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summer 2010

issue120

mivoice

MI Fellowship awards -meet the winners p11

our new radio show p4 advocacy matters

mental health and the election p6-7 1 in 5 will be affected with mental illness. 5 in 5 can help. Be one of them. See back cover for details. Registered with the Department of Human Services Print Post Approved 350190 / 00023 ISSN 0816 7877


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from our president The last quarter has seen a wealth of activity from MI Fellowship and other organisations.

It was pleasing to see so many members and friends of

and others with an interest in mental health to lobby political

MI Fellowship at our Annual General meeting this year.

parties facing election and make recovery for people with

Prior to the AGM the election for Board Directors resulted in there being equal number of candidates to positions, therefore all nominees, Paul Montgomery, Kevin Abrahamson, Darrel Drieberg and Julian Freidin were deemed to be elected.

mental illness, their families and friends a reality.

“Support for recovery and social inclusion has been at the heart of our campaign with calls for more resources...”

I again had the pleasure of presenting the MI Fellowship Awards to people who have made a great contribution to

Development and promotion of the Call to Action was

the work of MI Fellowship and mental health more broadly.

underpinned by the work of the Board’s Policy and Advocacy

Given we were amidst a State election, it was timely to have Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year as our key note speaker at the AGM. His address emphasised the

Committee in developing and promoting our policy agenda. The committee is now working on its next policy statement around police responses to mental illness.

need for more high quality mental health services across

Support for recovery and social inclusion has been at the

the country.

heart of our campaign with calls for more resources for raising

Indeed it has been an exciting time for mental illness in Australia over the last few months. First the Federal election raised the profile of mental health with increased community concern and debate around the need for

community awareness of mental illness and funding for consumer and family education programs and an injection of investment into housing and support options that respond to the individual needs of people with a mental illness.

greater investment. However, the focus of the debate was

Overall, we continue to call for more staff, more funding and

clinical funding and not the life-long needs of people living

more understanding of the needs of people with mental illness.

in the community with mental illness.

In closing I would like to take the opportunity to wish you

The Victorian election offered a new opportunity to bring

all Season’s Greetings. We look forward to working with

greater impetus to the need to extend community mental

you during next year to both deliver and advocate for better

health services.

opportunities for people with mental illness and their families.

The MI Fellowship Call to Action – Victorian Election 2010 took up the challenge calling on our members, supporters

Our theme in 2011 will be improving the physical health of people with a mental illness. Please join with us again to add your voice and your concerns to our advocacy work.

The Hon. Robert Knowles AO

www.mifellowship.org

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contents from our chief executive p3 | hear us on 3CR p4 | your questions answered p5 | people and their stories p5 | advocacy p6-7 | politicians breakfast p8 | SEW Eurodrive – our $1 million partner p9 | news bites p10 | awards and board p11 | Front cover photo: James Braund


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from our chief executive Mental health isn’t just an issue for one week only.

Mental Health Week sometimes feels

The fact that the Victorian tour of Inside Out

like it’s a double-edged sword. Every

drew the play’s biggest audiences ever may

year, I’m always incredibly pleased at the

be due to its ability to present the family

outpouring of community support for people

dynamics surrounding mental illness in a

with a mental illness. And every year, I can

sympathetic light.

see stark reminders of why we need a Mental Health Week in the first place.

Overwhelmingly, Inside Out’s message of understanding, hope and recovery came

Although, I am particularly proud of

through in feedback from members of the

MI Fellowship’s activities this year, I am

audience with one audience member saying

also reminded that mental health as an

“I was left feeling ‘not so alone’.”

issue continues to be at a crossroads in this state and it’s only because of the continuing hard work coming from a wealth of people that we’ve managed to achieve all we have so far. I get to meet some of those people each year at the Open Mind Fiesta, our biggest event for Mental Health Week. The fact that they turned out in droves this year, despite appalling weather, really shows how willing Victorians

Inside Out also provided us an opportunity to meet with carers and consumers who were not using our services and increase referrals to our programs and carer support groups. Yet for all this good news, there is still so much to be done. As we head towards the holiday season, thoughts turn to home. For many people with a mental illness, access to suitable, affordable housing remains a critical issue.

are to express their support for people with

Indeed, housing was the key issue in our

a mental illness.

election campaign. But it will not stop now

Our other major initiative for Mental Health Week this year, the play Inside Out, helped us to reach out to people right across the state.

Overwhelmingly, Inside Out’s message of understanding, hope and recovery came through in feedback from members of the audience with one audience member saying “I was left feeling ‘not so alone’.”

that the election is over and done. We will be following up our efforts by seeking opportunities to maximise our influence on housing in every quarter we can. At this time of year, it is time to reflect upon the family, friends and the personal relationships we hold dear. My best wishes to you for the festive season. Looking forward to having you back with us for 2011.

Elizabeth Crowther

The painful truth Key figures on the physical health of many people with mental illness: • People with a mental illness have a death rate approximately 2.5 times the rate of the general population • People with a mental illness have a life expectancy approximately 20 years less than that of the general population • People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are more than twice as likely to have diabetes than other patients and also more likely to experience heart disease and stroke • People with a mental illness require 23 per cent more dental treatment and are 36 per cent more likely to require a tooth removed than other members of the same socioeconomic community With such figures in mind, MI Fellowship is declaring 2011 to be the Year of Physical Health. Keep reading MI Voice for more details about this as we develop our program of activities. Source: Lancet journal, University of WA, VICSERV, Disability Rights Commission


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social inclusion

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quiet please, we’re on the air The voice of people in Melbourne with a mental illness just got a little louder with the launch of our brand new program on Melbourne’s 3CR community radio station. Launched on October 13, just in time for Mental Health Week, the program is Melbourne’s first regular radio broadcast created by, and for, people with a mental illness. Covering issues as diverse as research, politics, art, culture and community, the 3CR program offers a new outlook on the world and an outlet for people with a mental illness to share their views. “People with a mental illness are used to the media portraying them in the worst possible light, and it can really make you feel shut out of media and public debate,” says Julie Anderson, MI Fellowship’s Consumer Participation Coordinator. “Through this initiative, we aim to finally give the mental illness community a chance to push back and show the world that our views are just as well thought out and important as anyone else’s and, in some situations, even more so.” The program is a project from MI Fellowship’s consumer participation program which aims to engage people with a mental illness in self-advocacy and promote mental health awareness to the broader community.

The show is the work of a small team of volunteers who have been working with 3CR to get their radio skills up to speed over the period of a few months. As the program progresses though, MI Fellowship is hoping to expand the team to take on even more views from people with mental illness. “We want consumers to feel that this is really their program,” says Julie Anderson, “which means that if you think of an improvement we can make, don’t just write us an email about it, join in as we put the program together each week and show us what you’ve got.”

“We’ve got room for all types of people so if you just like music but hate interviews or want to learn how to work the audio mixing equipment of be an on-air announcer, let us know!” People with mental illness who listen in can give feedback on their experience and tell Ben how they could be involved with the program. Email to radioshow@mifellowship.org

Ben Rinaudo is one of the hosts of our new radio show

listen in MI Fellowship’s new radio show can be heard on Wednesday afternoons between 5.00pm and 5.30pm. Tune your radio to Melbourne’s 3CR community radio on 855AM.


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your questions answered: What programs are available for young carers of people with a mental illness? This edition’s question was submitted by Daphne

Your school may have a counsellor who can help and some

from Footscray. This answer is provided by Tina

schools even have groups for young carers.

Bourekas, Manager, Quality and Service Development,

See if your local mental health services (like MI Fellowship) offer

Rehabilitation Services.

a respite option for families. This can free up time to focus on

Young people caring for family members with a mental illness

school activities and recreation. If your mental health service

are just like any carer in that they can often feel alone in their role

takes a “whole of family” approach, they may offer counselling to

and worry for the safety of their loved ones. On top of the usual

help develop caring and coping strategies.

roles that come with being a carer though there are the additional

You may also like to talk to other carers about how they manage

factors that young carers have to negotiate.

their role. A good place to start would be MI Fellowship Helpline on 8486 4222.

Sometimes there is anger that they are in a position of caring for someone who would otherwise be caring for them and frustration at not being able to do things they may want to, like attending a

Do you have a question that you want answered? Send an email to lfeenane@mifellowship.org with

party or visiting friends. Often the caring role competes with the

“Your Questions Answered” in the subject line.

need to manage school and homework. Unfortunately, young carers may also have difficulty accessing services and may feel overlooked if services are directed exclusively to the person with the mental illness. If you’re a young carer, one of the most important things is to make time for yourself. Spending time with friends, making sure you sleep and eat well and talk about your experiences goes a

art with heart

long way to keeping yourself healthy.

pathways

Gita Mammen draws on her strengths when volunteering at Richmond’s art program, Creative Space.

people and their stories

“Ironwood” an artwork by Gita Mammen

“I’m there primarily for the art,” says Gita Mammen, who

notion that there are specific ways of making art. Creative Space

started volunteering with MI Fellowship’s art program in

places no emphasis on the correctness of otherwise of technique.”

May, “that I’m also a psychiatrist comes a distinct second.” When Gita started looking for an organisation to volunteer with earlier this year, she wanted to draw on her core strengths: art and writing. Luckily, her call to MI Fellowship coincided with our new art program launch at the Stables in Richmond. Soon, Gita became a regular attendee at Creative Space sessions, acting as a resource for some of the other group members. “An aspect that really excites me about the group is the unencumbered sense of creativity. Formal art classes can sometimes actually constrict creativity, leaving a person with the

Visit

While Gita is on-hand to offer support and advice, she is also quick to point out where she draws the line (figuratively speaking!). “With art, you can’t tell people what to do, it’s got to come from them. If participants want to have a conversation with me about how to mix acrylics or work with watercolours, I’m there for them. If they just want to try it out for themselves, I support that too.” “Martin (Di Battista, who coordinates Creative Space) does an excellent job at facilitating the group and structuring it. I’m just there to help out any way I can.”

www.mifellowship.org

for news, views, events and mental health information. Who knows? – you may wish to make a secure online donation while you’re there. Make sure to subscribe to our free private e-newsletter mi voice update, which keeps you in touch with us in between magazines.


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Advocacy matters

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Federal Election 2010

Making mental health count

only $116m

$5.4b

extra funding promised for health over the next three years.

for mental health for next three years.

The Federal election held in August 2010 brought forth

The outcomes

very little for mental health and even less for mental

Although the ALP sought to make health a key point of

health services delivered in the community where people

difference with the Coalition, mental health got lost in the

with a mental illness and their families live their life.

cross fire. The Health and Hospitals Reform Agreement

MI Fellowship through its membership of the Mental

with the states and territories was the central plank in

Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA) participated in the 40

Labor’s health plan with hospital reform and electronic

Thousand People Missing Out on Mental Health Services

health records leaving very little for its poor cousin. The

national campaign highlighting the 40,000 Australians who

agreement resulted in just $116 million for mental health

miss out on key government mental health services each

out of the total $5.4 billion in extra funding promised for

year based on the Federal Government’s own estimations.

health over the next three years.

A campaign document was developed focusing on the

The Coalition sought to exploit this failing by releasing a $1.5

lack of growth across the five key areas identified by the

billion mental health policy that drew praise from the experts

2007 Australians Talk Mental Health survey: housing and

and generated widespread favourable media coverage.

support, consumer and carer education, social security,

Although a good start in terms of the amount of funding

access to employment and the need for greater investment

and its specific support for young people, the Coalition

in mental health research. The document was sent to all

policy focused too heavily on the provision of acute

Federal politicians, the media and other key organisations.

hospital beds and sub-acute clinical services. There was

A key outcome of the debate leading up to the federal

remarkably little funding for community based mental

election was the increased community awareness of the

health services and support.

urgent need for action on mental health. This was driven

In the final weeks of the campaign Labor committed to

through media interest in the work of 2010 Australian

$277m of extra funding for suicide prevention programs.

of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry as well as the dramatic resignation of Professor John Mendoza from his role as Chair of the Australian Government’s National Advisory Council on Mental Health.

MI Fellowship maintains there is little point investing at the acute end of the system – the psychiatric wards attached to hospitals – if there is no capacity for people to be appropriately and safely discharged from hospital

Another key element raising mental health as an election

with community based care and support. The lack

issue was the grass roots campaign conducted by Get

of supportive accommodation options, in particular,

Up to bring Australians together to discuss mental health

undermines recovery.

issues. MI Fellowship’s Julie Anderson joined others from around the country in speaking on a cold night to a Get Up inspired gathering at Melbourne University.

The mental health system relies on community based care and support. This is where the focus of government and policy makers should be.

mivoice update – email newsletter Stay in touch with the latest news and events in mental health. Register your details at www.mifellowship.org/news-subscribe.shtml. It’s free, private and you can unsubscribe at any time.


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summer 2010

State Election 2010 Our call to make recovery a reality – invest in community mental health In the lead up to the Victorian state election,

sought included the extension of Well Ways to more

MI Fellowship conducted a statewide campaign calling

consumers and carers in Victoria, a demonstration

for action to provide more services for people with

project addressing the needs of carers from culturally

mental illness in the community where they live.

and linguistically diverse communities, including the

The Call to Action mapped a positive reform agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of people with a mental illness with an emphasis on a home for living and education for a road to a better life. MI Fellowship’s campaign highlighted distress caused by the lack of support to people with mental illness, their carers and families provided through the mental health system. Five key areas of investment were identified: 1. Increased intensive rehabilitation and support and in

preparation of Well Ways Diversity and the delivery of increased specialised intensive general education programs for people with a mental illness seeking to reengage with education. 5. A  n awareness raising campaign to build understanding of mental illness and reduce stigma. Focussing the campaign on marginal regional seats, all stops were pulled out to promote the MI Fellowship campaign. An election kit was produced for distribution to members, supporters and was uploaded to the website. The kit

particular seven more prevention and recovery care units

included the Call to Action booklet, a sample letter for people

and 25 new extended care beds in the community sector

to personalise and send on to politicians and the media,

2. Doubling of community based support packages from

talking points for letters and calls and texts to talk back radio,

around 3000 to 6000 with 1000 packages targeted to

and contacts for key politicians and the media.

people with high risk and complex needs

The Call to Action was launched on-line. A Youtube video

3. The need for innovative housing solutions. Here MI Fellowship

featuring Catherine Bleasedale, a carer and campaigner

proposed a demonstration project that secures 50 one

from Kyabram was also used to highlight the need for better

bedroom units, with 50 tailored packages including support

services – particularly housing and support – for people with

and care in the private sector, designed to back people with a

a mental illness and their families. The video highlights the

mental illness on the disability support pension.

lack of services, which is even worse in rural Victoria.

4. Greater support for education for people with mental illness, their families and friends. The education package

time for action Catherine’s message says it all: we need “more staff, more funding and more understanding” to make a difference to people managing the impact of mental illness in their lives.

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chat for change

MI Fellowship got this year’s election campaign off to an early start by participating in the recent “Chat for Change” political breakfast in September.

Catherine Bleasedale tells her story

Chat for Change brought together members of the major political parties with advocates and experts from the mental health sector to have a serious discussion about the state of mental health services in Victoria at the moment and what the sector will be asking of all parties this November. Attended by MI Fellowship and other community based mental health organisations, a key purpose of the event was that parties should not repeat the mistakes of the federal election where supporting mental health was seen as only funding more clinical care. Parties were asked to increase

their understanding and support of community based recovery initiatives. After all, it’s within the community that most recovery happens. Key speakers at the event included MI Fellowship Victoria President Rob Knowles, Kim Koop of VICSERV, Bill Healy of MIND and Dr Jayashri Kulkarni of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. Consumer voices were represented by Jan Hatt, a consumer consultant with NEAMI who shared her experience with community mental health care to show how central such services have been to her recovery.

mental health week MI Fellowship’s Year of the Family obviously struck a chord with people right across the state as we saw excellent levels of community involvement in our activities during this year’s Mental Health Week. In different locations across the state, our presentation of the award-winning play Inside Out performed to near sell-out crowds. Inside Out, which depicted the relationship between a young man with a mental illness and his mother as they journey from first symptoms to diagnosis and beyond, drew rave reviews from audience members, many of whom felt it was like watching a chapter from their own biography. Inside Out was presented with the support of Christine Dunstan Productions and starred Benn Welford and Valerie Bader.

The Open Mind Fiesta brings communities together

MI Fellowship’s other flagship event for the week, our annual Open Mind Fiesta also held its own with an estimated crowd of 30,000 people. Despite appalling weather conditions, the Fiesta crowd mingled together with over 150 volunteers and participants.

with mental illness and this year was certainly no exception. Families flocked to Fairfield’s Station Street to soak up the carnival atmosphere and enjoy the acts on the main stage including the triumphant return of the Social Circus sponsored by Eli Lilly and a special performance by the carers’ choir, The Moon’s A Balloon.

The Open Mind Fiesta remains one of the best events of the year for communities to show their support for people

The Open Mind Fiesta is presented in partnership with Fairfield Traders.


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lucky 13 MI Fellowship’s relationship with SEW Eurodrive hit new highs this year The number 13 is meant to attract bad luck, but there certainly hasn’t been sign of that during MI Fellowship’s thirteenth year of working with major manufacturer SEW Eurodrive, who recently helped out with two major fundraisers. Indeed, this year the SEW Eurodrive events generated $108,375 for MI Fellowship programs, bringing the total money raised by our partnership over the years to over one million dollars.

Our CEO Liz Crowther accepts this year’s cheque

Money raised goes into new and existing programs for people with a mental illness and carers that we would

personal experiences with MI Fellowship and the need for

otherwise not have the funds to continue, making our

continued support of mental health issues and the Well Ways

relationship with SEW Eurodrive particularly valued.

program.

SEW Eurodrive’s annual fundraisers this year took two forms;

Also keeping guests busy was an auction of donated items

their annual Euro Drive golf day on September 27 (not to be

ranging from household goods (including an apron signed by

confused with our other golf day in Barwon) and the annual

Master Chef’s Matt Preston) to the use of a corporate box for

charity auction dinner, which was held at Tabcorp Stadium

a day out to the footy.

Melton on October 2. A highlight of the dinner dance was a presentation from a

MI Fellowship looks forward to continuing to work with SEW Eurodrive for a fourteenth year and long into the future.

carer, Robin Richards, who spoke passionately about her

bring the new year in with cheer The end of year holiday season is almost with us once again and with it comes a time of joy and togetherness for many families. But not for all. As we get ready to wrap gifts and think of holiday feasts, it’s important to spend a moment thinking of those who aren’t as fortunate. Each year in Victoria, hundreds of people go without the trappings of the holidays that most of us take for granted. Many are people with a mental illness who may be experiencing poor health, a lack of stable appropriate housing and without the support of family or friends.

to people with a mental illness and to see them able to take advantage of all of the same opportunities enjoyed by anyone else. You can support our work through our current Christmas Appeal, which features on our tear off page in the back of this edition of MI Voice. Throughout the holiday season, MI Fellowship’s Helpline will continue to be available on 03 8486 4222 on the usual days, except for the public holidays. For people in crisis over the holidays, we recommend contacting the Mental Health Advice Line 1300 280 737. Take care of yourselves these holidays and, wherever possible, take care of each other.

In 2011, MI Fellowship will continue our focus on programs to bring equality and happiness

dates for your diary in 2011 | Schizophrenia Week 15-21 May | Mental Health Week 10-16 October | Watch out for more updates and information on activities on MI Voice Update or visit our website www.mifellowship.org

www.mifellowship.org

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news bites

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band on the march ...the current line up of Uncorked, the Wonthaggi players, did have a terrific time attending this year’s Korumburra Buskers’ Festival in November.

“Uncorked” shows off some of their instruments

If the hills around Wonthaggi suddenly come alive with the

guitar, acoustic 12-string steel guitar with electric pick up,

sound of music soon, don’t say you weren’t told.

electric amplifier, 9 tambourines, two triangles, three maracas,

Wonthaggi MI Fellowship program support workers Lynn Willox and Kathleen Wilmann have established a music group in the

set of bells, recorder, harmonica, double keyboard electronic organ, a set of small cymbals and an African thumb percussion.

area. Community support for the fledgling band has come in a

The group welcomes musicians of all levels of talent and tries

number of ways – and, it would appear, musical styles.

to link up with other psychiatric disability rehabilitation and

One of the members of the music group, Danielle, was passionate about using a raffle to raise funds and help replace

support services musicians where possible, though distance makes this difficult at times.

musical instruments. Approaches to local businesses not only

But the current line up of Uncorked, the Wonthaggi players, did

netted more than $700 worth of prizes but also a swag of pre-

have a terrific time attending this year’s Korumburra Buskers’

loved musical instruments.

Festival in November.

At last count, the generosity included a piano accordion, two

If you want more information about the Wonthaggi music

acoustic guitar, full-size upright piano, bongos, electric bass

group, contact Lynn on 5672 3111.

driving for a fairer way MI Fellowship Barwon has strong links with its community Coming in for lunch at about 12.30pm, the players then participated in a raffle and silent auction and got the chance to hear local resident, Olga, talk about her experiences as a carer and how important supporting respite services are to her. One of the raffle winners was so moved by Olga’s testimony that she gave her the prize she’d only just won - a deluxe set of beauty products.

Members of Barwon Heads Golf Club’s Women’s Committee

Barwon Heads Golf Club put a fifth big year of support for MI Fellowship on its scorecard this October with its annual Barwon region golf fundraiser. Each year the fundraiser grows in scale and this year more than 70 players lined up to tee off at 8.30am for a friendly but vigorously contested 18 holes. Club pro Mark Ryan once again donated his time and expertise to making the day a success.

It was a small gesture but a great example of how local residents have embraced MI Fellowship’s programs. Indeed, another couple attending donated a stay at their their bed-and-breakfast to a carer in need of a respite. All up, the day raised over $5,200, which will be used to support respite services in the local area. MI Fellowship would like to thank Barwon Heads Golf Club and their Women’s Committee for their continued support.


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shout to the top MI Fellowship board member Elaine Price ensures carers’ voices are heard in the board room “I honestly don’t remember how I first became involved in MI Fellowship,” says Elaine Price, who has been a member of MI Fellowship’s Board for six years now. “Perhaps it was via the phonebook. I just remember looking for support and MI Fellowship being the place where I found it.” Elaine was first nominated to the Board after two years of intensive volunteering with Fellowship, both on Helpline (where she continues to volunteer today) and as a Well Ways facilitator. Elaine works with the Board as a representative of the voice of carers.

“Volunteering with Helpline exposes me to a huge range of consumer and carer experiences which I can then take up to the Board level to ensure that we, as an organisation, are advocating for the things that carers and consumers really need.” As well as speaking up for carers, Elaine also sits on the Policy and Advocacy subcommittee where she’s been helping to guide MI Fellowship’s Federal and State election campaigns and on the Appointments and Governance subcommittee to ensure that MI Fellowship is operating in an efficient and ethical way. “I think the next few years will be very exciting for MI Fellowship as we expand our existing services to do even more for carers – particularly carers who might be overlooked by other services, like young people in a caring role.”

envelope please…

b

The winners of this year’s MI Fellowship Awards, presented at this year’s AGM, are… Mental Health Community Award

Volunteer of the Year Award

Bill Brown, who won for his tireless work over many years to

There were two winners this year:

improve the lives of people with mental illness in the Goulburn

Steve George for his commitment and work as a Well Ways

Valley area of Victoria. Bill’s efforts have helped improve the

facilitator and with his local ‘Men’s Shed’ group supporting

care, treatment recovery and perception of people affected by

men with mental illness.

mental illness.

Phyllis Mules who was nominated for her impressive work with

Mental Illness Fellowship Award

the Helpline team over the last four years. In particular, Phyllis’

There were two winners this year:

care, understanding and accepting manner, her passion for

Alex Wood in recognition of his work with MI Fellowship

keeping resources up to date and her support of her colleagues.

stretching back to 1986. Alex has been a consistent supporter

Mental Illness Fellowship Student of the Year Award (2009)

of MI Fellowship. He has been a MI Fellowship Board member,

Sam Fiumara who won Mental Illness Fellowship Student of

is now a non-director member of the Directions Committee and

the Year Award in 2009 as previously reported in MI Voice. Sam

attends every Open Mind Fiesta.

was presented with an award recognising his achievement, from

Estelle Malseed for contributing to MI Fellowship in a myriad

the MI Fellowship Board.

of ways over the last four years: as a Helpline volunteer and Well Ways Duo program facilitator.


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news With Mental Health Week just gone, it’s been a busy time on the media front for MI Fellowship. Between Inside Out and the Open Mind Fiesta, MI Fellowship news and activities have been featured on media outlets such as The Age, 3AW, 3RRR, ABC 774, local Leader newspapers, GOLD FM, JOY FM and regional newspapers. And that’s before you even consider the launch of our own new radio program on 3CR!

‘Crowds open minds’ Northcote Leader, 20 October 2010

Chief Executive : : Elizabeth Crowther Editorial : : Hootville Communications Design : : Room44, Lisa Minichiello Printing : : Bambra Press MI Voice aims to keep our readers informed of the latest information on mental illness and our advocacy work. It is also our opportunity to keep potential and existing supporters and donors informed of the Mental Illness Fellowship’s activities and the difference their contribution makes. MI Voice is the quarterly publication of the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, Fairfield Place 276 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield, Victoria, Australia, 3078.

Telephone : : 03 8486 4200 Fax : : 03 8486 4265 Email : : enquiries@mifellowship.org Website : : www.mifellowship.org Helpline : : 03 8486 4222 Mental Illness Fellowship retains the right to edit articles. Please note that the opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor or the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria. © Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria. PO Box 359 Clifton Hill, Vic 3068 All rights reserved. ACN 093 357 165 ABN 93 093 357 165 ISSN 0816 7877

board of directors President : :

The Hon. Robert Knowles

Vice President : : Mrs Diane Brown Directors : :  Mr Darrel Drieberg Mr Paul Montgomery Mr Kevin Abrahamson Mrs Elaine Price, Ms Lyn Allison Mr Theo Krambias, Dr Julian Freidin Ms Louise Milne-Roch, Ms Jenny King

thank you to our supporters

what we’ve been up to

U

buzz about town Even putting Mental Health Week aside, there hasn’t been time for many quiet moments at MI Fellowship lately The team at Warragul moved their whole operation into a brand new building in the heart of town – making it much easier for local participants and carers to access MI Fellowship services. CEO Liz Crowther presented at the recent Jobs Australia conference on Mental Illness, Employment and Disclosure on how job agencies can help clients manage disclosure. We started investigating a new relationship with the ADDC to look at mental health issues across the Asia Pacific and what part MI Fellowship can play in improving services across the region.

No fewer than ten MI Fellowship staff members attended the latest TheMHS conference to exchange ideas with people from around the country on programs for people with a mental illness. Our own Ben Rinaudo, in partnership with Priscilla Ennals and Emma Cartwright presented a paper on Education: Personal stories of a pathway to social inclusion. Finally, our respite team in Geelong and west metro has been working on a major project, taking 17 participants on a trip to Queensland’s Gold Coast including trips to Australia Zoo and the big theme parks.


Mi Voice Summer 2010