In the Media
16 June - MIFQ wins Brisbane bid to host Melbourne Cup!
We are thrilled to announce that MIFQ will be one of only 33 national destinations on the 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour! That’s right, the 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy, which will be presented to the winning jockey on Melbourne Cup Day in November, will arrive at MIFQ on Thursday 17th September!
Weekend Notes publishes event write-up of Feed Your Mind Festival
Our inaugural Feed Your Mind Festival was featured in an event write-up by Freelance Brisbane Writer, Damsel Martin in Weekend Notes, ecouraging Brisbane to nourish their body and their mind. Click here to view the article.
14 - 19 May - 612ABC interviews MIFQ artists
During our 2015 Art Exhibition installment, 'Hope in the Present', 612ABC Presenter, Steve Austin conducted a series of interviews with MIFQ CEO, Tony Stevenson and exhibiting artists. View interviews with Artists, Sandimay Knight and Febe Zylstra on the 612ABC Podcast.
17 March – MIFQ urges the public to have their say on the NDIS (published by NewsMail)
MENTAL Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ) is urging people to have their say on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is looking for feedback about the options for quality and safeguarding, inviting people to make submissions, join an online forum, complete a questionnaire, or attend public meetings.
MIFQ chief executive Tony Stevenson said this was an important opportunity for people to help shape the NDIS into a system that works for them.
"It is critical that any reform of this magnitude is workable, consistent and, importantly, that the right safeguards are in place to protect people," says Mr Stevenson.
"The input of families and carers is also essential in ensuring that NDIS meets its brief to give people every opportunity to make their own decisions and exercise choice and control.
"It is especially important to provide appropriate support to ensure people in the community are not taken advantage of under the NDIS."
Mr Stevenson said the NDIS also needs to ensure:
- Consistent delivery of support from people who have understanding of mental health.
- That quality service delivery is significantly enhanced by the use of peer supports and connection .
- Appropriate levels of assistance to help people financially managing their own NDIS packages .
- Consistent quality and fee structures for brokerage for Fund Management Organisations around financial management
To provide feedback visit www.engage.dss.gov.au/ndis-qsf/ until April 30.
NewsMail article link: http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/public-input-vital-ndis/2576609/
1 May - The Westerner features Nicole Sutherland, MIFQ Artist
24 April - MIFA warns a crisis is developing because of budget uncertainty about the future of current services
MIFA's David Meldrum says there have been no clear answers about the future of more than 100 services helping people in every State and Territory with mental health conditions. At least 600,000 Australians live with a serious mental illness.
David Meldrum says staff are already leaving jobs because of the uncertainty and says literally thousands of individuals and families affected by mental health issues do not know if there will be help still available to support them in a few weeks time.
The Executive Director of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia says there is a developing crisis about the future of current services with hundreds of workers not knowing if they will even have a job in less than 10 weeks time.
David Meldrum - who heads up the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA) - says thousands of individuals and families affected by mental health issues don't know if help will still be available to support them.
David Meldrum says staff are already leaving jobs because of the huge uncertainty. He says anxiety in the sector is rising rapidly with hundreds of staff and thousands of clients concerned.
MIFA says people with mental illness are some of the most economically and socially marginalised people in Australia. It is estimated at least 600,000 Australians live with a serious mental illness.
MIFA warns there are currently no clear answers about the future of more than 100 services helping people with mental health conditions - operating in every State and Territory.
David Meldrum says support for thousands of people with serious mental illness conditions and their families is currently in question because the Federal Government has refused to confirm that programs introduced by the Howard Government will continue.
David Meldrum says there is no question that, after many years of frustrating inaction, the Coalition's introduction of new programs in 2006 helped to create "a revolution" in the sector.
These new services are operating in more than 200 locations across the nation. This includes all major metropolitan areas but the programs have also been extremely successful in reaching regional rural and remote Australians.
David Meldrum said, "We have been clearly told that the National Disability Insurance Scheme - NDIS - will improve community supports for people who live with mental illness. We obviously look forward to working with the Government to ensure that happens over the next few years. The concern is the huge uncertainty right now. A crisis about the future of these services is developing right now."
"We just want to know where things stand. Until ten or twelve years ago there was hardly any meaningful support for carers. That changed under the Coalition. Clearly we want to ensure things don't go backwards."
"Programs such as "Mental Health Carers' Respite", "Family Mental Health Support Services" and "Personal Helpers and Mentors" were introduced by the Coalition Government in 2006, who could see the huge need. These programs have literally been lifesavers. They have helped people gain independence and build a life. These programs have also clearly saved money in helping people avoid the need for more expensive interventions. They are 'win win' programs."
"They reach about 120,000 people, have been evaluated and found to be highly cost effective in helping people dealing with mental illness conditions to have a better quality of life."
Highlighting the huge cost savings, David Meldrum said, ""Personal Helpers and Mentors" costs about $8,000 a year for each participant and, simply put, has kept many people out of hospital care - where the costs might be $8,000 for just one week in hospital."
David Meldrum added, "The Department of Social Services has unquestionably worked very hard over the past eight years to reach out to people who were missing out on practical help. There are now only a few remote areas where people cannot access one or more of these programs. This is undoubtedly a great achievement. Frankly I am perplexed at the Federal Government being so tight-lipped about the future of these programs."
"We have been told to wait until the Budget. We are already starting to lose staff who have built up years of expertise. People with mental illness, their families and the staff who work with them, need a clear reassurance that these services are not going to be cut."
April - Self expression through art leaves mental health mark
Exhibiting artists of the 23rd Annual MIFQ, 'Journey Through My Mind,' Art Exhibition, would like to invite you to join them in an artistic exploration of living with a mental illness and help launch Schizophrenia Awareness Week 2014.
View the full article on Weekend Notes here.
17 July - MIFQ welcomes Senator Jacinta Collins, Minister of Mental Health and Ageing
On Wednesday 17 July, Tony Stevenson, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ) Chief Executive Officer and David Meldrum, Executive Director of Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA), met the new Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Senator Jacinta Collins.
Senator Collins and her team were welcomed at MIFQ’s new premises at Herston. They enjoyed a tour of the historical building and were impressed by the beautiful architecture and modern facilities.
Mr Stevenson provided an overview of MIFQ and the vital programs and services we provide to people living with mental illness, their families and carers, and discussed our involvement in the new national mental health program, Partners in Recovery.
Mr Meldrum and Mr Stevenson’s discussion focussed on the need for clinical and community-managed services to work more effectively and collaboratively. They touched on MIFA’s national initiative, Mi Networks, and explained the important and relevant role this promise plays in relation to Partners in Recovery - people have access to relevant information, they are listened to and are referred to appropriate services.
Senator Collins was interested in understanding the causes of mental illness, the role of prevention and the importance of recovery.
This visit provided MIFQ and MIFA an important opportunity to share our vision and mission, concerns of people affected by mental illness, and current issues in the sector.
We hope this is just the beginning of collaborative and meaningful relationship with Senator Collins.
10 July - MIFQ Hosts Introduction of new Queensland Mental Health Commissioner
On Wednesday 10 July, the Minister for Health, Lawrence Springborg welcomed the newly appointed Queensland Mental Health Commissioner, Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck at a media event held at Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland’s new premises in Herston.
MIFQ Chief Executive Officer, Tony Stevenson, President Ken Meissner and Vice President Bob Steele, were joined by staff and supporters of MIFQ, staff from the Queensland Mental Health Commission, and Councillor Vicki Howard, for the media briefing.
Mr Springborg introduced the new Commissioner and talked about the impact of mental health in Queensland and the important role of the new Queensland Mental Health Commission.
Launched in July, the Commission aims to drive reform and guide government and non-government agencies through strategic direction. The Commissioner, her board and officers will work to strengthen partnerships within the sector, including government and community.
Dr van Schoubroeck, explained that the Commission would begin their work by listening to what the issues are, and then proceed with the appropriate action.
“Our job at the Commission is to listen to the many voices that are out there and harness the collective wisdom that comes from personal experience and professional expertise,” Lesley said.
Mr Springborg and Dr van Schoubroeck finished their visit to MIFQ with a tour of our new building and shared a lunch with MIFQ staff and supporters.