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2017 Official Mental Health Week Launch

National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum – What you may not know about Antipsychotics

The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF), together with researchers from Curtin University have today launched a Critical Literature Review and accompanying booklet for consumers, families and carers on the direct, adverse effects of neuroleptics (antipsychotics).

“We are concerned that many consumers, carers and family members are unaware of the direct adverse effects associated with neuroleptics and the inconclusive nature of the evidence underpinning their use” NMHCCF Consumer Co-Chair Lyn English said.

The review focuses on the history of neuroleptic drugs, the efficacy and long term use of these drugs. It also provides important information about commonly used neuroleptics and prescribing issues, the direct adverse effects, views on tapering and withdrawal as well as safe, alternative responses to consider.

The review states that neuroleptics can have a role in personal recovery but as recovery is a unique, individual process, the role of psychiatric drugs will be different for each person.

“This review has highlighted the direct, adverse effects of psychiatric drugs which, in many circumstances, can be detrimental not only to physical health but also to mental health, therefore impeding recovery” points out Deb Sobott, project lead and NMHCCF member.

The NMHCCF encourages mental health consumers, families, carers and clinicians to read this Critical Literature Review in order to form a balanced viewpoint on the most effective and least harmful avenue to recovery. The accompanying booklet for consumers and carers, ‘What you may not know about antipsychotics’ is a useful guide for people taking antipsychotic drugs and their supporters.

Both documents can be located on the NMHCCF website: www.nmhccf.org.au
For more information please contact Kathryn Sequoia, Executive Officer on 02 6285 3100

Flourish Online Auction – February 2018

In February 2018, Flourish will be holding an online auction to raise funds that will go towards training and running projects for mental health consumers.

We are currently seeking donations of items to auction from individuals and organisations – please consider contributing to the cause!

Consumer and Carer Engagement Project: Engage and Participate in Mental Health

The National Mental Health Commission is undertaking consultation to better understand and develop a national view of consumer and carer engagement and participation in relation to mental health and hear examples of initiatives that reflect leading and contemporary practice.

Lynette Pearce is the Tasmanian representative on the Steering Group and has provided input on participation and engagement policies and strategies that are occurring at the jurisdictional level.

The Commission has asked that information about the consultation be provided to stakeholders across Tasmania. For more information, you can visit this link: https://consultation.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/policy-projects/engage-and-participate/

The Commission’s consultation will close on 31 August.

Mollie Campbell-Smith Forum: Bodies on the Brink

Richmond Fellowship Tasmania in conjunction with the University of Tasmania are facilitating the upcoming Mollie Campbell-Smith Forums. This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Zali Yager and the topic is Bodies on the Brink: In a world that asks us to constantly compare, criticise, and change our bodies, how do we encourage children to feel good about themselves?

The forums will be held in Launceston and Hobart on the 30th and 31st of August. For further information, please follow the links below:

Bodies on the Brink – Launceston
Bodies on the Brink – Hobart

Pro Bono Australia – Civil Voices Survey

From Pro Bono Australia Founder & CEO Karen Mahlab AM:

Calling all individuals working in the not-for-profit sector.
We need your voice.

At Pro Bono Australia our mission to activate good intentions compels us from time to time to participate in unique research projects that call for the social sector’s perspective.

With this in mind, I am writing to introduce you to Civil Voices, an investigation into the relationship between not-for-profit organisations and the current state of advocacy in Australia.

Today we launch the campaign by urging you, our not-for-profit network, to spend 10 minutes completing the Civil Voices survey. We impress on you the importance of contributing your voice to this pivotal exploration. Your participation in the survey is essential for a holistic insight into the sector’s ability to advocate on matters of public interest.

Run by academics from Melbourne University, the results of the survey will be used to inform a report that will build upon an existing evidence base to provide a deeper understanding of trends surrounding advocacy and the sector. The report will be utilised by the Human Rights Law Centre and Pro Bono Australia to ignite a broader discussion on the issue.

By taking part in the survey, not only will you be contributing your voice to an essential investigation, but you’ll have the chance to win one of four places to the Annual Human Rights dinner 2018.

Thank you for giving the survey the attention it demands.

All the best to you – and thank you again,

Karen Mahlab AM
Founder & CEO
Pro Bono Australia

Wellways Community Advocacy Forums

In May, Wellways held a number of community advocacy forums across Tasmania. During their time in Tasmania they are interested in hearing what the ‘big issues’ are for individuals, families and communities. Their forums were a great success and very well attended across Hobart, Launceston and Ulverstone. The information they collected ensures the voice of people living in Tasmania is represented in their local and national advocacy work. They also hope to activate local communities to take action and create the change they want to see in their community.

They have published the ‘Spotlight’ document from the Hobart Community Advocacy Forum and a short media clip from their Hobart Advocacy Forum which reflects their time in Tasmania and commitment to raising up voices and creating change.

Download a copy of the Spotlight document here.
View the short media clip here.

International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Update

Peer work leaders from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and colleagues from the USA participated in an International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership match in Brisbane on 27 and 28 February 2017.

The Australian peer work leaders resolved to issue a ‘Statement of Intent’ that would communicate the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)’s intention to form a national professional association for the Australian mental health consumer peer workforce. IIMHL feel that such statement is necessary to provide the focus for national consultations to occur that will lead to the development of a peer-run organisation that can support and sustain the development of the peer workforce across all sectors.

The ‘Statement of Intent’ is supported by the international peer work leaders who attended the match – Gary J Parker, Executive Director, Kansas Consumer Advisory Council for Adult Mental Health and Sherry Tucker, Executive Director, Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. Both Kansas and Georgia offer certified peer specialist training, certification and support.

To view the Statement of Intent in full, please click on the link below:

http://www.iimhl.com/files/docs/IIMHL-Updates/20170618.pdf

IIMHL encourages current or emerging national Peer Support organizations from other IIMHL and non IIMHL countries to contact Tim Heffernan direct (theffernan[at]coordinare.org.au  (theffernan[at]coordinare.org.au)  ) as this might be a great opportunity to build an international partnership.

Mental Health Consumer and Carer Engagement Project

The National Mental Health Commission is collaborating with mental health experts with a lived experience of mental illness to co-design a new Consumer and Carer Engagement Project to enhance opportunities for participation. The Project Steering Group is being chaired by Commissioner Jackie Crowe and guides the project and provides advice to the Commission on what we can do together that supports reform implementation.

The Steering Group will examine consumer and carer engagement policies and practices across key parts of the mental health and suicide prevention systems. Craze Lateral Solutions have been engaged to work on this project and undertake consultations with key stakeholders across Australia.

During June and July, consumers, carers, families, support people and other stakeholders are invited to share their knowledge and experience through these consultations.

To access information about the project or to view membership of the Steering Group please visit the National Mental Health Commission website at www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au.

To participate in one of more of the consultation processes please visit https://consultation.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/

Changes to Tasmania’s Mental Health Act 2013

The information below has been prepared by the Mental Health Tribunal.

Feedback from patients, doctors, health care providers, legal representatives and patient advocated have led to changes to the Tasmania’s Mental Health Act 2013.

The Act authorises people in Tasmania with a mental illness who lack decision-making capacity to receive the treatment they need for their health and safety, or for the health and safety of others. Patients’ rights and protection have not been removed or reduced by these changes.

These changes come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Some of the changes specific to patient care include:

  • Streamlining the processes for patient assessment, treatment and care.
  • Improving the way patients are provided with emergency ‘urgent circumstances’ treatments when needed; and streamlining the process for authorising these treatments.
  • Ensuring that eligible people (for example, victims of an offence or parents/guardians of a child victim) are consulted about extending or varying the leave granted to certain patients.

Some of the changes specific to treatment orders include:

  • Extending the timeframes for the Tribunal’s review of treatment orders, from 30 to 60 days; and 90 to 180 days.
  • Allowing the Mental Health Tribunal to make treatment orders that span different settings (for example, in the community and/or in an approved facility); and in certain conditions, authorising patients to be re-admitted or detained in an approved hospital.

For more information

To see the Mental Health Act in full, go to www.thelaw.tas.gov.au