The FACES team recently coordinated their annual Carers Forum in conjunction with Arafmi. It was well attended by over 130 carers, families and stakeholders. A great community!

Extract from Central Western Daily:

A ONE-STOP hub for mental health treatment is hoped to cut the number of people admitted into full time care.

NSW Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward visited Orange on Wednesday to open the LikeMind Centre in Kite Street, the first non-pilot centre of its kind in the state.

The centre will focus on complete care, with services including mental health care, drug and alcohol services, employment and training support, housing assistance, GPs, psychologists and social workers.

Those who attend will be triaged and assessed, with a care plan developed for them.

In partnership with the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD), the centre will be operated by Aftercare, which was founded by Banjo Paterson’s cousin, Emily Paterson, in 1907.

Octec, Housing Plus, the Lyndon Community and Mission Australia will be among the other organisations working from the centre.

Aftercare chief executive officer John Malone said the organisation’s focus had not changed in 109 years.

“If you go back to the early days, people needed a train ticket or a pair of boots or a job, people still the same thing – a place to live and some company to enjoy their lives,” he said.

“It’s for people to feel they belong and they’re not alone and they’ve got a place to go.”

Read the full article here.

We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Health Susan Ley to headspace Meadowbrook on Monday this week. Minister Ley undertook a tour of the centre and spoke with the team regarding the Headspace initiative.

2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards winners announced

The outstanding contribution of individuals, groups and organisations across the state has been recognised at the 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards Luncheon and Presentation Ceremony at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 14 October.

Three exceptional individuals and five outstanding organisations were presented with category honours, which recognise and celebrate achievements and contributions across the mental health space.

The 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards comprises eight categories. The winners in each category are:

Media Award

Winner: ‘Heads Up’ TV Special, ABC QLD

‘Heads Up’ TV Special was a collaborative news event discussed across multiple media, including TV, radio and digital. The TV Special explored youth mental health and wellbeing issues, focusing on two questions: What’s happening to our kids? What are we doing about it?

Individual Award

Winner: Ms Annette Coutts

For her work as a consumer advocate at The Park – Centre for Mental Health, Treatment, Research and Education. Annette draws from her own lived experience to provide empathetic support and effective advocacy for consumers and carers.

Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award

Winner: Mr William Smith-Stubbs

For his work on various campaigns promoting mental health awareness and help-seeking behaviour. William is Co-Founder of Spur Projects, producing a wide range of innovative mental health projects giving men resources, skills and language they need to take positive action around their mental health. William draws from his own lived experience to help others.

Youth Award (under 25 years)

Winner: Ms Teneille Arundale

For her work with Harmony Place, a community-based organisation providing mental health and wellbeing services for people and communities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Teneille is passionate about humanitarian efforts, community development and improving the lives of others.

Workplace Award (small, 1-200 staff)

Winner: Labrador State School

Labrador State School aim to promote mental health and wellbeing and reduce stigma associated with mental illness by delivering a week-long series of events and activities during Queensland Mental Health Week specifically developed to educate their pupils, educators and the school community about mental health issues.

Workplace Award (large, 201 plus staff)

Winner: McCullough Robertson Lawyers

McCullough Robertson Lawyers provide a range of mental health and wellbeing initiatives to support their 400+ staff across Queensland and New South Wales. They aim to provide an inclusive work environment that is safe and supportive

Not-For-Profit Award (small to medium, 1-100 staff)

Earle Duus Memorial Award – the Earle Duus Award is given to one of the eight Awards winners

Winner: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Queensland Branch

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Queensland Branch worked closely with four Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs) to supply appropriate education and training to staff at 100 pharmacies via the Partners in Recovery Pharmacy Integration Programs. The aims of the programs were to improve collaborative care between pharmacies, pharmacy staff and mental health support providers; and improve the knowledge, skills and attitude of pharmacy staff to better support people with a mental illness.

Not-For-Profit Award (large, 100 plus staff)

Winner: Aftercare and Arafmi Inc.

Since 2014, Aftercare and Arafmi Inc. have partnered to deliver support services to family, friends and carers of people experiencing mental illness. Together, they provide carers with a range of information, skill building events, connection with other carers and connection to other relevant community support services.

About the awards

The 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards was a highlight on the Queensland Mental Health Week calendar that aimed to celebrate and recognise outstanding achievement and effort in the mental health space.

This year, a record number of nominations were received from an incredible group of mental health heroes, which were judged by five prominent senior professionals, including a previous Achievement Award winner. 22 individuals and organisations were in the running for category honours.

Taking place at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 14 October, the event was a major celebration for the mental health space – hosting a variety of individuals and organisations from the mental health sector and wider community.

2015 Award category winner and CQU academic Dr Louise Byrne provided the deeply moving and personal keynote speech, drawing from her own lived experience to highlight the importance of connection as a ‘key’ to mental wellbeing.

Award winners were also provide the opportunity to speak and a common theme of gratitude, inspiration and recognition to individuals with mental health illness set the tone.

Marie Fox, Open Minds CEO, said the Awards Luncheon is a tradition for the mental health sector in Queensland, and was an important opportunity to acknowledge incredible effort, dedication and commitment.

“We are all united in a shared passion for destigmatising mental health illness, and improving the understanding and awareness of mental health in communities across Queensland,” said Marie Fox, Open Minds CEO.

“We are so proud of the work of every single individual, group or organisation in our industry, and our Awards offer a unique opportunity to showcase their outstanding achievements. Congratulations to the deserving winners and to everyone who was nominated in this year’s Awards.”

Achievement Awards host, Open Minds, delivers mental health, disability and employment supports and are a registered NDIS provider. They work to enhance mental health and wellbeing by delivering a range of tailored options focused on the individual needs of each person.

For further information, please contact Candice Anderson, Open Minds Communications Specialist, at candice.anderson@openminds.org.au or call 0417 703 750.

Aftercare shared a booth with PPA at the ‘Reinvent Your Career’ expo last weekend. It was a good opportunity for raising awareness of the career opportunities within the mental health sector.

To view current career vacancies please visit the careers section of our website.

Aftercare is proud to announce the upcoming launch of The Poppy Centre, a new mental health service for children under 12, their parents and their carers.

What Is The Poppy Centre?
The Poppy Centre has arisen out of identified community needs in the West Moreton region. Following on from numerous individual consultations, Aftercare organised a community conference and workshop to gain community input in to the development of The Poppy Centre. The feedback was unanimously positive and reflected back many of the issues highlighted in the individual consultations. The service gap for a centre with both clinical and non-clinical services for children 0-11 years and their families and carers was needed and supported by the community.

From this community consultation, Aftercare commenced to establish an innovative service in the Ipswich region to respond to the community’s needs and address the gaps identified. The Poppy Centre is not a duplication of services, rather a collaborative and coordinated delivery of local services in the one centre, including clinical care for children 0-11 years of age.

The Poppy Centre provides a safe place and service for children 0-11 years and their families and carers to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Each child and their families and carers will receive a holistic assessment and have a support plan developed especially for their needs.

The Poppy Centre Team
We have a team of caring professionals with a variety of backgrounds working together to provide a holistic approach for your child. This team includes psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, counsellors and more. A range of both clinical and non-clinical supports, intervention and treatment will be provided from the centre including one-on-one and groups sessions such as play therapy and family/carer support and education, depending on each families’ needs.

The Poppy Centre works collaboratively with stakeholders to provide a coordinated and integrated care and support that is appropriate and responsive the needs of families and children. It is also a place of learning for families, carers and professionals. Studies show that parents and carers who are involved in their children’s wellbeing and care get better outcomes so wherever possible we encourage families and carers to come and support their children.

This service is fully covered by Medicare and will commence in September 2016.

The Poppy Centre
Unit 1/26 East Street, Ipswich, QLD
thepoppycentre@aftercare.com.au

This blog post is written by Toni Hines, Aftercare’s PHaMs Team Leader in Cairns.

On June 16th, I had the opportunity to be part of the Aftercare Social & Emotional Wellbeing program launch up on beautiful Thursday Island, along with our CEO John Malone.

This experience left me feeling very proud of the organisation I work for, for its respectful approach & cultural sensitivity. I am also very proud as of the workers who are all local, well respected community members doing a great job in their local community.

The Thursday Island Aftercare Team

Team Leader Samat Sagigi is heading up a small team of 3 workers. Welcome to Nancy Hooper & Eric Toby who have recently joined the team, both with experience, skills & positive attitudes!

Thursday Island launch tent

I understand from my own experience in Cairns that there can sometimes be challenges when working in remote areas, with Aftercare Head Offices located quite a distance away.

However, the values of Aftercare were very much felt within this program on Thursday Island. The program and team demonstrated strong leadership; a collaborative & recovery-oriented approach.

Since the development of this program, I believe that Aftercare has been committed to making all attempts to respect local culture and work in with existing supports and networks. Gaining local community acceptance and respect has been vital for this program to be a success.

The turn up to the launch gave me every indication that Aftercare is an accepted and respected service on Thursday Island with representation from the local Mayor Vonda Malone, Elders, Community Members, Qld Mental Health, Primary Healthcare Network & other local stakeholders.

Well done to Samat and the Team! Even though you are a long way away, you are all very much an important part of the Aftercare team and we wish you every success in your ongoing efforts to make a positive contribution to those who are affected by mental health issues & helping to reduce the stigma and shame that still exists around mental illness in all our communities.

Thursday Island staff photo

The team have created such a warm, welcoming and friendly environment that is open for everyone.

In the words of Aftercare Thursday Island Support Worker Nancy Hooper –
“This launch has been like the rain. Now the flower has burst out. We are opening (our doors) petal by petal… and the referrals & people are now coming in”.

Aftercare is very proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs!

With one in four Australians experiencing mental health issues in their lifetime, Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle says “the Club is committed to raising awareness about assistance available for individuals, carers and families.”

‘State of Mind’ ambassador Moses Mbye said that “Mental illness does not discriminate. It is shocking to know that at the crisis end, suicide is the largest killer of individuals aged 15-44. It is Australia’s biggest health issue and we are hoping the Bulldogs partnership with Aftercare will improve the outcomes for those affected.”

The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs are a club that is committed to Health and Wellness and Social Inclusion. The partnership with Aftercare – Australia’s longest serving provider of mental health services – will enable the Bulldogs to further strengthen this commitment.

Aftercare’s Executive Director John Malone is happy with the partnership because “it’s important to improve awareness of the need to address mental health issues.”

“We’ll be running a campaign with the Bulldogs to promote conversations around highlighting mental health and how our organisation can help with this. We’re very pleased to have the Bulldogs joining us to address this very important issue which impacts the entire community.”

Check out this video with Moses Mbye explaining that mental illness is Australia’s biggest health issue.

The 2016 Mental Health Practitioner Conference held at the Sydney Masonic Conference and Function Centre on 6 April, 2016 included several compelling presentations and talks from speakers such as the Hon. Pru Goward MP, David Butt, Damian Edwards, Helen Sanderson, Peter Holtmann and a panel discussion facilitated by Frank Quinlan. We were also very grateful to have Gadigal Elder, Uncle Allen Madden, deliver a ‘Welcome to the Country’ speech which was very heartfelt. Lynne Malcolm, presenter and producer of ABC Radio Network show ‘All in the Mind‘, stepped up to the task of MC very well.

With over 200 attendees, the Conference focused on peer workforce. Many attendees commented that the focus on the future directions of peer workers and support workers was very informative and interesting.

Aftercare would like to say a special thank you to our conference sponsors and exhibitors, Exemplar Global, Being, BCA National Training Group, National Eating Disorders Collaboration, Better Caring and St Vincent de Paul Society.

Aftercare is really pleased to welcome Xavier Eales as an Ambassador for our organisation. Xavier is a very bright, young man who became instantly recognised as the young student who brought the mental health and well-being of students and young people into the spotlight. After giving an inspiring speech in front of 1500 people about his own personal struggle at school, Xavier’s speech went viral and caught nationwide attention.

Xavier has since made appearances on shows such as The Project (Channel Ten) and Q & A (ABC) to talk openly about his experiences and will continue to talk openly about his experiences by writing for our upcoming Aftercare blog!

Aftercare is proud to align with Xavier in his pursuit to change the stigma surrounding mental health. For more information about Xavier, follow him on Facebook /Xavier.Eales or Twitter @Xavier_Eales!