia providers

Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker this week announced a round of red-tape cuts for Job Services Australia providers so they can focus on getting more job seekers into work. The changes are aimed at helping providers in the lead-up to the new employment services model to operate from 1 July next year. With the re-purchasing of employment services imminent, we are watching closely to see what improvements there are for people with a lived experience of mental illness and their carers. 
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White Balloon Day - 12 September

Today is White Balloon Day, an annual event held by Bravehearts to raise awareness and funds for Australian children affected by sexual assault. Launched in 1997, the Australia-wide campaign is a key fixture during National Child Protection Week with funds raised going toward education, prevention and case management programs for the one in five Australian children sexually assaulted in some way before their 18th birthday. This year’s campaign theme is #whoRUprotecting. Australians are being urged to act for the children in their lives. For more details on the day or how you can contribute please visit the website.
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Partners in Recovery Regional Evaluation Workshops - save the date

Urbis will be running a series of regional evaluation workshops in October and November. Each PIR organisation is invited to send 2-3 people to the relevant workshop for their region. The purpose of the workshops is to gather information and facilitate discussion on approaches to the implementation and adaptation of the PIR model nationally, with a focus on evidence of early outcomes of the program. Full details on the workshops is available from the website.
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4th National Borderline Personality Disorder Conference

The Australian BPD Foundation invites you to the 4th National Borderline Personality Disorder Conference, being held in Melbourne on Thursday 2 October. The organisers are anticipating a very lively, positive and productive day. An excellent line-up of international and national speakers will present keynote addresses and workshops. For full details including registration information please visit the website.
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Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson to visit NT

Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson will be holding public forums in Alice Springs and Darwin in coming weeks as part of the national Rights & Responsibilities 2014 consultation. The forums will focus on what individuals and communities can contribute to achieve better protection of rights and freedoms, and to build an understanding of the responsibilities that come with this. Commissioner Wilson has also released a Discussion Paper and an online survey to gather feedback from the community on how well we currently protect people’s rights and freedoms in Australia. The national consultation will help uncover and identify human rights issues within the community and develop a roadmap for reform. Full details are available from the website.
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Online Case Formulation Training Program Addresses Complexity of Veterans’ Mental Health

The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health has partnered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to develop a free, innovative online training program for practitioners who provide treatment to veterans with mental health disorders. The Online Case Formulation Training Program will provide an insight into the unique veteran experience and the specific mental health issues veterans face. It will help practitioners to make better sense of the often complex needs of veterans, and to develop a “road map” for more effective treatment. Full details are available from the website.
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National Standards for Mental Health Services

The National Mental Health Commission is working with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) to improve the uptake of national mental health standards. The ACSQHC has conducted a scoping study on the implementation of national standards in mental health services. This study has provided a better understanding of the enablers, barriers and challenges to the implementation of the current National Standards in Mental Health Services, in particular, from the perspective of people with a mental health difficulty and their families and supporters. It also aimed to identify gaps in the standards concerning safety and quality in mental health service delivery.
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Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition

An essay competition has been launched to honour the work and memory of the late Professor Gavin Mooney, a health economist who was a tireless advocate for social justice in local, national and international arenas. This year’s topic is ‘the social and cultural determinants of mental health: collective responsibilities; individualism; austerity; entitlements.’  Entries for the $5,000 competition are open until 1 October.
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Women in Health and Ageing Leadership Summit

The Women in Health and Ageing Leadership Summit 2014 will be held on 2-3 December in Melbourne. The summit aims to provide critical strategies, solutions and practical insights for women to advance as leaders in health and aged care. Full details including the agenda and speakers are available from the website.
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Warm regards

Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer

Mental health begins with Me!
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