Weekly CEO Update: Finding balance from the boundary

Group photo of Deer Park women's division cricket club holding a large, triangular premiers flag. The flag says: "VTCA Deer Park Club - Women's Division Premiers 2020-2021"

It was a warmish autumn afternoon in Melbourne last Sunday as I sat with friends and family to watch the grand final of a local cricket competition. An exciting culmination of a season, with a premiership on offer, and a match featuring all of my girls.

It was the end of a season that had been interrupted by lockdowns, and new regulations on shining a cricket ball due to COVID-19. But finally, we could have a traditional ceremony celebrated in person by players, family and friends. 

They won (well done Williamstown CYs). But the fact that we could be there in person, with others, was the real win, and a nice reminder that some things should and will return to the way they were.

For me personally it was also a nice reminder to stop and reflect on what has already been an intense start to year for our mental health ecosystem, and the wider challenge of improving the mental health and wellbeing of our communities. 

After a year of managing and responding in the face of the global pandemic together as a nation, 2021 has commenced not with a long hot summer but with more lockdowns and border closures, vaccine roll outs and demands, and an increased focus on equality, respect and women’s rights, thanks to the voice and leadership of women with the strength to tell their stories.

Australian of the Year Grace Tame’s extremely helpful and humble way of calling out ‘unhelpful’ language is clearly starting a movement the public is endorsing, while at global level Meghan Markle’s strength to seek help over her own suicidality will give many more the strength to do the same.
Closer to home in our own mental health ecosystem we have witnessed an unprecedented focus on mental well-being, new programs rolled out in record time, new investment, a set of long-awaited key reports being released and a building momentum for reform.

From new findings and recommendations in Royal Commissions, to the establishment of an independent review by the Australian Human Rights Commission into the workplaces of Commonwealth Parliamentarians and their staff, change and reform is afoot.

Mental Health Australia welcomes this review and encourages those who need to inform it to do so in the confidence that there are supports available and that in examining the issues we can all move towards a safer and more productive workplace, especially for women.

There is much happening and much to think about.

And my weekend cricket match reminded me that with so much going on we also need to find balance, to look after our own mental health in such a demanding context.

So with that in mind, I hope your weekend is restful and balanced.
 

Leanne Beagley
CEO


 

 

NEXT WEEK

On Monday I am meeting with Rowena Clift, CEO Western Victoria Primary Health Network and on Tuesday I am looking forward to a stakeholder meeting with our Embrace Multicultural Mental Health project and a meeting at the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.
On Wednesday we have our monthly meeting with Mark Roddam and the mental health team at the Department of Health  
On Thursday we have a rare treat: an in-person meeting with Nicky Bath from the LGBTIQ+ Health Alliance. Later we are meeting with Tania De Jong from Mind Medicine Australia.
On Friday I have a CEO Forum at the NDIA

 

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University of Sydney Crest (a stylised lion above a cross with 4 stars on each side and a book in the middle) Text: The University of  Sydney Brain and Mind Centre

Brain and Mind Centre
Brain and Mind Centre is a group of multidisciplinary research teams at the forefront of brain and mind sciences. They collaborate across industries and disciplines to find answers to some of the world’s greatest health challenges


Pathways southwest logo: purple stylised sun in a swirl formation. Text: pathways southwest Towards better mental health

Pathways SouthWest Inc
Pathways SouthWest was established 27 years ago and is a unique organisation which partners with its consumers and carers to reduce the impact of mental illness. We promote recovery by providing specialised non-clinical mental health support to people in the community who experience serious and persistent mental illness, as well as carers (those people who provide care and support to consumers).

 

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News

The Australian Department of Health’s implementation plan sets out principles to ensure that information and services for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program are delivered in appropriate languages and formats for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and within appropriate facilities and locations. You can access the plan here.

Embrace Australia logo (a rectangle with a light and dark purple cultural stripe pattern with "embrace" and stylised outline of the Australian continent in the lower right corner).

 

Mental Health News

Post suicide support and aftercare program available to support vulnerable young people

A new NSW Government trial will give children and young people access to community-based, non-clinical support following an attempted suicide. Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the service will be designed by young people with lived experience of suicide alongside families and carers, youth mental health and suicide prevention experts.

Read more


The 2020 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Report is now available

This latest Report from Australia’s largest workplace mental health study features insights from COVID-19’s profound impact on workers around the nation. The Report also highlights at-risk industries and populations, actions most likely to improve worker outcomes, and the relationship between gender identity and mental health during the pandemic.

Read more


‘We’re people, not numbers’: Disability groups plea with MPs to halt new assessment model

An unprecedented alliance of disability representatives, providers and advocates are urging their elected representatives to press pause on plans which would undermine the integrity of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Under the planned changes: all future NDIS participants must undergo an assessment with an unknown assessor rather than their health professional; they will then be given a score, and an algorithm will then determine the level of support they receive based on this score; there will be no way for participants to appeal the decision.

Read more


How to teach your teenager about consent

With the conversations in the media at the moment around sexual assault and consent, you might be wondering how to best approach this with the young people in your life. ReachOut has produced resources on consent available online.

Read more

 

Reminders 

2021 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference 21OPCC

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) will hold their 16th Oceanic Palliative Care Conference online from 7 – 10 September 2021. The Conference, held biennially, is the pre-eminent event for all those passionate about palliative and end-of-life care. Conference early bird registrations and the call for abstracts are now open.

 

The Eleventh Winston S Rickards Memorial Oration in child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing

The Eleventh Winston S Rickards Memorial Oration will focus on the opportunities and challenges to achieving an accessible, equitable, and evidence-based system for prevention, timely intervention, and effective management of child mental health issues. It will be delivered by Professor Frank Oberklaid, Paediatrician, who founded and headed up The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health, and who has had a leading role in developing policy at both state and national levels in Australia. It’s a free event, to be delivered on Monday, 19th April 2021 at 7.30pm in the Ella Latham Theatre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria and via Zoom. You can RSVP for the Oration here.

 

National Training Strategy for borderline personality disorder

The Australian BPD Foundation, with funding from the NMHC, is rolling out a 4 stage National Training Strategy to upskill clinicians and service providers to recognise, respond to and treat people living with BPD and be inclusive of family and friends. Stages 1 and 2 are available online. Stage 3 are intensive (free) core 2 day core competency workshops around Australia. The Foundation are primarily seeking EOI from clinicians based in the Northern Territory to undertake the face-to-face training in June 2021. Ongoing mentoring and supervision (Stage 4) will be offered to participants for the life of the project. Learn more about the National Training Strategy for borderline personality disorder here.

 

FearLess National Conversation 2021 to highlight “PTSD in an era of trauma”

FearLess will hold its 2021 Conversation with the theme ‘PTSD in an Era of Trauma’ virtually across two days on 24-25 August 2021. The event is dedicated to building its national network that informs and educates the health professionals who care for, research, and treat PTSD, as well as supporting the one million Australians currently suffering from the condition and the estimated five million Australians who are actively supporting or caring for someone with PTSD. The Conversation Call for Speakers is currently open, and early bird ticket sales for the Conversation will open on 31 March.

 

Neighbour Day

Neighbour Day 2021 will take place on Sunday 28 March, it is Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people and organisations to connect with their neighbours. Neighbours matter (whether near, far, or online), and now, more than ever, is the time to tackle loneliness, and to work together to ensure healthy and safe relationships throughout the pandemic, and beyond. Relationships Australia are asking everyone to get creative, reach out, and to encourage social connection.

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