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autumn 2011

issue121

mivoice

MI Fellowship Victoria gets physical p4 advocacy matters

what the new Government’s promised p6-7

Woodcock lecturer announced p4 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 We enter 2011 with a new State Government and a new policy arena that gives cause for both hope and renewed advocacy opportunities. We are pleased to see that the incoming Victorian Government has taken up many of the key initiatives called for by MI Fellowship Victoria (see full details on page 6), and has indicated a willingness to investigate new ways of supporting people with mental illness in the community, where people live the majority of their lives. At the national level, mental health organisations have some work ahead of them in the next 12 months as the Federal Government begins to establish Medicare Locals around Australia, which will see allied health services, including psychological services, planned and coordinated by local doctors’ networks. MI Fellowship Victoria will be working to ensure that mental health services support all aspects of a person’s life, as well as their medical needs.

Board changes Some members may recall that just on two years ago I indicated publicly that I believed it would be of benefit to the organisation for another member of the Board to have the opportunity to take on the role of President. At that time, the Board requested that I stay on for a limited period and I was happy to agree to this. Now, given the increased emphasis on national issues, I have made the decision to accept the role of independent Chairman of Mental Illness Fellowship Australia. I am delighted to announce that Paul Montgomery has stepped into the role of President of MI Fellowship Victoria, and that he will ensure that the organisation continues its work in the interests of the Victorian community. A MI Fellowship Victoria Board member since 2006, Paul has chaired the Finance, Audit and Resource Committee and is also Chair of the Royal District Nursing Service. He is a highly experienced business manager and is currently company director of a number of private companies. I am very pleased to be maintaining my relationship with MI Fellowship Victoria as Patron, so members can expect

to continue to see me at MI Fellowship Victoria events and around the MI Fellowship Victoria offices from time to time.

Reflecting on our achievements I am exceptionally proud of what MI Fellowship Victoria has achieved since I joined the Board in 2000. I have had the pleasure of working with a talented and committed team of Board members, executives, staff, participants and members to progress our advocacy and organisational agendas. We have grown from an organisation with an annual income of $5.7m in 2001 to $17.3m last financial year. Our advocacy work has influenced policy deliberations and settings at the State and Federal levels, as has been demonstrated by the commitments made by the new Victorian Government. We have progressed an investment strategy that has enabled us to develop new products and services that are innovative and best practice. Our family education program, Well Ways, is now recognised and delivered nationally; our employment service, My Recruitment, is a registered national service; we have government funding to pilot an innovative public/private housing model; and we have embarked on an extensive revision of our day programs. At a Board level, we have put in place a structure that has enabled the organisation to set strategic goals, with clear mechanisms for achieving them, in order to meet the needs of our members, and the needs of the wider community of people who have mental illness and their families. It has been a privilege to play a part in MI Fellowship Victoria’s journey, and I look forward to watching its continuing growth and success.

The Hon. Robert Knowles AO

A word from incoming President Paul Montgomery It is a great honour to step into the role of President of MI Fellowship Victoria. On behalf of the organisation I thank Rob Knowles for the tremendous contribution he has made, and for guiding us to a position where we can make the most of the opportunities that will emerge for us during the year. I am delighted that Rob will maintain his relationship with us as Patron, and that we will continue to benefit from his passion for improving the lives of people with mental illness. We look forward to keeping you informed of our progress over the year, and always welcome your views on the issues we are addressing. Paul Montgomery


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from our chief executive Healthy minds through healthy bodies – our focus on physical health and wellbeing. People with mental illness have the capacity

We know that around 75% of people with

to participate in life as fully as anyone

mental illness smoke. We know that weight

else, but deep, systemic barriers prevent

gain is a serious health risk for people on

individuals from having the life they could.

antipsychotic medication. We know that there

MI Fellowship Victoria works in areas which are often ‘exclusion zones’ for people with

are low participation rates in physical activities among people with mental illness.

mental illness: employment, housing and

What we don’t yet know is how best to

education. We are continually seeking ways to

engage people in their own health activities.

create access to those parts of life that most

During our two-year focus on physical health

people take for granted.

we will be investigating how we can make

We also highlight particular issues that exist within those exclusion zones, in an effort to bring attention and change to areas of inequity and injustice that are hidden from the wider community’s view. For the next two years our focus will be on physical health and wellbeing: healthy minds through healthy bodies.

health activities a natural and integrated part of people’s everyday lives, and we will be working to remove the barriers that are currently preventing this. The changes that we are seeking to kickstart over the next two years will be done in partnership with participants and carers. We will be taking steps together – as an organisation and as individuals – towards

The poor state of physical health among

improved physical health for people with

people with mental illness has been

mental illness. This could mean changing the

recognised as a serious public health issue for

way a service is delivered, or trying a tai chi

a number of years now. People with mental

class for the first time.

illness suffer from more chronic illness, more heart disease, more dental disease and die earlier than the rest of our community. The life expectancy for people with mental illness is

We have another year of important work ahead of us, and I thank you for, and look forward to, your continuing support.

MI Fellowship Victoria and the arts After the success of last year’s stage production Inside Out at capturing the experiences of a family affected by mental illness, MI Fellowship Victoria is continuing its work in the arts to improve understanding of mental illness. We will be partnering with the Melbourne Theatre Company in May to promote the Pulitzer prize-winning musical Next to Normal, which explores a woman’s loosening grip on reality and follows her through a journey of diagnosis and rehabilitation. See the details on page 5.

approximately 20 years shorter than that of the general population.

It’s time to address the barriers that keep people with mental illness from good health. It’s time for mental health to get physical.

Elizabeth Crowther

www.mifellowship.org contents from our chief executive p3 | Woodcock lecture 2011 p4 | your questions answered p5 | Melbourne Theatre Company’s Next to Normal p5 | advocacy p6-7 | adventurers’ scrapbook p8-9 | Amanda’s class act p10 | dancers dig deep p10 | Board news p11 |

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physical health and wellbeing

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Woodcock lecture 2011 How can we address the physical health challenges facing people with mental illness? Dr Sharon Lawn

Internationally acclaimed researcher and speaker

Flinders University, South Australia, and has led multiple projects

Associate Professor Sharon Lawn will present the

in this area across the Australian primary health care sector.

2011 Woodcock Lecture, sharing best practice strategies and approaches for promoting physical health and wellbeing for people with mental illness.

Sharon’s lecture will discuss the physical health challenges facing people with mental illness, and present research findings and case studies on what works to build motivation

Prof Sharon Lawn is renowned for her work on how to

and create a sense of self-efficacy in people who are

work effectively to engage people with a mental illness

managing health issues.

in smoking cessation programs, and for her work in consumer peer leadership and health promotion. Sharon is also an expert in the area of Chronic Condition

The lecture will be followed by a series of presentations from consumers about the steps they have taken in their lives to improve their physical health and wellbeing.

Management and Self-Management. She coordinates a post-graduate program in chronic condition management at

17 M ay

MI F el l Vic owsh Woo toria ip d Lect cock ure

mark your diary

Woodcock Lecture 2011 – Dr Sharon Lawn Followed by a panel discussion 6-8pm Tuesday 17 May 2011 ANZ Pavilion, Victorian Arts Centre. This is a free event presented by MI Fellowship Victoria.

new project takes action for better health Talking about physical health and wellbeing can be challenging for workers and consumers who are more familiar with discussing issues of mental health. A pilot project recently commenced by MI Fellowship Victoria is finding ways of better integrating physical health support with its existing psychological and social support services. The six-month project is being run through MI Fellowship Victoria’s Personal Helpers and Mentors Program in the Mornington Peninsula region, and aims to improve the physical health of participants at the same time as increasing the confidence and expertise of mental health workers to assist with physical health issues. Project worker Tara Smark says that a holistic approach to all aspects of health will help to improve mental health outcomes for participants. “We know that mental and physical health are connected,” says Tara. “Our consultations with participants, carers and

other stakeholders have identified ways we can better reflect this connection in our service delivery.” The project will integrate physical health with outreach services by addressing physical health issues during initial assessments, adding physical health goals to individuals’ mental health recovery plans, identifying barriers that prevent people from taking part in physical activity groups, and supporting participants to try new physical activities. Results and findings from the pilot project will be transferred to MI Fellowship Victoria’s outreach services in other regions. If you would like more information on this project, or have comments or experiences which might be useful to the project team, please contact Tara Smark on 9784 6800.

Tara Smark, physical health and wellbeing project worker.


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your questions answered: How can I help my mate to quit smoking? This question comes from Rob in Heidelberg and is

The Tobacco and Mental Illness Project in South Australia

answered by Darren Freak, Manager Rehabilitation

has tips to help people get through cigarette cravings. They

Services, Western Region.

recommend going for a walk, listening to music, sipping on

Research shows that people with mental illness are likely to be heavy smokers so it’s important to remember that your friend is probably trying to overcome a serious nicotine

orange juice, going somewhere you can’t smoke, and using nicotine replacement therapy. The project runs a helpline on 08 8200 2009.

addiction. If your friend is on antipsychotic medication, they

The Victorian Quitline on 137 848 offers advice from

will need to get advice from their prescribing health professional

8am-8pm Monday to Friday. MI Fellowship Victoria has

on how reducing nicotine levels will affect their medication.

trained QUIT facilitators on staff. Call Darren Freak on

You can support your friend by helping them to focus on the

9680 1600 for more information.

benefits of giving up smoking, such as having more money.

Do you have a question you want answered?

You could encourage them to plan to take a holiday with their

Send an email to kgarner@mifellowship.org with

savings, or to buy something that they have been wanting. You

“Your Questions Answered” in the subject line.

can make them aware of the health benefits that begin as soon as they stop smoking. Within a day of quitting, more oxygen will be reaching their heart and muscles; within two months they will be coughing less. You could also encourage them to set targets, such us reducing the number of cigarettes or setting a timeframe.

the world of theatre beckons again MI Fellowship Victoria’s successful 2010 presentation of the award-winning play Inside Out has encouraged us to partner with the Melbourne Theatre Company to promote the Australian premiere of the hit Broadway musical Next to Normal. Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score, Next to Normal is a touching and surprisingly funny examination of mental illness

‘More than a triumph - it’s next to wondrous’ - New York Daily News

a diagnosis and a course of treatment, yet the cause to this case of ordinary madness lies beyond medicine and therapy.

and its effects on a family. Called “a musical for a life out of

MI Fellowship Victoria’s promotional partnership with the MTC

tune”, Next to Normal is about a woman lost to herself and

continues our association with the arts, providing consumers,

her family. Starring Kate Kendall and Matt Hetherington, it

families, friends and carers with news and benefits from the

promises to be a highlight of the MTC season.

world of theatre, music, film and the visual arts.

Preparing for just another day, suburban mother Diana

Watch our website and read MI Voice Update to learn

Goodman makes the family’s lunches and cannot stop. The

more about the MTC’s production of Next to Normal

piles of sandwiches signal her gradually loosening grip – on

at The Arts Centre Playhouse from 28 April to 28 May.

her life, on her family, on her sanity. Soon, there is a doctor,

Visit www.mtc.com.au for ticket purchases.

Visit

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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a new Victorian government

MI Fellowship Victoria and its members campaigned hard in the lead up to last November’s Victorian election, calling for more services to support people with mental illness in their homes, in their families, and in their communities.

We take a look at the commitments made by the Coalition, and the issues to watch over the next 12 months.

pre-election commitments Before its election, the Coalition Government made commitments to a number of MI Fellowship Victoria asks:

The ask

The commitment

7 new Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) units in rural and metropolitan areas.

$9.7m for 3 more PARCs, plus a trial of a women’s specific PARC.

25 new Secure and Extended Care Unit (SECU) beds for individuals with highly complex needs.

$18m for 20 new SECU beds.

Increase the number of home-based support packages across Victoria from 3,000 to 6,000.

$19m investment in clinical and support services in the PDRS (psychiatric disability rehabilitation and support services) sector.

A housing demonstration project to trial subsidised private rental housing in locations around Victoria.

Will work with MI Fellowship Victoria to develop a housing demonstration project.

Improve understanding of mental illness among consumers and their families by expanding the proven Well Ways peer education program.

A commitment to carers that may offer opportunities to expand the delivery of the Well Ways program.

Increase opportunities for education and employment for people with mental illness.

$0.9m for Pathways to Participation project.

Awareness raising campaign focused on education with schools and the police.

Agreement in priciple but no funding commitment.

other funding commitments The Coalition also made a number of other mental health funding commitments, including the following: • $10m for mental health research • $15m for additional 20 mental health hospital beds

• $890,000 for dedicated housing officers in government Area Mental Health Services • $12m for 3 new mother baby units in regional Victoria to address post natal depression • $4m for a suicide prevention campaign targeting people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender • $1.04m for central coordination of clinical beds

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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what’s in store for mental health? new mental health minister The Hon Mary Wooldridge, member for the electorate of Doncaster since 2006, is the new Victorian Minister for Mental Health. Ms Wooldridge was previously the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change. She has chaired the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness, and been a Director of the Breast Cancer Australia Network. Most recently she was the CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians. The former Australian Federal Minister for Health, Michael Wooldridge, is Ms Wooldridge’s brother.

rehabilitation, carers, workforce In terms of general policy directions without specific funding attached, the Coalition has indicated a clear commitment to

MI Fellowship Victoria has lodged a submission with the review following consultation with its members, participants and workers.

better resourcing the psychiatric rehabilitation and support

law and order concerns

services sector; to increasing the mental health workforce;

The Coalition has come into Government on a particularly

and to supporting carers through the ongoing funding of

strong law and order platform, with public commitments to end

carer organisations.

home detention, end suspended sentences, and take harsher

Mental Health Act review

action on bail abuses. This less tolerant approach is particularly

Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge recently extended to the end of February 2011 the deadline for public comment on the draft revision of the Mental Health Act (1986). A review of the Act began in 2008 with the aim of ensuring that Victoria’s

concerning for people with mental illness who currently make up 30% of people in prisons. MI Fellowship Victoria is continuing its work with Government and the police to increase understanding of the needs of people with mental illness.

mental health legislation properly protects human rights,

the verdict

particularly in relation to the Victorian Charter of Human

Indications so far are that the new Victorian Government

Rights and Responsibilities which was introduced in 2006.

recognises the benefits and value that will come from a

It is unclear what the new Government’s intentions are in

stronger community mental health sector. MI Fellowship

relation to both the new Mental Health Bill and the Charter

Victoria will be monitoring the roll-out of new policies and

of Human Rights. It will be important to monitor the progress

keeping members and readers informed of what these are

of the draft legislation and ensure that the rights of people

likely to mean for people with mental illness, their carers

with mental illness are adequately protected by law.

and families.

And the winner is... MI Fellowship Victoria staff member Ben Rinaudo hands over the keys for a new Ford Focus Zetec to delighted Christmas raffle winner Marion. The raffle raised close to $80,000 which is being used to operate services that would otherwise not be viable. Thank you to everyone who supports our fundraising efforts. Look out for our next raffle which will be drawn 16 June 2011.


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adventurers’ scrapbook E Ts t K C I oa

T old

c

A trip to the Gold Coast for 17 MI Fellowship Victoria participants provided a chance to turn hopes and plans into unforgettable experiences.

g

P

pathways people and their stories

m

he ng t i t e e

loca

ls

Adrian Lloyd, participant

Jack Henry, participant

“The Gold Coast trip happened because some of us

“We did a lot but there was time for relaxation. I walked along

had gone away on a camping trip in the Dandenongs

the beach and swam in the hotel pool. It was the first time I’d

and got talking about the things we’d like to do,

been to Queensland and I enjoyed everything about the trip.

places we’d like to go. We all agreed it would be great to go to Queensland.

“We did our own shopping, cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast, and made sandwiches for everyone for lunch.

“We had a monthly planning day for six months before

We went out to dinner and my mate and I shared lasagne

the trip. We did the research into flights and activities.

and pizza. It was a fantastic time and all our planning paid off.”

The theme parks were fantastic and we also had free time to explore the area and walk along the beach. “The trip has given me the confidence to communicate more easily with people, even people I don’t know such as when you go to the supermarket. As a result of the trip, a few of us have formed an activity group and we’re planning to go fishing, rafting down the Barwon River and abseiling.”

Roni Henry, carer “The trip couldn’t have come along at a better time for us as a family. Jack was extremely excited. An interstate trip like this is not something we could really afford as a family so it was great he got the opportunity to go on an adventure. We spoke to him by phone when he first arrived and after that he was fine. My husband and I were relaxed because we could tell he was enjoying himself.

Vera Lloyd, carer

“We have been slowly increasing the amount of responsibility

“This was a terrific exercise in setting and achieving goals.

we give Jack. He wanted to go on the trip so we said, ‘OK, you

Adrian had to save the money, do his research, do the

get organised.’ It has been an important part of his learning.”

preparation. From my point of view one of the major benefits has been the links he has made with other consumers.”


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catch

he seeing t

wildlife

ing u p ove r

Jim Haitas, participant “I had never been interstate before and it was great to forget

autumn 2011

pre-departure preparations

dinne

d

r

_

my issues and enjoy the scenery and good company. It gave

• Monthly planning meetings for six months

me and my family a break from each other which was good,

• Developed rules of conduct for holiday participants

and I came home feeling less stressed out and tired.

• Booked transport, accommodation and activities

“I feel more confident in myself since going on the trip. If I feel stressed, I remember the holiday and just take myself back there for a moment.” Ella Forbes, program worker “The apartments we stayed in were beautiful. They had fantastic views over the ocean, city and mountains. On a clear day you could see to Byron Bay on one side and Coolangatta the other. There were about five to six people staying in each apartment. It was great to have time to get to know each other and head out shopping or to the beach together.

• Updated doctors’ health assessments • Compiled personal and emergency information • Budgeted and met regular payment plan • Labelled and listed any medications for airport security

itinerary

6 4.30am departure for early flight

Monday

Tuesday

Dinner at local pub Australia Zoo

Wednesday Free day Dinner at Draculas Restaurant Thursday Movie World Friday

Return home

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more information: The Gold Coast trip was coordinated by MI Fellowship

“Each night we were able to have dinner at a different place.

Victoria’s Barwon Regional Office. For information about

There was a great range of cuisines to choose from. Some

activities such as this that might be planned in your region,

of us tried Mexican, Japanese, Chinese or Lebanese. This

please contact Nicole Traynor on 5229 8827.

was cool as it’s not something we often do.”

dates for your diary in 2011 | Schizophrenia Awareness Week 16-22 May | Mental Health Week 10-16 October | Watch out for more updates and information on activities in MI Voice Update or visit our website www.mifellowship.org

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www.mifellowship.org


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Amanda’s class act Amanda Baker set herself on a new course after returning to study.

“Returning to study was a big commitment, so it is great to have made it through to graduation.” Amanda is presented with her certificate by MI Fellowship Victoria CEO Liz Crowther.

Amanda was among nine people who graduated

Since completing the course, Amanda has gone on to

with their Certificate in General Education (Adults)

join MI Fellowship Victoria’s Speakers Bureau and is speaking

at MI Fellowship Victoria in December last year. As a

to audiences about her illness and her recovery journey.

registered training organisation, MI Fellowship Victoria runs the accredited certificate course along with a range of vocational courses. The Certificate in General Education gives people who have experienced mental illness the opportunity to re-gain skills and confidence in preparation for further study or employment.

“I have had problems reading and writing all my life,” says Amanda. “My case manager told me about the certificate course and I applied and got in. It was a year of classes twice a week which was quite a big commitment, so it is great to have made it through to graduation.” Information on MI Fellowship Victoria’s accredited training courses is available from our Training Team on 9680 1615.

dancers dig deep

Zumba dancers raise money for MI Fellowship Victoria.

The Collingwood Town Hall was jumping at the end

“We said when we started our business that we wanted

of last year when 160 people ‘zumba-ed’ the night

to make a contribution to the community,” says Joan.

away to raise money for MI Fellowship Victoria.

“Both Maureen and I have family and friends who have

Eight instructors amazed participants by dancing

been affected by mental illness. It’s something that people

continuously to the moves of Reggeaton, Salsa,

don’t talk about but we know there is a need for support

Bollywood and Samba. The Zumbathon participants

and services.”

raised $3,200 for MI Fellowship Victoria. The event was organised by Joan Audino and Maureen Nixon to celebrate the first anniversary of their fitness business, Danzfit, and to support a cause that has touched their lives.

We thank Danzfit for their kind and energetic support. Danzfit runs classes in venues throughout Melbourne. Visit www.danzfit.com.au for more information.


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not ready to rest his case After many years of volunteering his legal expertise to MI Fellowship Victoria, Kevin Abrahamson became a member of the Board at last year’s Annual General Meeting. Kevin’s association with

“I spent nearly 30 years as a lawyer in East Gippsland

MI Fellowship Victoria stretches

before I moved to Melbourne,” says Kevin. “In country

back to 1998 when he provided

areas you do tend to have more community involvement.

pro bono legal counsel to the

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in businesses that

organisation through the legal

have held the philosophy that you should put back into

firm Molomby and Molomby. The

the communities where you live and work.”

firm was later to merge with Middletons who continue to be MI Fellowship Victoria’s pro bono lawyers.

Kevin is now carrying that philosophy into his retirement, bringing not only his professional expertise to the

Kevin brings 44 years’ experience in general commercial

MI Fellowship Victoria Board, but also a background

law and a long-held commitment to community service.

knowledge of the organisation which his helping to inform

He’s served as an office holder on a range of charitable,

its future development.

educational and business development organisations in both metropolitan and regional Victoria.

thank you Bernie Trahair “She has a terrific ability and determination to get a job done,” MI Fellowship Victoria Board member Elaine Price In Bernie Trahair’s 14 years at MI Fellowship Victoria

“She has a terrific ability and

she has held positions ranging from office manager, to

determination to get a job done,” says

volunteer coordinator, to executive assistant, and – for the

Elaine. “And despite her workload, she was

past 18 months – company secretary. Now she’s moving

always there when you needed something.”

on to new challenges outside MI Fellowship Victoria, taking a store of memories and life experiences with her.

Bernie came to MI Fellowship Victoria with little knowledge of mental illness, but

“What I will remember most about my time at MI Fellowship

leaves with understanding and respect for

Victoria is the people – staff, participants, members and

participants, carers and workers.

volunteers – all working towards the same goal,” says Bernie.

“In my time here I have often heard stories

“I have always been amazed by the time and energy people give

that make me think ‘how do people

at MI Fellowship Victoria. Whether it’s volunteers at the Open

manage this?’ But I also know stories

Mind Fiesta who come from miles away year after year, or our

of care and recovery that remind me how important

Board members who volunteer hours of their time and expertise.”

it is that MI Fellowship Victoria keeps doing the work it does.”

MI Fellowship Victoria Board member Elaine Price says that

Thank you Bernie for your enormous contribution.

as MI Fellowship Victoria has grown over the years, so has

MI Fellowship Victoria wishes you all the best for your

Bernie, continually extending the skills she has brought to

next chapter.

the organisation.


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news

media monitor MI Fellowship Victoria approached The Age newspaper about writing an article on the housing crisis facing people with mental illness. The resulting ‘Veronica’s story’ by journalist Jo Chandler was an in-depth look at the issues through one woman’s recovery journey. The article provoked a great deal of community response including discussion on ABC Radio’s Jon Faine program. Last month, our CEO Liz Crowther and our Consumer Participation Consultant Julie Anderson discussed housing difficulties for people with mental illness with Steve Vizard on MTR (Melbourne Talkback Radio). ‘Veronica’s story’ The Age, 23 November 2010

Editor : : Kerryn Garner, Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria Design : : Lisa Minichiello, Room44 Printing : : Bambra Press

Telephone : : 03 8486 4200 Fax : : 03 8486 4265 Email : : enquiries@mifellowship.org Website : : www.mifellowship.org Helpline : : 03 8486 4222

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.

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.

MI Voice is the quarterly publication of the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, Fairfield Place 276 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield, Victoria, Australia, 3078.

© 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 Chief Executive : : Elizabeth Crowther

thank you to our supporters

what we’ve been up to

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in other news > A n alumni program is being trialled in Footscray and Richmond for participants of Day Progams who no longer need the individual support of a key worker. This peer-led program will provide an ongoing social network for day program ‘graduates’ who want to maintain their relationships with MI Fellowship Victoria and with each other. For more information contact your key worker.

> O ur Barwon Region staff joined 1,500 people who took to the streets of Geelong on Australia Day for the city’s second Walk Against Suicide.

> O ur consumer participation consultant Julie Anderson attended the recent National Mental Health Peer Workforce Forum. The conference provided international case studies and evidence on peer positions in the workforce which will be useful in the development of peer programs at MI Fellowship Victoria. The keynote address was given by Larry Fricks on consumer-operated services in the United States.

> A n article on the role of volunteering in the mental health sector by our General Manager for Rehabilitation services, Laura Collister, was published in the January issue of the journal New Paradigm.


Mi Voice Autumn 2011