eNews June 2013

In this edition

Help COPMI to reach rural & regional families

The COPMI Team is working on a long-term project to increase our reach into rural and regional Australia, with the aim of ensuring that families living in these areas hear about us and have access to our resources.

The project is in its preliminary stages and we would love your feedback and advice on our approach.

If you have ever lived or worked in rural or regional areas we would be delighted if you’d share your perspective and learnings with us via the short survey below.

It will only take a few minutes, but will make a huge difference to our project, and is completely anonymous.

Access the survey here



COPMI Workshop at TheMHS Conference

You’re invited!

In partnership with people who have a lived experience of mental illness, COPMI is running a pre-conference workshop at The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference this year. Titled ‘Putting Families and Children at the Centre of Recovery’ the workshop will run for the whole day on Tuesday 20th August.

Register now for only $90 per person, or $45 concession.

We warmly invite professionals, students and people with lived experience to attend this exciting workshop.

What’s it about?

The challenges faced by families where a parent has a mental illness emphasise the need for family-centred practice and the recognition of families’ need to recover as well as the parent (including children, young people and extended family members). For a number of reasons, many models of care and systems focus only on the person with the mental illness, limiting the ability of services to respond to the needs of parents and their children.

Aims of the workshop

The workshop will be a combination of dynamic presentations from both professionals and people with lived experience. It will also provide time for discussion to work through the themes raised in the presentations. The workshop will seek to achieve the following goals:

  • Define what family-driven services are, where a parent experiences mental illness.
  • Identify enablers and barriers for family-driven practice across systems, the workforce and families.
  • Provide attendees with enhanced knowledge and perspectives to use as either professionals working in services or as family members accessing services.
  • The outcomes of the workshop will be collated in a peer-reviewed report identifying next steps to embed family-driven services within systems.

To register to attend, please visit the TheMHS registration page.

If you have any questions, please contact COPMI Lived Experience Coordinator, Fiona Telford-Sharp at telford-sharpf@copmi.net.au.


Connect with clinicians who support families living with mental illness

Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) provides a forum for a variety of clinicians engaged in providing mental health services to get together, build relationships, exchange knowledge and share experiences.

Networks often draw together those who have a shared area of interest, such as supporting parents and families living with mental illness.

There are a variety of benefits

Starting a network with a focus on supporting families who are living with mental illness can help:

  • foster a collaborative approach that directly benefits families
  • strengthen professional relationships and enhance referral pathways between local practitioners and services, and
  • increase awareness of the relevant issues amongst a range of clinicians.

Networks are well supported

If you’re interested in starting a network, you’ll be supported the whole way.

Register your interest to start a network with a focus on supporting families living with mental illness and an MHPN project officer will be in touch. Alternatively, contact MHPN on 1800 209 031 to learn more.

Register your interest here

About MHPN
A not-for-profit organisation, MHPN is funded by the Commonwealth Government Department of Health and Ageing.  Its purpose is to improve consumer outcomes by promoting and facilitating interdisciplinary practice and collaborative care in primary mental health to enhance communities across Australia. This aim is delivered through its two core programs: MHPN networks and the Online professional development series. The project currently supports approximately 450 networks Australia wide and has developed a series of professional development webinars featuring interdisciplinary panel discussions of contemporary case studies. Learn more about MHPN at www.mhpn.org.au


Staff Meet our new staff members

Jocelyn Marsland – new Communications Coordinator

Jocelyn has several years of communications and marketing experience in the not-for-profit sector both in New Zealand and the UK, where she worked in youth development and women’s health respectively.

She has recently made the permanent move from New Zealand to Adelaide and is very excited to have joined the COPMI team. She is responsible for driving the implementation and evaluation of COPMI’s communications strategy and objectives.

You can contact Joss on (08) 8367 0888, extension 28.

Fiona Telford-Sharp – new Lived Experience Coordinator

COPMI’s existing Lived Experience Coordinator, Lydia Trowse, is about to go on maternity leave, and Fiona Telford-Sharp is filling the role. 

Fiona has years of experience in South Australia, developing and facilitating education programs and resources for organisations such as Carers SA, ARAFMI SA, the Partners in Depression Program and SANSYC (South Australian Network of Services for Young Carers).

She’s now looking forward to collaborating with COPMI’s networks of people with lived experience, and will be helping us with some special projects in addition to this.

You can contact Fiona on (08) 8367 0888, extension 26.


Conferences & Workshops

Family Focus workshop, QLD

COPMI Director Brad Morgan visited Brisbane in May to co-facilitate a full-day workshop on ‘Preventive interventions for children of parents with a mental illness’ organised by the COPMI Program, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

The workshop provided introductory training in the Family Focus intervention for a range of health professionals. The workshop was co-facilitated by international guest Professor William Beardslee, who visited from Boston USA, and Australian Psychiatrists Mary Jessop and Nick Kowalenko.

RANZCP Congress, NSW

COPMI also had the opportunity to participate in a number of presentations and workshops at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress (RANZCP) in Sydney. This included a full-day pre-conference workshop on the Family Focus intervention facilitated by William Beardslee, Mary Jessop, Nick Kowalenko and Brad Morgan.

The conference program featured 3 symposiums on children of parents with a mental illness. The first focused on international approaches to supporting children of parents with a mental illness with speakers from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. A second symposium featured presentations of perinatal mental illness, the ‘Let’s Talk about children’ preventive intervention, and included a powerful lived experience presentation by Louise Salmon describing her experiences as a child living with parental mental illness.  William Beardslee, Bryanne Barnett and Nick Kowalenko also facilitated a symposium on the prevention of mental illness.

SA Law Pathways Conference, SA

In Adelaide, COPMI recently attended the SA Family Law Pathways Conference to speak about the intersection of Family Law and COPMI.

We were delighted to have Louise Salmon (a member of the COPMI Lived Experience Forum) share her expert knowledge to help develop our presentation. Louise has 20 years of experience in the fields of child and family health and family law.

A highlight of the presentation was Jess Collins-Roe who shared her story about growing up with a parent who experienced mental illness, and her parents’ separation. The presentation were extremely well received.

A big thank you to Jess Collins-Roe for your valued participation!


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