Write a Short Recovery Story for Payment

4, August, 2017

PeerZone Toolkit (aka Swell) is developing information for people with mental distress and their supporters. Each of the 52 life challenges includes a series of short papers, including a peer recovery story. Visit www.swelltoolkit.com to see an example.

Each story will discuss your experience of managing one of the challenges in the our ‘Relationships’ and ‘Purpose and belief’ domains. For more info click here.

Each recovery story needs to be half a page to a full page and submitted by Wednesday 31 August 2017 to info@peerzone.info.

People who submit a story that is published will receive a NZD $100 Amazon gift voucher and a free copy of ‘Madness Made Me’ by Mary O’Hagan. The stories will be edited in collaboration with the authors who will decide if they want their story to be an anonymous or not.

For full details, see the flyer. Email your inquiries and stories to info@peerzone.info.

Head to Health – Opportunities for Feedback: Spotlight Bulletin

26, July, 2017

*Posted for the Head to Health Information Team.

As you may be aware, over the past 18 months, the Australian Government Department of Health has been working with consumers, carers, health professionals and digital mental health service providers to develop Head to Health, the new digital mental health gateway. Head to Health is a key component of the Australian Government’s Response to the National Mental Health Commission’s 2014 report Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programs and Services.

Head to Health is a tool which aims to support people more easily access online and phone mental health and wellbeing advice, information and treatment options that are most relevant to their needs (and alternative non-digital options if considered more appropriate to need) via a website, social media channels, and a dedicated telephone line.

Promoting the collaborative process used to develop Head to Health, the Department has engaged a specialist research agency, Objective Experience, to assist with the testing of the website prototype.  Feedback is currently being sought from a closed target audience prior to the public launch of the website in September 2017.

The Department is particularly keen to ensure there is diversity in the people participating in these activities including persons from: both metropolitan and regional areas; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and or Intersex Groups; Defence Veterans; supportive others; and health professionals and mental health service providers.

Your participation, or recruitment for participation from within your networks, is sought for online testing.

Online Testing

An opportunity for users to complete tasks within their own environment which will be used to:

  • Seek feedback on the readiness and usability of the current Head to Health website, ahead of public launch; and
  • Provide users with an opportunity for unstructured exploration of the Head to Health website, with an option to provide feedback through online forms.


If you or someone within your network is interested in participating in the Online Testing, please contact headtohealth@health.gov.au direct with your details which will be provided to Objective Experience who may then be in further contact with you.

A recording of an information webinar about Head to Health held in May 2017 is available at the following link for your background: https://recordings.join.me/fQuPwAHey0KH7dpwbLKx0g

To assist in our recruitment to the feedback activities, we would appreciate you circulating this email throughout your membership/networks.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at headtohealth@health.gov.au if you require further information.

Thank you and we greatly appreciate your contributions to this project.

Calling All Board Directors, Executive Managers and Company Secretaries Preparing for the NDIS! Spotlight Bulletin

11, July, 2017

Governance InstituteAre you a Board, Executive Manager and Company Secretary in the health care sector?

Do you fully understand the impact of NDIS changes on your governance and risk management practices?

How can you ensure that your organisation, board and executives are compliant with the amended legal and regulatory obligations?


There are so many complex questions to address. But we’re here to help you.

Providers need to rethink their business models to survive in this new market-driven environment. And they must now adapt their organisational governance and risk management, principles and practices to meet the NDIS demands.

The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health and Governance Institute of Australia have developed two new NDIS-specific governance and risk management training courses to assist providers in meeting the challenge of governing and managing risk in the new environment.

  1. NDIS Governance Essentials
  2. NDIS Risk Management Essentials.


Learning outcomes

Complete these courses to:

  • appreciate why governance is important, particularly within the NDIS context
  • comprehend the roles of governing bodies (boards) and the company secretary’s role
  • understand risk management in an organisational context, particularly for NDIS service providers and the risks associated with funding changes, systemic reforms and evolving changes to these models combined with the uncertainty that these changes bring
  • recognise the benefits of effective governance and risk management in terms of business opportunity and strategy.


Each course is delivered face-to-face in our training rooms or as in-house training at your offices.

These courses are proudly presented in conjunction with Queensland Alliance for Mental Health.

Register your interest

If your organisation has been impacted by NDIS, register your interest to stay up-to-date on our new NDIS-specific courses being offered in Brisbane on 22 August and then more dates around the country.

Call for Abstracts for newparadigm Journal: Spotlight CMHA

23, June, 2017

23 June 2017

Newparadigm_Banner image

The newparadigm Journal Editorial Group is calling for abstracts for the Spring/Summer edition which will explore sector and consumer led research into leading edge mental health and cross sector approaches to practice.

We welcome contributions from new and established researchers and practitioners, and encourage diverse approaches to practice through research.

The newparadigm journal, published in partnership with Community Mental Health Australia and the peak community mental health organisations across Australia, exists to encourage discussion and information sharing on material relevant to mental health such as innovative service programs, evolving practice approaches, as well as new research and contemporary thinking and evaluation of existing policy and service provision.

Abstract Submission and Review Timeline

Submissions should be in abstract form (no full articles are required at this stage) and be no longer than 500 words.

Submissions are due July 28th 2017. Authors will be contacted with final determination about submissions by August 4th 2017.

If accepted, final articles will be due for editing with the Journal’s editorial group by October 31st 2017.

The newparadigm Contributor Guidelines describe how to prepare articles for inclusion in the journal. We recommend you read this in full if you have not previously provided a contribution to newparadigm. We also recommend that, before submission, you familiarise yourself with newparadigm’s style and content by reading the journal online.


Productivity Commission Releases Position Paper on NDIS Costs: Spotlight NDIS

14, June, 2017

14 June 2017

On Tuesday 14 June, the Productivity Commission (the Commission) released its position paper on National Disability Insurance Scheme Costs. The Commission invites written submissions in response to its position paper. Further information on how to provide a submission is included on the study website.

The final report will be prepared after further submissions have been received. To view the position paper and participate by making a submission on the position paper, visit the Productivity Commission’s webpage on the study.

Submissions on the position paper are due by Wednesday 12 July 2017.


Bulletin: CMHA’s Gives Evidence at Joint Standing Committee Hearing 

3, May, 2017

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), Australia’s coalition of mental health peak bodies, of which QAMH is a partner, was one of a small number of organisations invited to give evidence at a hearing of the Inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition.

CMHA President, Liz Crowther and Executive Director, Amanda Bresnan appeared before the Committee last Friday 28 March.

In their opening statement, Liz and Amanda expressed concern that ‘the NDIS is not being implemented as it was envisaged, in particular for people with psychosocial disabilities’. They concluded that:

​The key issue is that the NDIS was never meant to be and cannot replace the mental health system. Both disability and psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services must be part of a continuum of support for people living with a mental illness. It is vital that governments’ work in partnership with community managed mental health service providers to develop solutions to concerns and issues that have emerged. Both the federal, state and territory governments are responsible, and we as a community are responsible.

Read CMHA opening statement – Joint Standing Commitee NDIS hearing 28 April 2017.

Bulletin: CMHA Submission – NDIS Costs Issues Paper

19, April, 2017

QAMH is concerned that the current NDIS pricing structure is not appropriate for the provision of psychosocial support and rehabilitation.

QAMH recently met with a regional member organisation who costed out the support they provided, and found they made a $2.75 loss on each hour of service provided, before any administration costs were factored in. This member expressed great concern that they are working at a loss; taking on more clients would eventually lead to the demise of the organisation.

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), Australia’s coalition of mental health peak bodies, of which QAMH is a partner, recently made a submission to the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) annual review of price controls for services and supports. The submission stated that ‘a central issue for mental health being a part of the NDIS has been mental health not fitting into the pricing structures of the NDIS.”

We attach this submission for your information and will keep you informed of the outcomes that arise from the review.

Read CMHA’s submission to the Productivity Commission NDIS Costs Issues Paper

Bulletin: Productivity Commission NDIS Costs Issues Paper

24, March, 2017

CMHA has made a submission the Productivity Commission NDIS Costs Issues Paper. The key recommendations made in the submission were:

• The NDIS Act must be reviewed now that the legislation is actually at implementation, as recommended by Ernst and Young’s 2015 review of the NDIS legislation.

• There must be indicators that sit along-side the indicator of the number of people receiving plans, such as the number of reviews and appeals requested and consumer satisfaction with and an understanding of plans received.

• The Department of Health must continue to fund a low barrier to entry, flexible program for people living with a mental illness who will not be eligible for the NDIS.

• The planning process must be conducted by people with experience in and an understanding of mental health and culturally relevant factors; consumers must be able to view and understand a plan before it is finalised; and assessment and planning for people living with a mental illness or people who do not have English as a first or second language must be conducted face-to-face and not over the telephone, unless it is determined this is appropriate.

• Support for carers of people living with a mental illness should be separate to the NDIS.

• Quality assurance processes specifically tailored for psychosocial support services must be developed as a part of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

The CMHA submission can be accessed on the Productivity Commission website at http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/215038/sub0011-ndis-costs.pdf

Bulletin: NDIS and Mental Health: A Queensland Snapshot

16, January, 2017

In December 2016, the Health Advocate published an article co-authored by QAMH CEO Kris Trott and Mental Illness Fellowship of North Queensland CEO Jeremy Audas.

In the article NDIS and Mental Health: A Queensland Snapshot, the authors argue that the NDIS was not originally designed to meet the needs people who experience mental health issues, their family and carers, and discuss the issues that are now arising as a result.

They further discuss the issues service providers are experiencing as they enter into a service-focussed delivery model.

Read the article: NDIS and Mental Health: A Queensland Snapshot

Bulletin: Shortcomings of the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan

16, January, 2017

QAMH was one of 57 mental health sector organisations that wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister and First Ministers outlining the many shortcomings in the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan.

The authors draw attention to the ‘alarming gaps between previous commitments by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on mental health and the consultation draft for the Fifth National Mental Health Plan. They call on the First Ministers to ‘lead mental health reform by fundamentally reconceptualising the Fifth Plan’s vision in line with the principles to:

  1. Commit to meaningful improvements in the lives of consumers and carers
  2. Assign specific Ministerial responsibilities across portfolios, including health, social and community services, employment and education
  3. Reorient investment towards early intervention and prevention
  4. Expand and embed services in the community, close to need.


For more information, read the joint letter regarding the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan, or read Mental Health Australia’s corresponding media release.