Call to Mental Health Services to Support QPS Referrals

15, November, 2017

Police Referrals logoFront-line police have millions of interactions with community members each year. Many of these are with people experiencing stress, distress and a range of social issues. The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has been connecting vulnerable and disadvantaged people with support services for over ten years. Conducting referrals is now an embedded strategy of effective front-line policing as it assists to address underlying social and personal issues.

Front-line police have an ability to significantly impact on the lives of the people they encounter. Police Referral Services presents a significant opportunity to direct those in need to the help they require. The long term impact of this process can be life-changing for the referred client, their family and the local community.

The QPS, as part of a cross-agency approach to support vulnerable individuals is able to make non-crisis referrals to service providers regarding many issues, with mental health being one of those.

Up until the recent NDIS changes, the Mental Health category has been effectively supported by many NGOs across Queensland, however, due to the NDIS transition, these services are now facing challenges in supporting this referral pathway. Without resources and capacity, providers are unable to continue to support these referrals which leaves Queensland Police with a greatly reduced number of appropriate services to connect vulnerable clients in the community with.

How can you help?

Police Referrals are exploring the best way forward in order to keep Mental Health as a referral category for referring officers and are interested in speaking with those services that are now commissioned to play a supporting role to clients in the various regions in order to make sure that there are no clients falling through the gaps during this NDIS transition phase.

Connecting clients to appropriate community services is the aim of the Police Referrals so please support this valuable service and those suffering mental health issues.

For further information please contact the Police Referral Coordination Service on 1300 058 910.

Webinar on National Service Provider Benchmarking Survey

9, October, 2017

AbleInsight is conducting a webinar that will include important information about the National Service Provider Benchmarking Survey on the 13th October 2017 at 2pm AEDT.

Webinar participants will be able to ask questions, in real time, of our panelists (including representatives from AbleInsight, Mental Health Australia (MHA) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)).

The webinar will provide you with information about the survey and what is involved in completing the form, as well as the level of support available from AbleInsight and the benefits that are expected to accrue to Survey participants.

In short, the customised benchmarking reports that participating providers will receive will be valuable in assisting with their transition to a more open and competitive disability support services market under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  Also, de-identified aggregate data from the survey will assist the NDIA to make well informed and transparent decisions in its NDIS market stewardship role.

Both the survey and the webinar are open to all disability service providers; you do not need to:

* be NDIS Registered

* have NDIS participants accessing your services

* have already registered to participate in the Survey


Register for the webinar.

There is still time to register to participate in the survey and receive free customised reports. There is not charge to providers the benchmarking reports or for any of the tailored survey support services (onsite and/or telephone consultations, website access). See the survey manager website  for more details or register directly.

Please do not hesitate to contact AbleInsight on 1800 959 665 or use their contact page should you have any questions.

*Posted for the AbleInsight Benchmarking Team.

Appointment of NDIS ECEI and LAC Services in Rockhampton

13, September, 2017

NDIS logo

An NDIS Partners in the Community Program Grant Agreement for Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) and Local Area Coordination (LAC) services in Rockhampton has now been executed with BUSHkids for the delivery of ECEI services and Carers Queensland for the delivery of LAC services.

In line with the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments’ announcement of an agreement to bring forward the NDIS start date in Rockhampton, the NDIA and its Partners in the Community in Rockhampton will work together to ensure early access for Queensland Government disability clients from November 2017 is provided. While prioritising early access for Queensland Government state clients; six months in advance readiness activities will also occur in order to prepare for other eligible people to enter the Scheme from January 2018.

Details of the Agreements:

  • ECEI services: Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme trading as BUSHkids
  • LAC services: Carers Queensland
  • Date of execution: Monday 04 September 2017
  • Service Area: Rockhampton
  • 2011 Local Government Areas: Banana, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Rockhampton (including Livingstone)


Please note: The Local Government Areas of Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall Tambo, Diamantina, Longreach, Winton, Woorabinda in Rockhampton Service Area given the classification of remote or very remote, will be supported by NDIA staff using Community by Community approaches, in line with the Agency’s rural and remote strategy.

All remaining Queensland services areas, Robina, Beenleigh, Brisbane North and South, Maryborough, Caboolture/Strathpine, Maroochydore and Cairns will be released in the NDIA’s next approach to open market (Round 3 – NDIS Partners in the Community program).

For further details, see the NDIS website.

New NDIS Translation and Interpreting Services Policies

13, September, 2017

NDIS logo

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released new policies relating to translation and interpreting services within the Scheme. NDIS has developed a MOU with TIS National to support participants to access supports and implement their plans.

This is an interim solution to fill the gap for translation or interpreter services for people who speak English as a second language (ESL). Further work is being undertaken with DSS to resolve the issue of addressing barriers for participants with ESL to implement their plans in the longer term.

Summary of the new process

Participants who speak English as a second language will be supported by either a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or Support Coordinator.  The LAC or Support Coordinator will assist the ESL participant to:

  1. Access supports in their primary language – usually by a provider who speaks the same language;
  2. Access mainstream National Translation and Interpreter Services (TIS) and coordinate informal language assistance through supports such as their local Migrant Resource Centre; and
  3. Access mainstream and community English learning and development opportunities.

Where the above solutions are not available, a LAC or Support Coordinators will support the participant to access TIS via TIS National for funded supports.

Funded Supports using TIS National

When deciding when to access TIS National, the LAC or Support Coordinator considers:

  1. What is expected to be provided through mainstream and/or universal services
  2. Informal/community/family supports available to assist
  3. Whether the TIS support is fundamental to support the achievement of the ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports funded under the plan
  4. Supports that assist long-term development
  5. Supports that improve functioning.


A significant point to note is the improved integration of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse considerations into the participant pathway – specifically with NDIA Staff, Local Area Coordination or Support Coordination to assist participants who have English as a second language.

TIS National supports can only be used for accessing/implementing funded supports in the participants plan.

There have not been any changes to how participants obtain TIS when engaging directly with the NDIS and Partners in the Community.

Our regional teams and Partners in Community have received initial communications to advise them of these changes, our internal resources have been updated to reflect them and further education will occur over the next few days.

Practice guidance about assisting communication has been provided to Agency staff and Partners in the Community.  This practice guide will also be supplemented with a further internal communications and training to strengthen Agency staff in their understanding of the needs of people from a CALD background.

To support future understanding of the need for interpreter services, we have also incorporated reporting requirements for TIS National to the NDIA on usage data and statistics. This data will inform future CALD initiatives undertaken by the NDIA as well as future reviews of TIS.

To capitalise on the reporting from TIS National, the NDIA will be seeking to work with and inform the market about opportunities for diversification with CALD providers moving into the disability service provision space and disability providers moving into bilingual and ethno specific service delivery.

There are also a number of resources available on our internet page NDIS Translation and Interpreting Services

NDIS Provider Information Sessions in September & October

11, September, 2017

The NDIS is rolling out across Gold Coast, Ipswich and Redland from 1st July, 2018. This notice is to inform both NDIS providers or interested providers about upcoming NDIS information forums in Gold Coast, Ipswich and Redland run by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Outline of session locations and venues

September: Provider Readiness and Provider Registration Forums

October: Provider Support Coordination and Allied Health and Early Childhood Forums

Event flyers

Provider Readiness Forums

Logan Provider Readiness Forum in September

Gold Coast Provider Readiness Forum in September

Redland Provider Readiness Forum in September

Provider Registration Forums

Logan Provider Registration Forum in September

Gold Coast Provider Registration Forum in September

Redland Provider Registration Forum in September

Provider Support Coordination Forums

Logan Support Coordination Forum in October

Gold Coast Support Coordination Forum in October

Redland Support Coordination Forum in October

Allied Health and Early Childhood Forums

Logan Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October

Gold Coast Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October

Redland Allied Health and Early Childhood Forum in October


Inquiries and specific accessibility requirements

Please direct any forum inquiries or specific accessibility requirements to

* Please note: the NDIA will require five days’ notice if an interpreter is required.

NDIS request for further data

If you have time it would be greatly appreciated if you could email to advise which LGAs you service (or would like to service):

  • Redland
  • Gold Coast
  • Logan
  • Toowoomba
  • Ipswich
  • Somerset
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Scenic Rim
  • Northern New South Wales
  • South West (Shires of Maranoa, Paroo, Southern Downs, Bulloo, Quilpie, Balonne, Western Downs, Goondoowindi)


In addition, please tell the NDIA if you are:

  • A discrete specific Indigenous service provider
  • A discrete culturally and linguistically diverse service provider
  • A mainstream provider.

Further event information

Further information about each of the forums can be found on the Eventbrite website by searching “NDIS” or on our NDIA website

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 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

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

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 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:

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 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.