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Enewsletter Message from Executive Officer Supporting carers, relatives and friends of people with mental ill health.

The launch of Mental Health Carers Tas has been exciting with many commenting on the positive new name and branding. Thank you! This edition reports the events during Mental Health Week and Carers week. Most of these events would not have been successful had we not received significant in kind support from many individuals and organisations. You are being asked to provide any comments for us to include in our submission on the Tasmanian Carer Recognitions and Support Framework. We are excited to begin the statewide Wellness and Resilience project with the first workshop in December.

Kate and Wendy at Road2Recovery

Through a request from one of our members at the AGM we are preparing a submission regarding Advanced Care Directives and issues that impact on Carers and Consumers. We intend to submit to all Tasmanian Government politicians and the National Mental Health Commission. We would like to hear your experiences and suggestions you have. You can either send an email to me or call and we can meet. Enjoy this edition, Wendy Groot.

Message from the President Welcome to the first newsletter published under our new name, which was approved at the Annual General Meeting on October 6th. I am delighted to have been re-elected as the President for another year and am confident that, with the support of the Board and the energy and effectiveness of our EO and staff, Mental Health Carers Tasmania will go from strength to strength over the coming 12 months. I am very pleased to congratulate the Board members on their election and welcome three new Board members: –– Katrina Wickham, who has extensive training and project management experience. She has considerable experience and skills in quality assurance, risk management and occupational health and safety. She is the Project worker – Quality Assurance with Aspire, A Pathway to Mental Health.

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–– Simon Froude, who has extensive executive, non-executive director and CEO experience. He has particular skills in marketing, public relations and communications. He is the General Manager – Tasmania for the Royal Flying Doctors Service of Australia. –– Trudy Heins, who has particular skills and experience in finance, and a strong understanding of the challenges for NFP Boards. Trudy runs her own business and is also the station sales manager for Edge radio. Trudy has accepted the executive role of Treasurer for the coming year. The other members of the Board are: –– Elida Meadows (Vice President), currently Policy Officer with the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, with a strong commitment to addressing the needs of carers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;


–– Gary Kelly (Secretary). Gary has been a member of the Board for a number of years and brings a wealth of knowledge about the organisation. His particular interests are in the areas of Peer Support. –– Anne Sheehan, who brings considerable experience in the area of physical health and well-being, as well as strong skills in government processes and submission writing.

The majority of our Board members have lived experience of mental ill-health, either as family members or as consumers. This, combined with the Board’s comprehensive array of skills and depth of governance experience, means that Mental Health Carers can take its place with confidence in the forefront of peer support and advocacy in Tasmania.

–– Rabia Markham, Rabia has particular understandings and strengths as a peer educator and is currently employed in the mental health sector.

Connections with Carers Event – Carers week The Connections of Care community event was held at the Ravenswood Neighbourhood House during Carer Week on Wednesday 17th October 2012 to honour the contribution Carers make to their community. Consistent with Mental Health Carers Tasmania’s focus on Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention the

event also set out to create conversations within communities about strengthening mental health within families and communities. The day would not have been a success without the support and collaboration of 13 different groups and individuals who provided a significant array of resources, people power and food. Some highlights included; Tai Chi, Yoga, drumming, great food, art session, and a celebration of the significant role carers, friends and relatives have to someone experiencing mental ill health. Ravenswood Primary school contributed art works on the theme “what makes me happy”. Thanks to David McKenzie our staff worker for all the work you did to bring this event together.

Social work practicum at MHCT Joanne, is a 3rd year social work student from the University of Tasmania, completing her social work practicum at Mental Health Carers Tasmania . The key aim of prac is to experience a range of tasks and to see how theory translates into practice. Jo says “I have found Mental Health Carers Tasmania to be a very encouraging and welcoming space where David has been very generous to share his knowledge and practice skills. In my first few weeks, I had the opportunity to assist with the project management of the ‘Connections of Care – Strengthening Communities and Families’ community day. I have also had the opportunity to learn about mental health care provision in the Australian context. I have learnt about the State and Federal policies and legislation surrounding mental health care

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provision and have researched the current ‘Recovery’ model of service. From a social work perspective I am very interested in social justice and human rights and the Recovery model fits well with this approach. At Mental Health Carers Tas. there is a focus on wellness and maintaining good mental health, which includes looking after the carers of a person who experiences a mental illness. This makes for a great environment to learn new skills as a social work student. I am very grateful to Wendy and David for the opportunity to be part of the Mental Health Carers Tasmania team while on prac.”


Wellness and Resilience project Mental Health Carers Tasmania, in collaboration with Hobart Clinic and Richmond Fellowship, has developed a wellness and resilience project aimed at supporting carers through enhancing their skills and knowledge in supporting family members and to keep themselves well. There will be a series of free structured workshops focusing on recovery, stress management and building resilience.

The program will be delivered by Karen Clark the project officer. Karen has had her own personal journey in the role of carer. At the same time Karen has many years experience in the field of training and education as well as establishing her own business in this area.

The first workshop will focus on linking recovery principles and skills which carers can apply to their situations to build their personal resources tool kit; skills such as goal setting, effective communication, expressing needs will be included along with some consideration of what is resilience and how can it be strengthened.

Where- Mental Health Carers Tas 1 St John’s Ave New Town

There will also be two other shorter workshops specifically looking at approaches to stress management, and resilience building. Each of the three workshops are stand alone but are also designed to complement each other. These workshops will be offered around the state in the early part of 2013. Also in 2013 the aim is to train volunteers who will then deliver these workshops. Any potential Volunteer Facilitator needs to have participated in all 3 workshops.

Workshop – Recovery from a Carer Perspective When- Dec 3rd 2012

Time – 10am to 3pm lunch provided Cost- This is a Free Workshop Register by calling – 62287448 The topics covered on the day include key principles underlying Recovery and how to apply them to support ourselves as carers. Recovery is a process not a destination. We will be exploring Hope, Personal Responsibility, Empowerment, Discovery and Connectedness. “ Every problem, hurdle, hiccup were necessary for me to arrive at where I am today...”

SANE Australia Survey Emergency services and mental illness – have your say...

What support do they offer to family and friends? And how do they treat patients with a mental illness?

When someone living with a mental illness experiences an episode or other form of crisis, there is often a need to contact emergency services – ambulance, police, or a psychiatric crisis team if available. There may be a visit to a hospital emergency department and sometimes admission to a mental health ward.

If you or someone close to you has had this experience, please visit www.sane.org and complete the short survey.

The latest SANE Research Bulletin is investigating how well emergency services respond to help people with a mental illness.

SANE Australia will use the findings to advocate on behalf of people affected by mental illness. The SANE Helpline – 1800 18 SANE (7263) – is available if you want to discuss any issues raised by the survey.

Tas Carer Policy Framework In recognition of the vital role carers play in our society, the Tasmanian Government is developing a Tasmanian Carer Recognitions and Support Framework to increase the recognition of carers, improve services and support to carers, and to use their unique insight and care-provision experience in planning processes and service delivery.

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The framework will comprise four elements: –– Tasmanian Carer Policy –– Tasmanian Carer Action plan –– Legislative amendment to include a standard definition of carer –– an entity to ensure acquittal of the carer action plan The first element of the framework is now released for public consultation.


It is open for comment until the 3rd December. Mental Health Carers Tas encourages carers to make comment. You can do that by providing your own written comment or send comments to us for inclusion in our written submission. Copies of the framework are available from www.dpac. tas.gov.au

Roads2Recovery The inaugural Roads2Recovery Community walk was a fantastic event. Thank you to everyone who provided support and “walked” on the day Rather that talk about the day I have attached photos which tell the story far better than words. We look forward to next year’s walk and have started planning already.

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‘Succeeding Together’

We are a member of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia

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We are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services

1 St John’s Ave, New Town TAS 7008 North (03) 6349 1121 South (03) 6228 7448 North West (03) 6441 5280 Tuesday–Friday: 9am– 2pm 24 hour answering machine

www.mentalhealthcarerstas.org.au


Mental Health Carers Tasmania newsletter December 2012