CEO Update: Disaster response should embody psychological well being

CEO Update: Disaster response must include mental health

Last Friday, I attended a roundtable with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development to assist nationwide planning for the restoration of fireside affected communities by means of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

The breadth of representatives on the peak our bodies assembly was spectacular. Farmers, small enterprise, and wildlife representatives to fireplace and rescue employees, healthcare professionals, scientists, and banks and insurance coverage firms – the number of represented sectors confirmed how a lot this catastrophe has affected each nook of Australian society. 

The good will current within the room was equally exceptional – the sentiment of the assembly was communal and collaborative, with not a single pitch from one space of want over one other. It actually felt we had been there with all ranges of presidency to nut out what the subsequent greatest steps is likely to be.

Of course, in the course of the assembly the environmental impacts of this catastrophe had been obtrusive and unavoidable. The affect on the psychological well being and wellbeing of our nation was likewise distressing.

Three ideas developed in my thoughts as I listened to the toll this disaster has taken on the well being and wellbeing of the Australian folks.

The first is: this disaster highlights the urgency of additional creating the psychological well being workforce. 

This just isn’t information to our sector. It is one thing we’ve got all been advocating for and recommending for a while. It is one thing the sector highlighted in Charter 2020 and it is without doubt one of the 9 sections in Mental Health Australia’s newest submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health (which we are going to share with you within the coming days). 

Government deployed Army Reserves to help firefighters and communities within the areas worst affected. At the roundtable, I requested the Prime Minister the place our ‘Army Reserve’ is for the psychological well being sector. A educated and devoted staff able to assist and equip these affected and in want. Maybe offering total communities with Mental Health First Aid coaching is a begin.

Borrowing psychological well being employees from completely different areas to assist cities affected is unsustainable, particularly when a lot of Australia is affected without delay. What occurs to folks with psychological sickness again dwelling when their psychological well being workforce leaves them to assist a disaster?

The second is: we want a National Emergency Response Framework that features psychological well being. 

We want a clearly outlined response, researched, developed and able to go for the subsequent time this occurs. The outpouring of cash and assist from the Australian folks has been unimaginable to see and be part of, however that is an unsustainable supply of funding. 

Governments want a framework to assist thousands and thousands of households attempting to rebuild on insurance coverage payouts that hardly start to cowl the clean-up of injury performed to their properties not to mention to “construct again higher”. 

Such a framework wants to incorporate a plan to assist the bodily and psychological well being and wellbeing of Australians. A proactive, not a reactive, plan.

And my ultimate level: what are we going to do otherwise subsequent summer time? 

When the inevitable smoke from (hopefully far much less catastrophic) bushfires seeps into cities from September this 12 months, probably bringing additional property and environmental injury, how will we handle the psychological well being and wellbeing of these communities? Highly traumatic recollections and feelings for folks affected this season will seem as they’ve for folks impacted by the 2003 Canberra fires, 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, and certainly jogged my memory of life as a rustic child residing by means of the Ash Wednesday fires so a few years in the past in 1983 (displaying my age!).

The ramifications of this harsh season on the psychological well being and wellbeing of the Australian folks will prolong effectively into the longer term. Our plan for the longer term response and ample helps has to start out now and prolong even additional. 

The phrase “resilient” has been used incessantly of late to explain the Australian folks. 

We are a resilient folks – the response of the nation to this disaster has proven that. But resilience just isn’t the identical as stoicism, and being resilient doesn’t negate the necessity for assist. 

Kind regards,

CEO Update: Disaster response should embody psychological well being 1

Melanie Cantwell
Acting CEO

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (the Framework) is a free, nationally accessible on-line useful resource which permits organisations and particular person practitioners to judge and improve their cultural responsiveness. It has been mapped in opposition to nationwide requirements that will help you meet your current necessities, with entry to a variety of assist and sources. 

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (the Embrace Project) has been holding free workshops round Australia throughout 2019-2020 to assist implementation of the Framework by psychological well being companies, Primary Health Networks, particular person practitioners and others. The workshops present an summary of the Framework and discover how it may be tailor-made to greatest meet your wants and the wants of your local people.

Workshops for 2019 have now ended. Workshop dates for 2020 are listed beneath: 

  • ACT: Hellenic Club of Canberra, Phillip, 26 February 2020
  • WA: Technology Park Function Centre, Bentley, 5 March 2020
  • NT: Mercure Darwin Airport Resort, Marrara, 26 March 2020

Please click on right here to register for a workshop close to you. 

CEO Update: Disaster response should embody psychological well being 2

The AASW welcomes the Bushfire Recovery Access Program that got here into impact this week and can see folks affected by the bushfires, together with first responders, obtain important psychological well being helps. 

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Ai Group has this week launched a landmark examine into psychological well being initiatives taken in native workplaces. The report appears to be like on the nature of the initiatives, components behind their success, the boundaries they encounter alongside the best way, and the outcomes they generate.

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Beyond Blue has welcomed the Commonwealth’s dedication of $eight million in the direction of supporting psychological well being in early studying companies and faculties affected by bushfire. The funding package deal permits Beyond Blue to supply extra assist to educators and workers working in early studying companies and faculties affected by the bushfire disaster.

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New analysis overturns the idea that individuals with extreme psychological sickness are incapable of efficient communication with their psychiatrist, and are in a position to work along with them to realize higher outcomes for themselves. 

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The AMA is asking for pressing motion to assist medical doctors in coaching, with new analysis displaying that lengthy working hours and fatigue are placing the longer term medical workforce at larger threat of poor psychological well being and suicide ideation. 

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On Tuesday, Mental Health Australia is happy to be holding an all-day Board induction session for our latest Board member Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut.

Also on Tuesday, Harry Lovelock, Director of Policy and Projects can be representing Mental Health Australia on the Peak Bodies Bushfire Recovery Forum.

On Thursday, Melanie Cantwell, Acting CEO can be attending the National Medicine Policy Review preliminary working group assembly in Canberra.

Please be aware the Mental Health Australia workplace can be closed on Monday 27 January because of the public vacation, and reopening on Tuesday 28 January.

CEO Update: Disaster response should embody psychological well being 3
The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) is the height physique for group psychological well being organisations in New South Wales. MHCC has been supporting group primarily based organisations to ship companies to folks with psychological well being points, their households and carers since 1983. They attempt to boost the profile of psychological well being by means of their initiatives, submissions and by selling partnership improvement.
Vision – People with lived expertise are the drivers of constructive change in all psychological well being companies and psychological well being reforms.
Purpose – To construct the capability and skill of group organisations to assist folks on their restoration journeys.
Website Facebook Twitter

CEO Update: Disaster response should embody psychological well being 4

Who: Led by Founder and CEO Elizabeth Venzin, Mindshift are a small however passionate group of business leaders who donate theirtime and experience with unrelenting dedication to selling the significance of constructive psychological well being. 
Mission: To assist people, households, communities and workplaces recognise the significance of self-worth, to encourage preventative psychological well being intervention, and to supply assist to the group by means of consciousness campaigns, sources and public discussions. 
Vision: That a wholesome wellbeing and constructive psychological well being could be achieved by any particular person of any age and from any background.
Website: Facebook:

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) supplies authorized recommendation and illustration to people who’ve been handled unfairly, or discriminated in opposition to, by an insurance coverage firm due to a previous or present psychological well being situation. PIAC does this work as a part of its Mental Health and Insurance Project, which addresses systemic issues in the best way insurers design, worth and supply insurance policies for folks with previous or present psychological well being circumstances.

The challenge is at present specializing in illegal discrimination on the idea of a psychological well being situation within the issuing of life insurance coverage merchandise, together with revenue safety and Total & Permanent & Disability (TPD) insurance policies.

PIAC could possibly supply recommendation or authorized illustration to those that have been affected by a call of a life insurer to use a broad psychological well being exclusion to their coverage. For extra info on PIAC’s work go to PIAC’s web site. If a shopper has been affected by this concern they will contact Ellen Tilbury at PIAC (02 8898 6500) for a confidential dialogue.

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The kind of suppliers, workforce and nature of helps historically supplied to folks with a psychosocial incapacity is evolving beneath the NDIS.This challenge will decide if differential market settings are wanted to make sure suppliers are in a position to reply successfully, safely and viably to the distinctive wants of NDIS contributors with a psychosocial incapacity.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is main this work in partnership with different states and territories, the Commonwealth Government, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Have your say by:

  1. Completing the workforce and supplier surveys.  The workforce and supplier surveys, developed for assist employees, staff leaders/supervisors and supplier managers, will collect info on market developments, points and impacts on the supply of NDIS helps to contributors with a psychosocial incapacity.
    • Workforce survey: This survey ought to be accomplished by employees offering direct assist to NDIS contributors with a psychosocial incapacity, and staff leaders/supervisors of employees offering direct assist to NDIS contributors with a psychosocial incapacity.
    • Provider survey: This survey ought to be accomplished by supplier managers and above, for instance space managers.
  2. Participating in a workshop. A facilitated workshop will establish greatest apply within the supply of helps to contributors with a psychosocial incapacity and impacts of present NDIS market settings on reaching greatest apply. The workshop is focused to supplier managers and above.

Workshop Locations

  • Melbourne, 3 February 2020 (RSVP 13 January 2020)
  • Hobart, 5 February 2020 (RSVP 13 January 2020)   
  • Perth, 7 February 2020 (RSVP 13 January 2020)
  • Brisbane, 11 February 2020 (RSVP 21 January 2020)
  • Canberra, 12 February 2020 (RSVP 21 January 2020)
  • Sydney, 18 February 2020 (RSVP 28 January 2020)    
  • Darwin, 26 February 2020 (RSVP 5 February 2020)
  • Adelaide, 28 February 2020 (RSVP 5 February 2020)    

Please RSVP for the workshops to Julia Colcott by way of e-mail ([email protected]) by the recognized RSVP dates, nominating one consultant out of your organisations administration/management staff.  

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Calling everybody who works within the psychological well being sector and desires to share their work! The 2020 TheMHS Conference is taking submissions of abstracts. If you’ve gotten one thing you’d prefer to say in regards to the panorama of psychological well being in Australia or New Zealand, when you work with a service or program, or are a clinician who sees potential for change, put your summary in for an opportunity to current in Perth, Western Australia in August, 2020.

The theme is “Balancing the System”, which acknowledges an extended historical past of psychological well being companies not offering effectively for these with psychological ill-health. However, as time progresses and attitudes evolve, it turns into clear that the best way ahead is to work towards systematic change.


  • Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • 25 – 28 August 2020

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Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) has the next upcoming tender alternatives. To obtain notification and tender info, you should be registered on EMPHN’s eProcure portal. Registration is free. EMPHN are dedicated to delivering the best care, in the best place on the proper time and are searching for modern companions to work with them to realize their imaginative and prescient of higher well being outcomes, higher well being experiences and an built-in well being care system. 

Name of tender: Healthy Ageing Service Response

  • Description: The supply of a Healthy Ageing Service Response to the entire of EMPHN’s catchment with a give attention to older individuals psychological well being and wellbeing. The service response is focused for folks aged 65+ years (or 55+ years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations) who reside locally or in Residential Aged Care Facilities. This new service response can have a give attention to main and secondary session, multidisciplinary care, collaboration and sector capability constructing.
  • Tender launch date: Late January 2020 (indicative)
  • Tender open for: 6 weeks
  • Services deliberate to start out: July 2020 (indicative)  

Name of tender: headspace – Monash

  • Description: Establishment and operation of a brand new headspace centre within the City of Monash. headspace centres present built-in healthcare to younger folks (aged 12-25 years) with psychological well being and wellbeing considerations. The headspace centre is deliberate to be operational by mid-2020.
  • Tender launch date: Late January 2020 (indicative)
  • Tender open for: 7 weeks
  • Services deliberate to start out: July 2020 (indicative)

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Bringing collectively a group of consultants from around the globe, the Australian Psychosis Symposium goals to enhance look after these affected by psychotic issues, notably schizophrenia and bipolar dysfunction. With cognitive remediation on the forefront of the Symposium’s agenda, be taught the methods during which clinicians, researchers and coverage makers can play a big function in each altering perceptions about psychotic issues and the outcomes for people residing with psychotic sickness.


  • 4 March 2020
  • Primus Hotel, Sydney

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