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'What's New' eNewsletter - January 2018

January 6, 2018



NewAccess - Coaching you through tough times

ASBDD FREE World Bipolar Day Event Advertising

ANZMH – 19th International Mental Health Conference

Ready? Online Decision Aid Trial

WorkSafe WorkWell program

Free Gift from Byron Clinic

STAAR Awards - Nominations Open!

Grant Ready – Access to upcoming Grants lists, specific to your needs

Nicci’s Blog – The impact of childhood sexual abuse on my mental health

BlackDog Institute - Who to see for your mental health issues


VICSERV Upcoming Training Courses and Events

Minds Unleashed – A collection of poetry by people with a Mental Illness & their Carers


Research – Participants Required

Supporting a Person after a Suicide Attempt

Burnout online study (BOOM)

Looking for New Ways of Living Well with Bipolar?

A brain imaging study of social and emotional processing in bipolar disorder

The Australian Genetics of Depression Study

New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression

The Effectiveness of Mangosteen for People With Schizophrenia

Mental health consumer and carer survey – Experiences of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Virtual Clinic – Sweet Spot Study

Bipolar Disorder Health and Lifestyle Study – Geelong

Early intervention in mental illness and substance abuse

Black Dog Institute Suicide Prevention Research

Black Dog Institute e-Mental Health Research


NewAccess - Coaching you through tough times

NewAccess is a program developed by beyondblue that provides free and confidential support to help you tackle day-to-day pressures.

A NewAccess coach, specially trained and experienced, will support you in setting practical goals that will get you back on track.

The program includes six free sessions with a NewAccess coach. At your first appointment, your coach will complete an initial assessment with you and develop a program tailored to your needs.

Sessions occur over the phone or face-to-face, whichever works best for you.

NewAccess is currently available in QLD, ACT, NSW and SA.


ASBDD FREE World Bipolar Day Event Advertising

The Australasian Society for Bipolar & Depressive Disorders (ASBDD) lists annual World Bipolar Day events on its website at:  A new event page has been created on the ASBDD website for information on 2018 World Bipolar Day.  If you know of anything that is being organised, it would be greatly appreciated if you could email the information to any time during the lead up to 30 March 2018. Any preliminary wording can be added and changed at any time up to the date of the event.  The event notification on the ASBDD website includes a review of activities from 2015.


ANZMH – 19th International Mental Health Conference

Our Treatment – Our Environment – Our Strategies

The conference program will challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion.  The program will explore mental health access and support, service design and specialised clinically focused programs, physical wellbeing and mental wellness, mentally healthy workplaces, disorder management, strategies and support for wellness of mental health workers, ehealth, suicide and harm prevention.  The conference topics are inclusive of citizens from the diverse society we live in from the aged, child and adolescent, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Indigenous, CALD and LGBTIQ to examine solutions and share ideas in regard to mental health care.


Ready? Online Decision Aid Trial

READY? is a new online decision aid trial for workplaces to improve any conflict for employees or employers around the disclosure of mental health conditions.

We are currently seeking people to help trial the tool.

This trial is supported by both the Black Dog Institute and beyondblue


WorkSafe WorkWell program

Your workers' health, safety and overall wellbeing is your most important asset.

We understand that when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, it can be difficult to find the right information for your business, or even know where to start.


As a result, WorkSafe is making it simple for you to find the support your workplace needs. Delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services the NEW WorkWell program aims to help you promote and protect mental health and wellbeing in your workplace. View the criteria


In January 2018 WorkWell will open applications for Improvement Funds. With a multimillion dollar funding boost, the Fund's purpose is to create long-term and industry-wide change, targeting vulnerable populations and industries at risk of poor mental health. Funding will be focused on industries and sectors, rather than individual workplaces. Selection criteria are available now and expressions of interest open mid-January, 2018 and close in February, 2018. View the criteria


In April 2018 you will have access to an online Mental Health Navigation Tool, which will simplify your search for reliable information and help you create a coordinated approach to health, safety and wellbeing in your workplace. Since you are already registered, your business will be amongst the first to receive updates on the tool.

In the meantime, there are already a number of mental injury, work related stress, bullying, mental health and wellbeing and return to work resources available online. View resources.


Free Gift from Byron Clinic

We are giving away five FREE online video counselling sessions from to everyone throughout the month of January.

There are currently 90 therapy sessions online with another 120 sessions to be released in the new year.

Current topics include:

🌼 Advanced Trauma Therapy

🌼 Emotional Regulation

🌼 Conflict in Relationships

🌼 Divorcing – Parents and Kids



STAAR Awards - Nominations Open!

Nominations are officially open for “The 2018 STAAR Awards” (Strategy to Action Awards Recognition). These awards are a joint initiative of the No More Harm National Conference and the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association.


Nominations are a way to highlight, recognise and reward those individuals and organisations for the work they continue to do that change people’s lives. You are eligible to nominate multiple individuals or organisations in each category.


Nominations are open until 28 February 2018.


Grant Ready – Access to upcoming Grants lists, specific to your needs

GrantReady is a leader in the field of grants.

We are a national company and have worked with thousands of organisations around Australia to find and apply for suitable grants.

Our team has experience as successful grant writers. GrantReady has directly helped access over $500 million in grants and rebates.

We have also worked as program assessors for government and in the provision of development services for government grant programs.

Having worked on both sides of the equation, we know what it takes to think right, build successful grant strategies and to access grants again and again.

Phone  9853 9853 or email for more information.


Nicci’s Blog – The impact of childhood sexual abuse on my mental health

Some content refers to suicide, abuse and other possible triggering details. If you are triggered, please put your self-care strategies into action and access necessary supports immediately.


Who to see for your mental health issues

Psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors?


Nearly half of us will experience a mental illness at some point in our lives.

And all of us will go through periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict.


We're better able to navigate these periods when we are able to access the right support, medication or services. Sometimes the right treatment is lifesaving.


There are a range of people who can help with mental health issues. But it can be hard to know who is best to turn to, as practitioners vary widely in their training, experience, and expertise.


Some are trained to offer support for psychological issues, like grief and stress, others specialise in more serious mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.



PeerCrafts is an initiative which promotes the use of craft as a support and empowerment aid in the context of community-based social support services. It includes mental health recovery, retirement, drug and alcohol recovery, disability, and every other scenario where peers provide support to each other.


Rhodian is the founder of PeerCrafts and busy with doctoral research on this topic. The research focuses on how computer-aided design and manufacturing technology (CAD & CAM) can be used to establish and boost a crafts resource in this context. The real challenge is to remain accessible to everyone and to ensure that the technology plays a supportive role, not to intimidate or exclude anyone, but to enhance our ability to provide support with another useful tool at our disposal. He created this group because of overwhelming interest from the peer support community.


While Rhodian’s research must be his priority for the moment, he will provide a fortnightly article on a topic of interest and try to address any questions and requests at the same time. Eventually, there will be a website where digital craft resources will be available as downloads or craft project packs. Rhodian hopes to make a meaningful contribution towards our collective health and wellbeing in due course, but wouldn’t be able to achieve that without your support.


For more information and/or receive fortnightly articles, email Rhodian at


VICSERV Upcoming Training Courses and Events

VICSERV's training courses have been specifically developed for those providing psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services to people with severe and enduring mental illnesses.


Please see our Training Calendar to see our current six-month schedule of training courses. If you are interested in any of the training courses in the calendar, you can register from our training registration page.


You can also download a PDF of our current training calendar. Why not print it off and pin up a copy in your office kitchen? VICSERV can also post hard copies of the calendar to you in A2 size.


Please contact us on 03 9519 7000 with your details and the number of copies you would like posted.


Minds Unleashed – A collection of poetry by people with a Mental Illness & their Carers

Attachment 1

I compile a collection of poetry, distributed for free. You are invited to contributed to the collection and help raise insight into mental illness. So, if you have always wanted to share your talent, now is the time to do so.


Minds Unleashed is distributed for free to Carers, Consumers, Educators and Clinicians, in hope of increasing awareness and reducing stigma surrounding mental illness and it would benefit greatly from your poetry.


Several Uni’s/training organisations use this manuscript as a course resource. Minds Unleashed reaches people all over Australia and some other countries. So only submit your poetry if you are happy for it to be distributed and forwarded freely.


Please send your poetry either in the body of your email or a word document to allow for transfer to the collection and website display. Use your own name, a nick name or advise if to be anonymous. Send to Nicci at


Research – Participants Required


Supporting a Person after a Suicide Attempt

Here at SANE Australia, we are conducting a new piece of research in collaboration with the University of New England into people’s experience of supporting a person after a suicide attempt. The aim is to gain insight into the impact of supporting someone and the services or help that would make the role easier.


This research will lead to the development of resources to support people caring for a person after a suicide attempt.


If you are over 18 and have supported someone around attempted suicide in the last ten years, click here to take the 15-20 minute survey. Please also feel free to share with those in your network; the bigger sample we achieve, the more representative the research.


Looking for New Ways of Living Well with Bipolar?         Attachment 2

If you are over 18 and have bipolar disorder you may be eligible to help us trial new, online self-guided interventions designed to improve quality of life in people who experience bipolar. We are comparing two types of interventions that have been created by international experts which both include videos, exercises, tools, forums and an online coach.

To find out if these interventions are helpful, you would also be asked to complete 4 assessments (which include a telephone and online component) over a 6-month period. You will be reimbursed for participation in these assessments.

A brain imaging study of social and emotional processing in bipolar disorder

       Attachment 3

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood.  Some people with bipolar disorder experience impairments in thinking or difficulties in processing and regulating emotions.  It is possible that particular types of genes and circuits in the brain contribute to these difficulties, but further research is needed to understand their involvement.


This project aims to investigate the thinking and emotional patterns associated with bipolar disorder through the use of cutting-edge neuropsychology and neuroscience techniques.


The Australian Genetics of Depression Study    

The overarching objective of the Australian Genetics of Depression Study is to learn more about the genetic drivers of clinical depression, and the genetic factors that influence the effectiveness of various clinical depression treatments.


Study researchers are working to recruit more than 20,000 Australians aged 18+ to the study who:

•Have been treated for clinical depression in the past; or

•Are currently being treated for clinical depression.

If you know of anyone living with depression, now or in the past please let them know about the study.


New Treatment Trial for Bipolar Depression           Attachment 4

Do you have bipolar disorder and are looking for something more than your usual treatment?

You are invited to join a preliminary study of the effectiveness and benefits of the Mangosteen Fruit Extract for people with Bipolar Depression.


The Effectiveness of Mangosteen for People With Schizophrenia        Attachment 5

The project aims to determine if the product made from mangosteen fruit will have a positive effect on the symptoms of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder


Mental health consumer and carer survey – Experiences of the NDIS

The purpose of this survey is to inform Occupational Therapy Australia’s presentation at the upcoming National NDIS Mental Health Conference in November. OTA’s presentation will focus on current issues associated with the provision of NDIS services for people with psychosocial disability. The presentation is titled ‘Keep Calm and Carry On: A newcomer’s guide to the NDIS’. It will be delivered by Anita Volkert, OTA’s National Manager: Professional Practice and Development.


Virtual Clinic – Sweet Spot Study

We are recruiting individuals who are currently experiencing difficulties with anxiety and/or low mood for a study to evaluate our online treatment program with varying levels of support.  The study uses our well-established 6-lesson mixed anxiety and depression course as part of the program – it is very good and is certainly the most popular of all our courses.


Bipolar Disorder Health and Lifestyle Study - Geelong           Attachment 6

This study aims to investigate health and lifestyle factors associated with bipolar disorder and its related illnesses.

The purpose of this investigation is to increase our understanding of bipolar disorder and related illnesses, and may benefit people with bipolar disorder by further understanding the illness.

Participants must have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, be aged over 20, and usually reside in the Geelong and surrounding area.


Early intervention in mental illness and substance abuse


Adolescence can be a difficult time for many young people. It is seen as a crucial period for intervention as 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25 years. Led by Scientia Professor Helen Christensen, the Black Dog Institute is focused on developing ways to prevent the onset of mental illness in young people. Prevention targeted at the right time can help to stop young people from experiencing episodes of both depression and bipolar disorder. To engage adolescents, our prevention work often utilises web-based technology and mobile apps.


Black Dog Institute Suicide Prevention Research for details on current prevention research


The Black Dog Institute is a strong and vocal player in suicide research, an area of great unmet need. The Black Dog Institute currently hosts the prestigious NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention, led by Professor Christensen.


Young Australians are more likely to take their own life than die from motor vehicle accidents or skin cancer. Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 and the tenth most common cause of death overall for Australian males. In Australia, the financial costs have been estimated at $17.5b or 1% of GDP.


Many people with suicidal thoughts are reluctant to seek help. The Internet can play an important role in overcoming obstacles for seeking help by providing accessible and anonymous prevention efforts. The suicide prevention research team are working on a range of projects in suicide prevention.


Black Dog Institute e-Mental Health Research


The Black Dog Institute is a leader in the area of e-mental health research developing interventions to lower depression, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing. It is known that about two-thirds of people with a mental illness do not seek help. Despite increased investment and strong evidence showing that prevention and intervention saves lives, factors like geography, stigma and social circumstances make it hard for people to get help.


Content Submission Invitation

You are invited to submit content on mental health related information, sites, events, research call for participants or findings, etc. for inclusion in my monthly newsletter. I will endeavour to post the eNewsletter at the start of each month (mental health permitting). Please submit any items for inclusion to by the 26th of the month, for inclusion in the following month’s eNewsletter.


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We are currently accepting recommendations for Mental Health Coping Strategies & Techniques, and Australian Online Supports, Research Study Sites, Treatments & Therapies, Apps, Courses and Lived Experience Books. Please fill out the submission form below, and once we look at a suggested inclusion, we will add them to our site.