Mental health services crisis diffused as Federal Government announces funding renewal. Sophie Scott. ABC 2nd April
In a move worth $300 million, mental health services will have their funding renewed for a further 12 months. The announcement made today by Health Minister Sussan Ley follows a campaign by Mental Health Australia, after some mental health services began to shut down, unsure of future funding. Ms Ley said the 12-month extension would allow services to continue to be delivered while work continued on the current Mental Health Review. She said negotiations would commence immediately, with priority placed on frontline services. “This review will allow Government to form long-term plans to ensure our high-quality mental health services continue to provide the right care, at the right time in the right setting,” she said. To read the complete article please click on ABC
Feds Renew Homelessness Program Funding. Lina Caneva. Pro Bono. 23rd March. Excerpts
The Federal Government has extended homelessness funding for another two years, providing $230 million under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness – just as current funding was due to run out in June 2015. Federal Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison said the Government will provide $230 million to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) until 2017, with funding priority given to frontline services focusing on women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, and homeless youth under 18.
“The Coalition Government recognises that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness and that women and children are particularly vulnerable. The Government will therefore be ensuring that funding priority under the extension will be given to homelessness service providers that work with women and children in these situations.” Scott Morrison.
In February some 60 Not for Profit organisations and peak bodies warned of homelessness program closures unless the Federal Government urgently renewed the funding. The Not for Profits signed a joint open letter to Minister Scott Morrison calling for Federal homelessness funding to be continued, and a commitment to a four year National Homelessness Partnership Agreement. The organisations led by peak body, Homelessness Australia, had warned that tens of thousands of homelessness clients will be left abandoned if the Federal Government does not extend the $115 National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH). To read the complete article please click on Pro Bono
An Affordable Housing Reform Agenda
Peak community and housing groups, including The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), National Shelter, Homelessness Australia, Community Housing Federation of Australia, and National Association of Tenant Organisations, have released ‘An Affordable Housing Reform Agenda’ which outlines reform priorities to achieve an efficient and affordable housing system that strengthens productivity and participation.
To access the document please click on Affordable Housing Reform Agenda
Legal aid funding restored from July. Queensland Times 26th March
The Abbott Government has backed down over $6 million in planned cuts to legal aid, after a widespread backlash over last year’s budget decision. Attorney-General George Brandis yesterday confirmed the funding would be restored from July, after months of uncertainty in the legal community. The funding for community legal centres supported lawyers providing advice to low-income Australians on issues from workplace disputes to domestic violence. Senator Brandis has rectified the funding for two years, with $25.5 million for legal aid commissions, community legal centres and indigenous legal aid services. But the proposed cut will still apply to environmental defenders offices in each state and territory. To read the complete article, please click on Queensland Times
jobactive to help job seekers and employers from 1 July 2015
On 1 July 2015, the Australian Government is introducing new employment services called jobactive to better meet the needs of job seekers and employers and improve job outcomes. Current Job Services Australia contracts expire on 30 June 2015. Under jobactive, Work for the Dole Coordinators will start on 1 May 2015 and other services will start on 1 July 2015 and operate for five years. Fact sheets with more information on jobactive are available at the jobactive page.
The list of successful jobactive providers can be found at Employment. For Fitzroy (Rockhampton, Gladstone and Emerald), the three jobactive providers will be Job Futures, Max Employment and Neato Employment Services Pty Ltd. WfD Coordinator will be Max Employment.
Tax Review Targets Not for Profit Sector: Lina Caneva. Pro Bono. 31st March
The Federal Government’s new discussion paper on tax reform specifically targets the Not for Profit sector asking if the current tax arrangements are appropriate – raising issues around the ongoing availability of Fringe Benefits Tax concessions and other foregone tax revenue. Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey’s tax discussion White Paper, entitled Re:think, Better tax, Better Australia, includes a separate section on the Not for Profit sector which points out that while existing tax concessions help increase the level of activity in the NFP sector, the value of revenue forgone from the concessions is significant and growing steadily.
“NFP tax concessions result in significant revenue forgone,” the discussion paper says. “The two largest groups of tax concessions involve exemptions from paying fringe benefits tax (FBT) for public benevolent institutions (PBIs), health promotion charities (HPCs), public hospitals, non-profit hospitals, and public ambulance services; and income tax deductions for making gifts to DGRs. The amount of revenue forgone from these concessions has been increasing, particularly the FBT exemptions. “By 2017-18, the PBI concession is estimated to result in revenue forgone of nearly $1.6 billion, from almost $1 billion in 2010-11. In comparison, the deduction for gifts to DGRs has remained relatively stable, increasing from nearly $900 million in 2010-11 to almost $1.2 billion in 2017-18. To read the complete article please click on Pro Bono
Coalition has no tolerance for fraud in welfare system. Morrison; Keenan; Payne. Aust. Gov. Joint Media Release. 30th March
Childcare service providers are on notice that the Coalition Government will not tolerate fraud in the family day care sector, or by any other type of service that delivers approved government-subsidised childcare. The warning comes after a team from the AFP-led multi-agency Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre (FACC) moved on a suspected racket in the family day care industry. Investigators from the FACC team – including AFP, Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Human Services (DHS) – were called in when anomalies exceeding $3 million were identified in government benefit payments to a family day care provider. A number of search warrants were executed in the Albury-Wodonga areas today, and a 27 year old woman was arrested charged with three counts of Obtaining a Financial Benefit By Deception contrary to Section 134.2 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). To see the complete article please click on Foreign Affairs
AFP officers restrained cash and property of $2.2 million, which includes cash to the value of approximately $2.1 million and a vehicle worth approximately $90,000.
Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison said every year taxpayers spend around $7 billion on childcare assistance to Australian families to help them access quality and affordable childcare. “It is crucial this assistance is not taken advantage of,” Mr Morrison said. “I am advised today’s charges surround alleged rorting of the Special Child Care Benefit subsidies that pay up to the full cost of a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect, or where the child’s family is experiencing temporary financial hardship. “My Department will continue to crack down on non-compliance through random checks, forensic data analysis, suspicious claims investigations and other measures.
Funding extensions for disability and carer programmes: DSS media release. 13th March
The Abbott Government today delivered certainty to thousands of people with disability, carers, families and their advocates by extending funding for a range of programmes transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, said the Government’s priority was to ensure continuity of services to families and carers as the transition to the NDIS begins. “Families, carers and children will continue receiving quality care and services as there will be no interruption as programmes migrate to the NDIS,” Minister Fifield said. Minister Fifield said the Government had extended funding to the following programmes:
- Helping Children with Autism (HCWA)
- Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start)
- Young Carers Respite and Information Service (YCRISP)
- Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability (OTD)
- Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability (RSCYP)
- National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP)
The contract extensions will provide around $47 million to service providers across the country. For more information please click on DSS
Men’s Experience with Suicidal Behaviour and Depression Project Findings.
This study completed last year, revealed common risk factors and a common pathway leading to suicidal behaviour. Awareness of this pattern is important because it provides a guide for when and how to interrupt suicidal behaviour, and what warning signs may look like. Four traits or experiences were common among suicidal men:
- Depression or disturbed mood.
- Beliefs and personal values with strong emphasis on masculinity and stoicism.
- Stressful life events.
- A tendency to withdraw, or avoid problems, in order to cope.
When these four features interacted and got worse over time, this increased the risk of suicide, and creating various barriers to treatment or intervention. For example, men reported that having ‘masculine’ beliefs often meant they didn’t accept feelings or ask for help. Therefore, when stressful events happened, men withdrew or attempted to numb themselves with alcohol or drugs. This avoidance and isolation tended not to improve problems but make them worse, pushing men further along the path towards suicidality. To find out more go to beyondblue
Australian Government Expenditure on Mental Health
- Over $7.6 billion, or $332 per person, was spent on mental health-related services in Australia during 2012–13, an increase from $302 per person (adjusted for inflation) in 2008–09.
- $4.6 billion was spent on state and territory specialised mental health services, an average annual increase of 3.2% between 2008–09 and 2012–13. Of this, most was spent on public hospital services for admitted patients ($2.0 billion), followed by community mental health care services ($1.8 billion).
- Expenditure on specialised mental health services in private hospitals was $330 million during 2012–13.
- The Australian Government paid $906 million in benefits for Medicare-subsidised mental health related services in 2012–13, equating to 4.9% of all Medicare subsidies. Expenditure on psychologist services (clinical and other) ($391 million) made up the largest component of mental health related Medicare subsidies in 2012–13.
- The Australian Government spent $788 million, or $34 per person, on subsidised prescriptions under the PBS/RPBS during 2012–13, equating to 8.3% of all PBS/RPBS subsidies.
For more information please click on MHSA
Mental health patients facing cuts to crucial services amid funding uncertainty: experts. Sophie Scott. ABC 24th March
Thousands of Australians seeking help for mental health problems face growing uncertainty because federal funding for hundreds of contracts has not been guaranteed after June 30. Seventy mental health groups, including Mental Health Australia, Headspace, and the Black Dog Institute, have written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Sussan Ley.
The letter reads: “We have not received any definitive advice regarding the future of programs.”Some agencies have indicated that without this advice, they will have to give staff notice of termination of employment in a matter of days. “This ongoing uncertainty is causing a huge disruption to organisations and increasingly, deep anxiety amongst the people they serve.” The National Mental Health Commission has completed a major review of the mental health sector, which is currently with Ms Ley, but no date has been set for its release. For more information please click on ABC
Prevention and promotion framework for mental health
Prevention First is a plain language document produced by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, that provides a new national framework for strategic action to prevent mental ill-health and promote mental health and well-being. This prevention and promotion framework has been developed to translate policy into coordinated action across sectors and for multiple sectors to use in their planning and monitoring of prevention activities. For this reason the resource has been written for a broad audience including governments, health and mental health workers as well as sectors that must be part of the national solution such as children’s services and education. Download the framework document HERE.
A free guide for teenagers who have a parent with a mental illness
The COPMI national initiative has produced a guide specifically for young people from 12 to 15 years of age who have a parent with a mental illness. It is now available for the public to order – free of charge within Australia. The guide is something that parents can offer to their children, or that practitioners can provide (directly to a teenager or offer to parents) to help them better understand their parent’s mental illness. It takes them through what mental illness is and how it affects people, and allows teenagers to reflect on their feelings and find ways of coping with their family situation.
Preview the guide ‘When your parent has a mental illness’ here . (Please note: This is a large file and may take some time to load. The format is intended to provide a preview of content only.) Order your copy now: Access the form here
|The NDIS and Mental Health
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new way of providing individualised support for eligible people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers. The NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group was established last year to inform discussion about the scheme and access for people with psychosocial issues. Queensland’s Mental Health Commissioner, Lesley van Schoubroeck, and staff of the commission will be watching developments with keen interest.
There are no Queenslanders on the NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group, however the Commissioner was pleased to see involvement of a carer representative and a consumer representative from Queensland in a recent consultation workshop. The Commissioner said it would be important to see how the NDIS might impact on people with mental health issues in Queensland. “I’m particularly concerned about access for vulnerable and disadvantaged people trying to recover from mental health issues. It’s important that the right services are on offer. They must support recovery and include real choice.” More information about the NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group and the Access project, take a look here.
Headspace Youth Reference Group
Headspace Rockhampton has restructured the Youth Reference Group and has opened applications up for up to 6 Leaders and 20 General Members to apply!
Indigenous young people, young people from different cultural backgrounds, young people from rural and remote areas, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people and even young people who have been homeless are encouraged to apply. The 6 leadership positions will be the ‘drivers’ of coordination for all areas of headspace Rockhampton that are identified as: Community Events; Policy and Development; and Education and Resources. The 20 General Members will have equal opportunity to contribute to the facilitation and participation of the Youth Reference Group and will aspire to become the future leaders. Benefits of being a YRG members include: skill and knowledge development around youth mental health issues; connecting with other young people; advocacy opportunities locally and nationally; training in areas of interest including media, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, public speaking and a great kick start for your resume!
Applications Close: 13th April 2015 . For more information please contact: Jen Williams, Youth and Community Engagement Coordinator . Tel 4921 9800 Fax 4921 4365 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The social and cultural determinants of mental health: Collective responsibilities, individualism, austerity and entitlements
These five shortlisted essays from the Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition look at mental health from a variety of perspectives. The outright winner, “A Place to Call Home: Housing Security and Mental Health,” was written by freelance writer El Gibbs. Runners-up were Malcolm Forbes, a medical registrar and researcher; medical writer Olivia Hibbitt; poet Sandy Jeffs and sociologist Margaret Leggatt; and Stephen Wright, a writer and counsellor.
The Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition honours the work and memory of the late Professor Gavin Mooney, a health economist who was a tireless advocate for social justice in local, national and international arenas. Each year the competition calls for entries related to a theme around equity and social justice.
To access these essays please click on Gavin Mooney Memorial Essays 2014
SMART Recovery is starting!
SMART Recovery is a voluntary self-help group that assists people in recovering from alcohol, drugs and other addictive behaviours. Based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), SMART Recovery empowers people with practical skills, tools and support to manage addictive behaviours. Weekly SMART Recovery group meetings commence in May at the Walali Neighbourhood Centre. For further information please contact Shelly Green (facilitator) 49 220020
Early Years Network
Do you work with children aged birth to 12 years? Would you like to share information about services in our community? Would you like to receive information that could assist you in your work with children? The Early Years Network provides an opportunity for attendees to share information about their services and provide agency updates to the group. Each month the Early Years Network also invites a different guest speaker to discuss a particular topic relevant to our work with children. These presentations may be:
- Information sessions, which enable the speaker to discuss/demonstrate what they do or what services they provide.
- Capacity building sessions, which allow the speaker to provide educational information that may assist workers in supporting their clients.
A recent survey indicated that 100% of attendees would either agree or strongly agree that the Early Years Network supported their work with children and families, and that the discussion was useful and relevant to their work. If you would like to join the Early Years Network please complete the accompanying EYN Membership form and return to Rebecca.Smith@thesmithfamily.com.au
Staffing and Recruitment for the Older Persons Mental Health Unit.
Recruitment processes have commenced for the OPMHU, with advertisements expected soon for Clinical, Registered and Enrolled Nurses as well as Assistants in Nursing. Please keep an eye on the Work for Us website for further details: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/employment/work-for-us/ .
Reminder of closure of PCYC Dean St.
Please remember that the PCYC Youth Services Facility at Dean Street will be closed from the 17th April 2015. In spite of this closure, Rockhampton Alternative Learning Space & the Youth Support Services Program will continue to operate from the PCYC office at Stapleton Park. For any further enquiries please call
Jo-Anne Peace: PCYC Program Coordinator, P: 07 49285 243. M: 0418 884 096. E: email@example.com
The safety of women cannot be addressed exclusively in terms of law and order. Despite the fact that women are more likely to be raped or killed by an intimate partner in their own home, stranger attacks are still seen as the defining experience of violence perpetrated by men against women. It is a narrative of convenience: one that conceals women who manage to survive partner violence but deserve no less justice; that comforts other women (and men) who believe that they can do things to avoid being violated; that dilutes the notion that the perpetrator had made a choice; and that exonerates institutions from systemic failures.
The structural drivers of homelessness in Australia 2001–11 . Gavin Wood, Deb Batterham, Melek Cigdem, Shelley Mallett | Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. 16 March 2015
Homelessness is highly concentrated in particular regions, especially those with high proportions of men, sole parents and indigenous persons—suggesting policy-makers need to target these groups and locations.
Demographics of Living Alone. Australian Family Trends No. 6
This paper describes the trends in living alone and the characteristics of people who live alone. It shows that within this single category of “living alone” there is tremendous diversity and that living alone has very different meanings within the various sub-groups. Demographics of living alone
The purpose of IRT Foundation’s Community Grant’s Program is to work with local communities to improve the lives of older people by funding practical initiatives. Not-for-profit organisations, community service groups, registered charities and local councils are invited to apply for grants between $1000 and $20,000. IRT Foundation seeks grant applications for projects that demonstrate a positive impact on the health and quality of life of ageing Australians.
The World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities Framework identifies eight domains that can be applied to local communities to identify and address barriers to the well being and participation of older people. Applications for community grants should address one or more of these domains. Closes 10th April. http://www.irtfoundation.org.au/community-grants.html
General funding opportunities
Australian Government Grants
Queensland Government Grants
Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund
Department of Social Service Grants
Events, Training and Regular Meeting Date Claimers
CCDA Committee meeting 2nd Monday of the month, 10am at the Anglicare FACIT office, Ground Floor, 11 Fitzroy St (old MMI building). Open to interested observers. RSVP to Secretary Carmel Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Strategic cross sector issues will be discussed.
Rockhampton Youth Interagency Network (RYIN), Meetings held regularly on the 3rd Thursday of the month 9.00am – 10.30am. 192 Dean St (The old WIN building) For further information or to put items on the Agenda please email or ring Kelly Yow Yeh on 4928 5243 or Kelly.email@example.com.
Local Network Group (Care Coordination Model) Room 5 Community Health Bolsover Street, Rockhampton Second Tuesday of the month effective from 10/02/2015 until 8/12/2015 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. For more information please contact Susie Cameron, Service Integration Coordinator: 07 4932 5291: Mobile: 0409 341 782: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rockhampton Community Access & Equity Reference Group For further information please contact Bob Muir on 4936 8563: Mobile: 0457 102 707: E-mail: Bob.Muir@rrc.qld.gov.au
Inclusive Technology Expo – Steering Committee Meeting (A combined COP DES-CQ & SALT event). Community Solutions Board Room – 189 Musgrave Street fortnightly from Tuesday January 6th: 1pm at Community Solutions. Contact Julie Irwin: 4932-8000 /4932-8010 :M 0407 226 147: Julie.Irwin@communitysolutions.org.au
Rockhampton Interagency meetings for 2014 at UnitingCare Community 229 Musgrave Street, North Rockhampton,. Rockhampton Interagency is an Open/General Cross-Sector Interagency Network in the Rockhampton Area which aims to support each other and to enhance the delivery of services across the spectrum of community needs. Dates: Tuesday 12 May, Tuesday 11 August, Tuesday 10 November. Time: 12.30 – 2.30pm. For further information please contact Bob Muir on 4936 8563: Mobile: 0457 102 707: E-mail: Bob.Muir@rrc.qld.gov.au
Rockhampton Domestic Violence Network. Last Wednesday of the month, commencing with February: For more information including the next venue please contact 4926 5603
GLADSTONE: Youth Interagency meeting, first Wednesday of the month (except for August Show Holiday) 9am, Community Advisory Service, 142 Goondoon St Contact Vernetta on 4976 6311
Mental Health Workers Group regular get-togethers on: First Monday of the month from 5.00 – 6.00 pm Excelcare D2DL Centre, 10 Albert Street, Rockhampton. Anyone who works in any mental health related field who has, or has had, mental health challenges themselves are welcome to attend. Confidentiality, mutual support, laughter, community, and a cup of tea are all assured. For more information please contact Cindi – 4991 1997
The Next Step: Suicide Support Group Meeting. Group open to people who have lost some-one through suicide and are interested in being part of a supportive network and raising awareness of the issue of suicide. For more information please contact Amanda on 0428 841 756 or email email@example.com
The Rockhampton Mental Health Community of Practice. Third Wednesday of the month. 10am – 12pm. Relationships Australia Cnr Bersker and High Sts. Open to professionals, people with the lived experience of mental health challenges, carers, and all those interested in improving mental health support and awareness. For more information please contact Aaron Kenney on 4926 9726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CQ Suicide Prevention Network meeting. For more information please contact Cat McPherson | Networks Developer, Wesley LifeForce | (02) 8922 9082 | 0417 932 602 Cat.McPherson@wesleymission.org.au
The bi- monthly meeting of the Capricorn Coast Community Access Group will be held
in the meeting room at the Capricorn Coast Hospital on Hoskyn Drive, Yeppoon at 10.00 am o, Friday 1st May, Friday 3rd July, Friday 4th September. For more information please contact Ray Thompson on email@example.com
MOURA. Moura Interagency Network Meeting. For further information please contact Debbie Palmes on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0428 712 387. Meetings are usually held 2nd Monday of the second month.
GLADSTONE: Interagency Meeting, third Wednesday of the month, 11am, Community Advisory Service, 142 Goondoon St. Contact Andrea on 4976 6358
YEPPOON. Livingstone Community Development Centre (CDC) User Group Meeting: Meetings are held every 2 months at the CDC Garage10 Johns St. Everyone Welcome. Share Ideas for the CDC. Meet the Livingstone Shire Council Manager Community Wellbeing. Provide Feedback. Plan CDC Events. For more information including the next date please phone: 4913 3840
YEPPOON: Capricorn Coast Interagency Network Meeting, Contact: Sue Hamilton PH: 07 4913 3840. Sue.Hamilton@ livingstone.qld.gov.au
EMERALD Interagency meeting, 2nd Tuesday of the month 9am. -11am. . For more information please contact Bec Hall on BHall@chrc.qld.gov.au or 4980 6345
Rockhampton Bipolar Fellowship support group meeting 1st Tuesday of each month. Community Health building, Cnr of Bolsover and Cambridge Street. For more details please contact Bruce Edward Mob:0419715345
Interagency Social and Emotional Wellbeing Group, Bidgerdii Community Health, Bolsover St. (Upstairs). 12pm -2pm. Lunch provided. 26 March, 23 April, 21 May, 18 June. For more information, please contact Dena Dodd-Ugle, (07) 449304600 or