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Welcome to The Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition's March newsletter! NTMHC is the peak body for NT community managed mental health organisations. We work in collaboration with a wide network of organisations, people with lived experience, their families and supporters across the NT. We work at both a national and local levels to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Territorians.

In this edition...


Our newsletter contains updates, news and information related to the mental health and the community managed mental health sector. Please feel free to forward to interested people or organisations as we encourage new membership and subscribers. For more information about membership benefits visit our website here.

From the CEO

March has been an exciting month for the Coalition so far, as we celebrated the launch of our new website last week, and the publication of our first official monthly blog series. We had the privilege of interviewing Lauren Keys, a local advocate and leader in the NT Lived Experience and Peer Support communities, whose work and story we wanted to feature and celebrate in recognition of International Women’s Day. Lauren candidly shared her inspiring story of recovery and transformation which led her to the important work she does today, advocating for the involvement of people with lived experience of mental health and related challenges in the design and delivery of mental health services and supports in the NT. To read the article visit our website here.

In addition to a monthly blog, our website now contains a fresh new look and a range of new features and content, developed to provide more value for our members, the wider NT community and the sector as a whole. One of these features includes a calendar, where organizations can promote and add their upcoming events and workshops. If you have an event or training you would like to include on the calendar, submit it to the website. Other additions include a history of the organization, profiles of our team and board members, our updated policy position statements, some new mental health resources - and much more. Please have a look around and let us know what you think! We will be regularly adding to the site (fact sheets, project updates, news, submissions, etc), so please keep an eye out for these updates on our Facebook page. Please also share the site with your networks, so that we can continue to get the word out about the many organisations and resources in the community mental health sector and the fantastic work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people across the Territory.

Latest news from the Coalition

The Darwin Mental Health Network


The Darwin Mental Health Network held our first meeting for 2023 on February 15th. The subject speaker was Ben Horsington from Melaleuca Australia, discussing the complexities experienced by people entering Australia on humanitarian visas. The network discussed the place of interpreters in counselling and support, confidentiality concerns, cultural understandings of mental health and ill-health, and differences experienced by parents and their children through leaving their home country, living in refugee camps in other countries, and finally settling in Australia. 

The next network meeting will be held at 10am on Wednesday, April 12 at the Nightcliff Community Centre, 18 Bauhinia Street, Nightcliff.  A guest speaker will be confirmed at a later date.

To attend the meeting register with the Mental Health Professionals Network Portal.

Meetings are held every eight weeks throughout the year. If you are interested in speaking at any of the meetings, please contact Max Taylor on 0498 103 679.
Photo: Darwin Mental Health Professional Network's first meeting of the year, with guest speaker Ben Horsington from Melaleuca Australia discussing the work being done with refugee and multicultural communities around Darwin

Connecting with Katherine


Our CEO, Geoff Radford, and Sector Development Coordinator, Max Taylor were in Katherine in February, attending the quarterly Headspace consortium meeting, and visiting a wide range of services. We are grateful to all of the people who took time out from their busy schedules to meet with us to discuss challenges and solutions for improving mental health and wellbeing in the Katherine community. One of the things we heard was the need for greater integration of the mental health sector, including growing strong relationships among people and services. The Coalition will be returning to Katherine in April to support the establishment of a mental health community of practice that will offer opportunities to connect the sector, facilitate professional development and grow collaboration. For more information, or if you'd like to get involved, get in touch with us at admin@ntmhc.org.au.
 

NTMHC team engages with the 'YES' campaign


This morning the team met with Georgia Corrie, NT Organiser of the Yes Campaign. You might recall that at the AGM in November, Jade Ritchie spoke about the impact The Voice will have on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The Board of NT Mental Health Coalition resolved to actively support the campaign to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a direct say in the laws that affect them. To learn more about what the Voice to parliament means, read the resources and to sign up as a volunteer, go to yes23.com.au.
Photo credit: Geoff Radford

Sector updates

Cert IV Mental Health (Peer Work) Scholarships


There is still time to apply!

PEER SUPPORT WORKERS are trained to use their personal experience of mental health challenges or caring for someone with mental health challenges, to support other people experiencing similar issues in a way that is safe and encourages healing and recovery.

For more information, check out our video on Facebook .

Contact Max Taylor: max@ntmhc.org.au for a scholarship application form.

First Intake closes on March 24 

Events, conferences and training

NT Businesses and NT Service Providers Networking Event

ISACNT has partnered with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to host the NT Businesses and NT Service Providers Networking Event in Darwin and Alice Springs at the end of March.

The purpose of the event is to connect employers with local service providers to help with addressing their workforce challenges. 

Please feel free to share the invitation with your networks.

Please RSVP by COB Tuesday, March 21. To register click below:

Darwin - https://NT-Businesses-and-NT-Service-Providers-Networking-Event-Darwin.eventbrite.com.au

Alice Springs - https://NT-Businesses-and-NT-Service-Providers-Networking-Event-ASP.eventbrite.com.au

FREE Mental Health Training Workshops and Cross-Cultural Awareness Training - Palmerston


City of Palmerston is offering FREE Mental Health Training Workshops and Cross-Cultural Awareness Training to community organisations.

Mental Health First Aid 101 Workshop:

This free 2-hour workshop will provide participants with some useful information and tips for supporting someone who may be experiencing mental health concerns, including how to access local support options, as well as some National supports. The course will focus on what you may notice about someone who may be experiencing depression, anxiety and or substance issues.

Wednesday March 15th 6.30 – 8.30pm
Durack Community Arts Centre
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/.../free-mental-health-101...

Mental Health First Aid 2-day Course with accreditation:

An accredited 2-day Course that will provide participants with the skills necessary for supporting someone who may be experiencing mental health concerns. The course will focus on what you may notice about someone who maybe experiencing depression, anxiety and or substance issues. We will look at how to access local support options, as well as some National supports.

Saturday/Sunday April 22/23rs 8.30 – 4.30pm
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/.../free-mental-health...

Cross Cultural Indigenous Awareness Training Workshop:

A 45 min Cross-Cultural Awareness Training workshop on inclusiveness and celebrating our multicultural community, as part of Harmony Day. Let us celebrate our differences and strengthen our bonds as a community. Free lunch is provided from 12pm.

Tuesday March 21st 1pm – 1.45pm, Palmerston Recreation Centre
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/.../free-cross-cultural...

Harmony Day Celebrations – March 21

Celebrate Harmony Day with a free lunch, creative workshops and performance by STEPS on Tuesday 21st March from 11.30am – 2pm at the Palmerston Recreation Centre.

Grants and funding

Early Interventions Grants - Closes 12 April

Stream One: Early intervention with young people starting to use DFSV - Pilot

The early intervention with young people starting to use DFSV - pilot is targeted at young people (or adolescents) aged 11-17 who are starting to use violence within a DFV context, including in intimate partner relationships, in recognition of a service gap for this cohort. This refers to situations where adolescents use violence and/or sexually abusive behaviours in the home, and/or in intimate partner relationships

Stream Two: Early intervention innovative partnership grants

The early interventions innovative partnership grants funding will be provided to fund projects or activities that deliver early interventions in a partnership approach to support people at risk of experiencing or committing DFSV.

For more information visit the GrantsNT site here.

Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Housing Pathways


The aim of the DFSV Housing Pathways Grants is to reduce victim survivors’ risk of homelessness as a result of DFSV by improving access to safe, secure and affordable housing. 

Grant funding will be provided to Community Housing Providers (CHP) registered under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH) and established to operate in the NT to deliver a subsidised rental and intensive support program for victim survivors of DFSV.

Funding will be available for activities in Greater Darwin and in Alice Springs. 

For more information visit GrantsNT site here.

General Grant Program (Office of Gender Equity and Diversity) - Closes 31 May
 

Funding is available to eligible individuals, organisations or community groups for a project, service or activity that promotes gender equality in the Northern Territory. If you would like to undertake a project, service or activity which addresses intersectional gender-based inequalities you can apply for a general grant of up to $5,000.

For more information visit GrantsNT site here.
 

Multicultural Grants Program
 

Multicultural Grants Program provides migrant and multicultural communities in the Northern Territory with funding for projects or activities that promote: social inclusion; cohesion; multicultural diversity; linguistic diversity.

Round 1 of the Multicultural Grants Program 2023 - 24 is now open for applications. The Grant Round will close on 31 March 2023. This round generally covers the projects/activities/events from July to December 2023.

For more information visit GrantsNT site here.
 

Other news

ACDC Project Monthly Update

 
In collaboration with the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at the University of Western Australia three reports of the ACDC Project have been released - the ACDC Project Summary Report, ACDC Project Evaluation Report and the preliminary ACDC Project Research Report.

Lisette Kaleveld, Research Officer at the CSI, University of Western Australia, said the evaluation of the ACDC Project demonstrates that Australians want to discuss mental health and seek support, but too often face barriers in accessing professional assistance.

“This project shows the need for greater access to mental health support and services,” she said. “People welcomed the chance to open up and discuss their support needs with a stranger knocking at their front door, often expressing their struggles while also not being aware of all the support options in their communities. Some had tried to reach out before but were stuck in various stages of help-seeking, which can be really complicated for some services."

Top End Mental Health Consumers (TEMHCO) were one of the partner organisations who delivered the project across 3 suburbs in Palmerston.

Click here to read the media release or full reports.
 

New release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW): Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse


The Indigenous Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse has been updated with 2 new publications:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIASB+ people and mental health and wellbeing

This review provides an overview of available literature about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIASB+ people and social and emotional wellbeing. It also includes a comparative analysis of literature about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTQIA+ people and suicide.

An overview of Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention in Australia

This report provides essential information and statistics on mental health, suicide and self-harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It outlines contemporary Australian policy responses and directions, and risks and protective factors for mental health and suicide prevention. It explores evidence of best practice in mental health and suicide prevention. 

Indigenous Australians face many inequalities in accessing health services, and may experience cultural, geographic, cost and availability barriers to using health and mental health services. Indigenous Australians face barriers that other groups do not (AIHW and NIAA 2022b).
 
'Culturally [in]appropriate health services’ included factors such as discrimination, language problems and distrust of the service or provider. Fear of discrimination and racism is commonly cited as a reason why Indigenous Australians do not use mainstream health services. In addition, fear of disrespect, judgement and government interventions – particularly from child protection agencies – are among barriers described in other studies (Lee et al. 2014; Nolan-Isles et al. 2021).

eGROW Online Program - free


The eGrow Program is an online mental health support group based on the traditional Grow Program. The Grow Program is all-inclusive and draws on many principles for mental, social and spiritual health.

The program is a peer-to-peer led support group, where newer members are supported and mentored by experienced members who have worked through the Grow Program and have taken on a leadership role within the group. Over the course of each meeting, the group engages in a series of group discussions that follow the same structure and format as a face-to-face meeting; the only difference is it’s online!

Click here to learn more about the program and group session times.

Virtual reality program being trialled to help boost youth mental health


An exciting new innovation in mental health has emerged, that we are looking forward to keeping an eye on!

Big Sky Psychology have partnered with TeamHEALTH to explore Virtual Reality therapy to help combat the mental health crisis of young people in the NT.

VR therapy is an immersive and multisensory experience that can be tailored and gamified to help young people better regulate their emotions and access therapies in regions with service gaps.

Read the full ABC article here

Applications for Rent Choice Regional are now open

 
Rent Choice Regional is a rental subsidy scheme, designed and delivered by Venture Housing Company, aimed at relieving rental stress for eligible Key Workers working in priority industries in the NT. 

Workers looking to rent or extend their lease in Katherine, Tennant Creek or Alice Springs may be eligible.
 

Rent Choice Regional enables eligible key workers to;

  • receive a rental subsidy of a max. $6,000 for up to six months, depending upon their household size and the rental location.  
  • source their own private rental accommodation through a licensed Real Estate Agent
  • apply the subsidy payments to a lease extension through a licensed Real Estate Agent

The subsidy will be paid directly to the licensed Real Estate Agent by Venture Housing Company each month, for an agreed term. Subsidy payments can be applied to new lease agreements or lease extensions with a licensed Real Estate Agent. The lease commencement date must come after the Rent Choice voucher issue date. All leases must commence within 8 weeks from the voucher issue date. 

Please view our Rent Choice Regional resources and FAQs which provide more detail on the conditions of the scheme.

For more info click here

Online survey for people with lived/living experiences of mental health challenges and carers/family members


Mental Health Australia is seeking your assistance to promote a brief online survey for people with lived/living experiences of mental health challenges and carers/family members. The survey is about My Health Record and Advance Care Planning. The findings will be used to promote better support for people communicating their preferences for future mental health care through My Health Record.

The survey is open from 27 February to 20 March 2023.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact Ingrid Hatfield, A/g Director Policy and Research (02 6285 3100, Ingrid.Hatfield@mhaustralia.org)

Click here to complete the survey.

Employment Opportunities

Anglicare NT - Darwin Anglicare NT - Alice Springs Anglicare NT - headspace Katherine For more vacancies with Anglicare NT, go to https://www.anglicare-nt.org.au/careers/.

Catholic Care Mission Australia Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) - Alice Springs

Newsletter submissions

To contribute content to our monthly newsletter, please email your information in the body of an email or as a Word document to admin@ntmhc.org.au. Please ensure your contribution is no more than 200 words and includes all relevant dates, times, images, links and contact details.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout the Northern Territory and Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to their Elders both past and present.

         

Acknowledgement of Lived Experience

 
We acknowledge those with a lived experience of mental ill-health. We recognise that we can only provide quality care through valuing, respecting and drawing upon the lived experience and expert knowledge of consumers, their families, carers, friends and communities.
 
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