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For people with a mental illness, their families and friends

Sp ring 20 0 6 N o . 1 0 3


Registered with the Department of Human Services Print Post Approved 350190 / 00023 ISSN 0816 7877

well ways

Helping family & friends find better ways

INSIDE Features

People and their stories Good Night, Sweet Dreams

Well Ways National Rolling out a demonstration and evaluation project

Melbourne Marathon How you can get involved



From the Chief Executive Business Review Weekly, in its edition of June 29- July 5

Over the past two

2006, ran a story entitled “Costly compassion”. The article

years, we have been

described Australia’s not-for-profit sector as ‘fat, lazy and

working towards

inefficient’. The BRW article quotes Don D’Cruz, who it calls ‘a

meeting Quality

commentator on charities and non-government organisations’, saying “They don’t want to be transparent because they don’t want to be second-guessed or questioned about how they

Community Services Accreditation (QICSA) standards. There are 19 standards involved in three main

spend their money”.

sections: 1. Building quality organizations; 2. Providing quality

The truth is that money in the community sector has always

services and programs; and 3. Sustaining quality external

been sparse and many not for profit organizations have

relationships. The process involved a rigorous review of all

lacked both the expertise and the capacity to engage the

our systems and processes, including wide consultation with

expertise, to meet the increasingly complex reporting and

people who use our services.

management requirements. There is a growing demand in the

I am pleased to report that, following a comprehensive audit

sector for greater accountability and demonstrated efficient

by QICSA in July this year, we were found to have met all the

management of service delivery. Managing these expectations

standards and have achieved “Leading Practice” standard in

and ensuring the greatest expenditure is provided for direct

three standards: Leadership and management; Collaboration

services to people, rather than overheads, has been a struggle

and strategic positioning; and Community and professional

for organizations and has seen either growth or mergers

capacity building. Formal accreditation will be conferred in September this year.

where overhead costs can be better spread.

I thank all of you who have contributed to the process of

MI Fellowship has grown to meet need and in doing so has

accreditation and quality improvement in this organisation so

been able to increase efficiencies. Growth remains a key

far – participants, members, supporters, volunteers and staff.

strategic direction. The Board has concentrated on building

The outcomes are far from academic. They form the essential

its expertise and capacity to meet community demand for


Improvement &

evidence that shows that this organization is far from ‘fat,

transparency and good governance. Our strategic plan clearly

lazy and inefficient’ and still has firmly in focus its vision and

sets out directions to the end of 2008 and includes program,

mission – to improve the lives of people with a mental illness,

financial targets and areas for targeted development.

their families and friends.

Blue wren… creative writing from an O’Meara House guest Nestled within the branches of a Banksia tree, a brightly

little wren. They seemed pleased to abide

coloured blue wren gazed out as a group of people

in the forest even though he instinctively

approached, dragging a large blue box behind them.

knew they would leave soon. Although he

Some of these people had white sticks protruding

had witnessed this human custom on many

from their mouths with rising smoke, giving off a

occasions, this particular group seemed

strange aroma. The little blue wren flew to a higher

somehow different. He felt these humans had

perch to have a closer look. He watched them

all been through many experiences, very difficult

very carefully. ‘A curious gathering of humans’,

times, yet there seemed to be a common thread

he thought. Wagging his long tail from side to side, as was his

running through them,

custom, he watched as they all gathered around the flat wooden

a kind of silent knowing that made them all feel at ease.

object, bringing out strange shaped objects from their blue box

After the humans had eaten, a few white sticks in their

and placing them in a pattern on the flat wood. Then once this

mouths and lit their sticks with fire, whilst others placed

was complete they began their familiar custom of strange sing

the left over objects back in the blue box. They then began

song noises, each taking turns whilst placing what appeared to

to walk back up the path. The little blue wren wished them

be foods in their mouths. ‘Humans eat curious food’ thought the

well and flew off into the open sky.

Index Vietnamese Week at O’Meara House


Board of Directors – new and returning Directors


A mother’s story about living with mental illness


National Well Ways


‘Good Night, Sweet Dreams’ creative writing


Melbourne Marathon returns




News bites

Melissa Macphail, MI Fellowship’s Quality Coordinator


The QICSA Reviewers’ traveled to nine

The first week in June was a busy one for

different MI Fellowship sites, interviewed

the four Reviewers from Quality Improvement

50 participants, 50 staff, a handful

and Community Services Accreditation (QICSA).

of volunteers and students. By the end

MI Fellowship had invited them

of the week the Reviewers had heard

to conduct a thorough audit of the organisation

hundreds of opinions and experiences

against two sets of standards:

of MI Fellowship’s programs.

• Quality Improvement Council Health and Community Services Core Standards • Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation and Support Services (PDRSS) Standards They had four days to get to know us and come to some conclusions about how MI Fellowship could further ensure excellent levels of service to people with a mental illness, their families and friends. Before the Reviewers came, we had to conduct an in-depth self-assessment against the standards. A team of staff representing the different programs and levels of the organisation got together to assess our operations against these standards. Around 20 meetings were held until every single area of each standard had been considered. All this self-assessment was all

By 3.30pm on the last day an eager audience of staff and participants gathered at Fairfield Place to hear QICSA announcing the results of MI Fellowship’s first External Review. The good news came – we had passed every single one of the 17 standards we were being benchmarked against. This was an unusual achievement for any organisation going for their first review. Not only that, we had also attained a “leading practice” commendation in three areas – an exceptional achievement for first timers. The areas are leadership and management, collaboration and strategic positioning and community and professional capacity building. Rather than coming to the end of accreditation, the QICSA process has only just begun. The External Review is just one part of an ongoing cycle of continuous quality improvement.

written up in a 40,000 word document called the “Quality Journal” and submitted to QICSA prior to the review.

Vietnamese Week at O’Meara House


In April this year, Madeline Trahair, Respite Services Coordinator – Northern Region was contacted by Hai Nguyen (a group facilitator from Action for Disability in Ethic Communities ADEC) about the potential of working together to meet the needs of a group he had identified as missing out on current respite services. Together, Madeline and Hai developed a culturally appropriate and flexible program that

O’Meara House guests for Vietnamese week

would meet the needs of this particular community, resulting in the first Vietnamese Week at O’Meara House in June.

The activities undertaken, determined by the group,

“We discovered that many of the proposed participants had

included bowling, movies, op-shopping and visits

not been on a holiday since arriving in Australia” said

to Healesville Sanctuary, Puffing Billy, Werribee Zoo

Madeline. The Vietnamese generally have a strong sense

and Mansion. And, of course, there was plenty of time

of community and it was noted that separating carers from

for rest and recuperation. The group indicated they’d like

consumers was not desirable. This resulted in a mixed respite

to try ‘Aussie cuisine’ so a staff member cooked kangaroo

option that staff and participants felt worked exceptionally

steaks, which were tried by almost all of the guests.

well. An O’Meara House staff member noted “We were

However, it didn’t tickle everyone’s taste buds!

impressed with the connectedness of the group - the way they

Overall, a very successful cross-cultural collaboration was

looked after and supported each other, discussed issues, and

established between MI Fellowship and the Vietnamese

made decisions as a group”. Banter during meal times and

community. The partnership was created out of an identified

insistence by guests that staff join them at the table enabled

gap in present services and in order to best provide for the

a valued culture exchange where guests used some English,

multicultural society in which we live. We hope to continue

and Hai interpreted the rest.

to develop these relations and make this an annual event.



Snapshots A mother’s story


Our son was a typical and happy child who played sport,

There were times when for weeks he was too unwell and

dressed-up and played pirates and knights and went with

suicidal to be left alone. There were times when his pain

his dad to watch his favourite footy team. Then, five years

and hopelessness was so great that I dreamt we could take

ago, he had a psychotic episode. He was 17 and it occurred

a plane for a holiday somewhere and the plane would crash

as a result of stress. He had just had major and traumatic

so everything would finally be over.

surgery and his father was having some health problems.

One day in desperation after a crisis, I rang the helpline

At the time we did not know how serious it could be.

at Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria and got the emotional

There was the pressure of the last two years of high school;

support I needed. I subsequently had a counselling session

and other normal adolescence life pressures.

there that started to open some doors for us. My husband

He was admitted to hospital for a week and then visited

attended the Well Ways program and each week brought home

a youth service as an outpatient. Over the next couple

valuable information that we discussed and started to put into

of years he made a good recovery, graduated from high

practice. I later did the Well Ways program and decided

school, and passed the first year of a Bachelor of Social Work.

to volunteer on the helpline. The assistance offered to me was

He was discharged from the Youth Service with a small dose

so useful that I wanted to help others through difficult times

of medication. We assumed that he had recovered completely

and also do my part to ensure that this worthwhile service

and would not need any further support because nobody told

continues. I now volunteer weekly and find it very rewarding.

us otherwise.

It is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when

Two months after discharge from the outpatient youth service,

you are in the middle of a crisis. However, we have to keep

he changed and increased medications and, as a result,

our hope alive and have faith that any situation, no matter

entered a vicious cycle of getting better for a while and then

how difficult, can’t last forever.

relapsing. This distressing period lasted for nearly two years.

It took months, but our journey has started to change from

There were times when we were frightened and worried,

one of desperation and hopelessness to a journey of support.

uncertain what the next day would bring or how we

Some positive changes are starting to take place

would manage.

in terms of finding the right medication, receiving

For us, as parents, it was extremely hard to see our son

psychosocial rehabilitation and practical support.

in emotional pain and be unable to help him. He had lost

My whole family now have our lives back to some degree.

everything: his part time job, his studies, his ability to enjoy

We still have to deal with the illness and its impact, but we

life, and his friends. Different medications created side effects

now have some tools and support to be able to manage.

including weight gain, neck stiffness, numbness and insomnia

Our son is now stable enough to engage again in his studies

(which greatly affected all the family). He spent his days

and sport. There are skills he has to re-learn, but he now

at home unmotivated, smoking and waiting for time to pass,

has the motivation and stability to try. The most important

depressed for long periods and suicidal. It was extremely hard

lessons we learnt as carers is that the more you understand

to hear that he did not want to live anymore, that his pain

the illness and the health system the more acceptance you

is too great to live with.

gain; and the more you ask for help, the more power you have to make a difference in your life as a carer and in the quality of life of your loved one with the mental illness. Written by a MI Fellowship member and volunteer

Well Ways promotional posters The front cover of this edition of MI Voice features the new promotional posters for the national roll-out of the Well Ways program. We’re very excited by this new development and are keen to hear what you think of it. If you have any feedback about the posters, please contact Miranda England on 03 8486 4244 or email


People & their stories


Cynna Kydd playing for the Melbourne Phoenix

Good Night, Sweet Dreams by Cynna Kydd

of water which surrounds

A kiss on the forehead and you’re alone, nothing is going

me. This pool of water,

to protect you from what lurks in the shadows. A night

I have once again created

of sweet dreams lay ahead for those who fall asleep. Your

all by myself, may silence

eyelids become heavy, your breath slows, you begin to relax.

the creature along with me.

A noise in the room awakens your senses. You are so close

Why can’t I make it stop?

to the safe haven of sleep, but your curiosity takes control.

There is no life boat out here

Shapes drift around the room, fear begins to creep into your

to save me.

mind. A glimpse of the creature and you are soon frozen

The blanket.

to the bed. What was that? Who’s there? What does it want?

Safe. As a child you don’t

A scream attempts to escape your mouth. Silence. A dash

wonder if the creature is still

for the door? Impossible. The creature of your imagination

there, the feeling of safety is enough. Sleep however is far

is getting closer, fear runs down your spine, sending panic

away, the demon is still there and there is no way of getting

through your body. What does this creature want? To hurt

it out of my head. This is one creature the blanket cannot

you, or just to scare you? You want to be brave and stare the

protect me from. Panic has taken over. I don’t know what to

creature in the face but you can’t. Isn’t there anywhere safe?

do. It is just me and the creature under the blanket. Enough

Then you remember - a place where nothing can touch you.

people have had to put up with this creature controlling me.

Your sanctuary. You dive under the blankets, quickly, before

I don’t want to hurt them anymore. Is there no way to escape

the creature follows you. Safe. Sleep soon drifts in without

this creature I have created in my head?

another thought of the creature that lingers in the room.

That is it. The creature is in my head, it’s MY creation. I gave

It’s amazing how your mind can play tricks on you when you

it control, I let it in. A blanket on the bed is not going to save

are a child. Lucky children believe that something so simple

me. My friends and family aren’t going to save me. No matter

as a blanket can protect them.

how many times I tell myself to stand up to the creature I still

No-one now to kiss me on the forehead.

find it lurking around waiting for a moment of weakness.

I am once again faced with the nightmare of sleep.

I promise I will not give up. No matter how many times I

All alone.

return under the blanket I will make this creature disappear.

No creatures in the room.

This creature has a name, it is known as depression.


Just the name scares many people. Especially people who

Tonight is going to be different.

don’t have to battle with it every day and night. Maybe if we

Sleep will come as easily as when I was a child.

all didn’t shudder at the mention of the word, this evil

My eyelids start to close.

creature in our lives wouldn’t exist. A blanket can protect

Relaxation takes over.

children, but as adults we are faced with expectations,

Sleep is near.

perceptions of what other people think and the desire

Not a sound to be heard, nor a shape to be seen, no one else’s

to be normal. It is sometimes hard to act childishly,

presence but for my own. The creature appears!

but this is a time that you need to.

Just like when I was a child But this time it isn’t in the room with me.

Cynna Kydd (nee Neele) lives in Preston, Victoria. She is

It is in my head.

an elite netballer, having spent two years at the Australian

Weakness has taken control. This creature now runs my

Insitute of Sport, and the last seven years playing in the

thoughts, my mind and my emotions. To think, that I allowed

National League and more recently representing Australia.

this creature into my life. My mind wasn’t strong enough –

Recently Cynna developed depression which affected her

I wasn’t good enough. This creature has the strength to

so emphatically that her family and friends thought she

destroy everything, including me. It is all my fault. I should

might never play elite netball again. It was during this

be happy, this creature shouldn’t have got in. All I can think

depression that she wrote “Good Night, Sweet Dreams”.

is what’s wrong with me, why is it following me? Helplessness

Having acknowledged her illness, Cynna is now back

takes over, there is nothing to be done. Tears are smothering

on track and playing well.

me and no matter what I do there is no surviving the flood




From the President With the state election pending, we have a great opportunity to assess the attitudes and plans for mental health services of all parties and candidates standing for election. Already you, our members, have made a significant contribution by identifying key areas of concern, the impacts those areas have on your lives and the outcomes you would like. The Senate Select Committee report, the ‘Not for Service’ report of the Mental Health Council of Australia and Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee, and more recently the report prepared by the Boston Consulting Group for the state government, “Improving Mental Health Outcomes in Victoria: The Next Wave of Reform”, all identify the need to strengthen the support offered to people with mental illness living in the community, to stop the ‘revolving door’ syndrome that treats people only when they have become acutely unwell. MI Fellowship has prepared a ‘Call to Action’ which challenges all aspirants to state office to make real commitments to addressing mental health service issues in the next


parliament. In it we back up the call of the Prime Minister for the states to match the Commonwealth’s commitment of $1.8 billion dollars over the next five years. We have invited each of the parties fielding candidates to prepare a short response to our asks which we will distribute to you. Your work at a local level with your local candidates will help to strengthen our case. Senator Lyn Allison, who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Mental Health will give an address at our Annual General meeting on October 20 and will offer us her assessment of the current state of Victoria’s mental health system. My term of office on the Board expires on October 13 as do those of three of my colleagues. Each of us has nominated for re-election. See elsewhere in this edition for details. Louise Milne-Roch will chair the Board meeting on October 13 when the results of the Board elections will be announced. At that meeting, office bearers for the coming year will be elected by the new Board. I encourage you to attend the forum and AGM. MI Fellowship has a long tradition of strong member voices which ensure that all its work reflects the lived experience of people with a mental illness, their families and friends. Without your voice, MI Fellowship has no mandate to advocate for reform. Your participation in the AGM adds to that voice and makes a real difference.

Forum featuring Senator Lyn Allison and Annual General Meeting About one in five Australians will experience depression at some time during their lives, and that is just one of a range of mental illnesses, many of them poorly understood.” The committee released its report in March this year, calling for massive increases in funding and a nation-wide roll out of up to 400 highly accessible community based mental health centres, as part of a radical overhaul of mental health services. We are delighted that Senator Allison has agreed to be the guest speaker at our AGM, which is an important night for MI Fellowship to report back to members about the previous financial year. Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria will host our AGM at

It’s also the night where we present our annual awards,

Fairfield Place on Friday 20 October. The AGM will feature

recognising the people who make a contribution to the lives

an address from our special guest speaker, Senator Lyn

of people affected by mental illness.

Allison. Senator Allison is the Chair of the Senate Inquiry public submissions, Senator Allison said “Most people


MI Fellowship, Fairfield Place, 276 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield

know someone personally affected by mental health issues.


Friday 20 October at 5.30pm

into Mental Health issues. When the committee called for



Board of Directors – profiling our new and returning Directors The Hon. Robert Knowles - President

Mrs Diane Brown – Honorary - Secretary

Rob is a farmer and Company Director. He currently is the

Diane lived in Wodonga for 15 years prior to moving to

Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia, Chair of

Melbourne in 2001. She has worked for an Albury law firm for

the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia, Chair of Food

the past 15 years and continues to work for them from her

Standards Australia New Zealand and on the Board of the

home office in Melbourne. She has family experience

Victorian Trauma Foundation. He is a former Victorian Minister

of mental illness and convened the Wodonga Support Group

for Health and has a strong interest in services for consumers and their families and carers.

for five years. Diane is a past member of the Melbourne Health Research and Ethics Committee.

Mr Graeme Pocknee - Vice President

Mr Neil Cole – board member

Graeme has professional experience as line manager, in-

Neil Cole is Associate Professor in the Monash Medical

house change manager, and contracted consultant and educator spanning the banking and financial services, aerospace, agriculture, petroleum, chemicals, electricity, coal, water, automotive and professional services. Graeme’s interest in the mental health area is based on both personal experience and professional experience.

School. Prior to joining Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre Neil worked for five years at the Mental Health Research Institute as the Head of the Depression Awareness Research Project. Since the start of 2005 he has been working at the Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre researching the link between creativity and mental illness. Neil is a former lawyer, a member of the Victorian State Parliament for over a decade and, in the 1990s, the Victorian Shadow Attorney-General. Neil

Dates for your diary – 2006 Mental Health Week – 8-15 October Samsung Melbourne Marathon – Sunday 8 October

is a playwright and has had seven plays produced in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Neil has had a longstanding involvement with MI Fellowship, especially through TJ’s day program, where his plays have been produced.

Open Mind Fiesta – Sunday 15 October

Spring car raffle draw – Thursday 7 December

Staff and their stories

Please find out more about all activities by calling 03 8486

Mark Lamont

4200 or visit

What’s your role at MI Fellowship?

AGM, Awards and Annual Lecture – Friday 20 October Volunteer thank you party – 4pm, Thursday 30 November

I am employed as a Regional Manager for the eastern

Park Bench© Observations of Daily life

metropolitan and Gippsland regions. I have been in this role for just over three years. What’s your favourite part of your role? There are many

aspects of my role which I enjoy. One would be working with a dedicated group of staff to improve the health outcomes for participants and carers. Where have you worked prior to this role? I have worked

predominantly in the clinical mental health sector over the past 14 years in a variety of interesting and challenging roles. If you could say one thing to members, what would it be?

Have hope! Okay, so it’s two words..... In one word, describe the essence of MI Fellowship? People.

This includes the many members and volunteers whose support makes such a difference to our organisation. What’s your most treasured possession? I better not say Created by Peter Barker ‘Park Bench’ is a cartoon series, looking at life and social issues, provided by Peter Barker, who has lived with schizophrenia for over twenty years.

as my teddy bear prefers to remain anonymous. Okay, I’m really, I am... I promise! I think my photo collection as it contains many fond memories.




Well Ways National Demonstration and Evaluation Project In 2005 Mental Illness Fellowship Australia obtained funding from the Department of Health and Ageing to undertake a Demonstration and Evaluation Project, in order to provide a peer-based, group, longitudinal skills development and education program for families and friends of people with mental illness. Well Ways: Mental illness education program, helping family and friends find better ways is the program that has been developed by Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria and is currently being rolled out across six Australian states and territories - Northern Territory, North Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, during September-October 2006.


The aims of the project are to improve the availability of the Well Ways program, and to enhance the service availability in North Queensland, where an additional facet of the Project, the piloting of a dedicated specialist

on site, in their respective states and territories during October 2006. Assessment will include interviews and observation of the facilitators’ application of their training program learnings and will be based on core competencies established by MI Fellowship. The second initiative is the creation and development of Well Ways marketing materials for use by MIFA members as promotional resources for distribution to a broad range of agencies and organisations in each state and territory.

counselling service will be implemented.

An essential ingredient in the sustainability of the program

Dr Robyn Clifford, of the Research and Development program

is the development of a pool of trained and skilled facilitators.

at MI Fellowship will undertake the evaluation component

All MIFA member organisations will be invited to participate

of the demonstration and evaluation oversight will be provided

in the planned development of ongoing support processes

by Dr John Farhall of La Trobe University.

for their Well Ways facilitators. The appointment of a National

As part of the project, two important initiatives were

Family Education Coordinator as part of the project is expected

implemented to build on the already established success

to enhance the development of a collaborative model of

of Well Ways, in order to ensure both its quality and

Well Ways delivery between MIFA members, Area Mental

sustainability. The first was the provision of a Well Ways

Health Services and related professional associations across

facilitator training program, which was held at Fairfield

Australia. Additionally, the fostering of ongoing updating

Place in Melbourne. MI Fellowship staff joined visitors

mechanisms, informed by participant feedback, as well as

from Darwin, Townsville, Cairns, Armidale, Canberra, Perth,

the forging and strengthening of important organisational

Brisbane and Geelong over three days in May 2006.

relationships throughout all states and territories will

Training participants were tested prior to the training and

enhance the delivery and sustainability of the program

these Demonstration Project facilitators will be evaluated,

throughout Australia.



Melbourne Marathon… it’s back on! MI Fellowship is fortunate to again have the opportunity to be involved in the Samsung Melbourne Marathon. Management of the marathon has been taken over by IMG, an international management group who operate in over 30 countries managing a diverse range of projects, including some of the world’s largest sporting events. This is an exciting new partnership for MI Fellowship and we are delighted

which is to be worn on the day for identification purposes.

to have this opportunity again with the new event managers

MI Fellowship receives a payment from IMG for each

who, through this partnership, recognise the important work

volunteer we provide on the day.

of Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria. In 2005, MI Fellowship

A great way to help us with the marathon is to think

raised more than our $10,000 target and we are keen to do

of a group who might be interested in participating or

this again in 2006.

volunteering. For example, you might be part of a sporting

How you can get involved:

club or church group who could get together a group to help.

There are two ways you can get involved in our partnership with the Melbourne Marathon. You can participate in the marathon (42.2km), half-marathon (21.1km) or the marafun

Or perhaps there’s a group at your workplace who could do some training and then walk in the marafun as a group in a team-building experience.

(7.5km) and raise sponsorship money for MI Fellowship or

For more information on the Samsung Melbourne Marathon,

you can volunteer for us. Volunteers are needed to provide

visit our website at

assistance at drinks stations, assist with street marshalling,

pre-race packing of runners’ recovery packs, set-up and

If you are interested in volunteering or participating in the

distribute runners’ clothing post-race and other activities.

marathon or have any ideas about how we can get others

Volunteers are fundamental to the success of the Melbourne

involved, please contact Ben Pocknee on 03 8486 4249 or

Marathon. Each volunteer will receive a souvenir t-shirt


MI Challenge: Challenge yourself and make a difference in 2007 MI Fellowship is running two exciting Challenges in 2007 - Amazing Race around South East Asia 10-23 March 2007 - Trek the Great Wall of China 5-17 May 2007 Individuals interested in participating in a MI Challenge should contact Chris Harrison on 0423 780 716 or email Challenge yourself to make a difference this year! More information at




All it takes……. Sometimes all we need is some good news, a little bit of

Congratulations to Carol for being the lucky winner of our

luck, just a small chance! After a run of ordinary luck lately,

latest raffle and now the owner of a new model Toyota RAV4.

things turned around for Carol in just a moment. All it took

A lovely, denim-blue RAV4 was Carol’s reward for supporting

- a small ticket to be drawn from a barrel to show that luck

MI Fellowship’s last few raffles. And, although the day of the

can really change.

presentation was windy and bitterly cold, the sun was shining bright in one corner of Melbourne. The 2006 Spring Raffle is currently underway. Small books of tickets can be obtained by calling Joanne or Verity on 8486 4200. The Raffles Program continues to be a major source of funds to MI Fellowship and your support would be very much welcome and appreciated. Just like Carol, your luck could change in just a moment that’s all it takes.

State election advocacy You will find enclosed a ‘call to action’ document that MI Fellowship has developed and sent to politicians and other key stakeholders in Victoria. Each political party is being given the chance to respond to this and MI Fellowship will publish a 400 word response from each party and send this document to members before the state election on 25 November.

Mental Illness Education Schedule Well Ways: Mental illness education program, helping family and friends find better ways. The Well Ways program consists of eight 3hr weekly group education sessions plus follow-up workshops over 12 months. Where: Box Hill When: Thursday 10am-1pm commencing September 7 Where: Heidelberg When: Wednesday 6.30-9.30pm commencing October 4


Where: Western region

Letter to the editor Dear Editor,

When: Tuesday 10am-1pm commencing October 17 Where: Mitcham When: Tuesday 6.30-9.30pm commencing October 17

It was lovely to see the work being done in the Hume

Double Trouble: A support and information program for families

region in the last edition. It’s great that they get out

and friends of people with dual diagnosis (mental illness and

and educate the general public about mental illness.

substance abuse).

Congratulations also on the MI Centre mural,

The Double Trouble program consists of six three-hour weekly

it’s magnificent!

group education sessions.

T. Andrews

Where: Fairfield When: Thursday 10am-1pm commencing October 12 Where: Coburg

Xavier Amador MI Fellowship is disappointed to announce that due to a very tight schedule while in Australia, Xavier Amador will not be able to make a public address while in Victoria. We apologise for any disappointment this causes. If you would like to know more about the work of Xavier, you can visit his website at

When: Monday 10am-1pm commencing October 16 Understanding Mental Illness Workshops Where: MI Fellowship, Fairfield Place, 276 Heidelberg Rd, Fairfield. When: 9.30am on October 4; 6.30pm on November 9. For more information about any of these programs or to book, please call 03 8486 4200 or email



open mind


Sunday 15th October, 11am-5pm Station Street Fairfield

Join Humphrey B Bear at 11.30am


FAMILY FUN DAY Free entertainment, live bands, fashion, food, crafts, children’s activities, rides, wrestling, information and lots more Kindly supported by

1 in 5 will be affected by mental illness. 5 in 5 can help

enquiries 03 8486 4200

w w w. m i f e l l o w s h i p . o r g

Volunteers still required! Contact Annmarie on 03 8486 4205 or email



Who are we? Mental Illness Fellowship is Victoria’s leading membership-

Our Mission

based not-for-profit organisation working with people

Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria works with people with mental

with a mental illness, their family and friends to improve

illness, their families and friends to improve their well being.

their wellbeing.

More specifically we work to achieve mental health reform

Our Vision

of innovative programs in both membership and services. We also

through education, support and advocacy, and we provide a range provide mutual support and self help, day programs, employment,

Our vision is of a society in which mental illness will be

home based and accommodation services, respite and residential

understood and accepted. People with mental illness will be

rehabilitation services.

afforded the same regard as those with physical illnesses and resources will be available to offer early interventions and state of the art treatment and support. These interventions

2005/6 Board of Directors

will be so effective that long-term negative consequences of mental illness will have disappeared for the person and their

The Hon. Robert Knowles - President

family. People will no longer experience stigma and society

Mr Graeme Pocknee - Vice President

will treat them with the same respect and dignity as any

Mrs Diane Brown - Honorary Secretary

other person, and welcome and fully include them as

Mr Peter Robertson - Treasurer

community members.

Ms Jenny King, Ms Louise Milne-Roche, Professor Christos Pantelis, Mrs Elaine Price, Mr Nathan Shafir, Dr Alex Wood, Mr Neil Cole

Our Values Honesty






Chief Executive Elizabeth Crowther

Editor: Miranda England

Assistant Editor: Stephanie Puls

Telephone 03 8486 4200

Design: Artwords

Printing: Print Impressions



MI Voice is for members and aims to keep them informed of the

Mental Illness Fellowship retains the right to edit articles.

latest information on mental illness and our advocacy work. It is

Please note that the opinions expressed in this publication

also our opportunity to keep potential and existing supporters who

are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Mental

donate informed of the Mental Illness Fellowship’s activities and

Illness Fellowship.

the difference their contribution makes. MI Voice is the quarterly publication of the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, Fairfield Place

© Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria. All rights reserved.

276 Heldelberg Road, Fairfield, Victoria, 3078, Australia.

ACN 093 357 165

ABN 93 093 357 165

ISSN 0816 7877

Ways to support and keep us informed Please use this form to change your address details, become a Member of the Mental Illness


Fellowship or to show your support for our work.

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post or fax your credit card details • For cheques and money orders post this form to: Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria PO Box 359, Clifton Hill, Victoria 3068 Fax: 03 8486 4265

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Pledging a monthly contribution – Giving families a chance.

And a future.

Bequests – Remember the Mental Illness Fellowship in your will.

Mi Voice Spring 2006  

Mi Voice Spring 2006