eNews March 2016

In this edition


Changes at COPMI

Last Thursday we sent you an email regarding advice from the Australian Government that the COPMI national initiative funding will be discontinued from June 30, 2016.

Just in case you missed it, you can access the announcement here.

Have you taken our survey?

You can help us by completing a short survey to feed back about our resources, and add your comments, stories or feedback about the funding situation.

We thank the hundreds of individuals who have already responded to the survey. In the meantime, you can ‘like’ our Facebook page (or stay on our Facebook feed) to keep updated about any developments and how you might access our resources after June 30.

You can also follow our parent body ‘Emerging Minds’ for further updates, resources and news on infant, child, adolescent and family mental health more generally, including updates about the future of COPMI’s work.

Emerging Minds is on the social media platforms below:

Monthly eNews update

Professionals can also subscribe to receive the Emerging Minds monthly eNews email (similar to this one).


NZ joins Australia in putting COPMI families at the centre of prevention and recovery approaches 

The COPMI national initiative is delighted to see professional and lived experience colleagues in New Zealand have their dedication and advocacy rewarded with the recent launch of ‘Supporting Parents Healthy Children’ (NZ COPMIA).

The initiative is pleased to have had Brad Morgan, COPMI Director, invited to assist in a week-long, nationwide roll-out, in recognition of Australia’s leading work in capacity building to support families with dependent children where a parent has a mental illness.

(Photo above: Dr Bronwyn Dunnachie at The Werry Centre thanking Brad Morgan for his support of the NZ launch in February 2016.)

Congratulations to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, The Werry Centre (New Zealand’s lead agency) and their collaborators for their vision in extending this approach beyond mental health to encompass addictions (substance use and gambling). Congratulations also to Dr John Crawshaw, Director of Mental Health, on his inspiring address at the launch.

  • Listen to Dr Crawshaw’s address for a summary of why and how this approach is critical to effective prevention and recovery for all involved – children, young people, adult ‘consumers’, their families, communities and service providers. 


COPMI-related research update

This research update is designed specifically to help keep COPMI staff and other interested individuals informed about recent research and news relevant to children and families where a parent experiences mental illness.

Please forward this page to any colleagues who could benefit from this research update.


Enhance your skills around working with parents and families

There are several ways to increase your capability to respond effectively to parents, children and families who live with a parent who experiences mental illness. The power of the internet means that you can view all of the resources below from the comfort of your chair!

Evidence-based eLearning courses

The COPMI national initiative offers a variety of free, evidence-based eLearning courses. Here’s why they are a great time investment:

  • They’re interactive, practical and engaging – making learning easier
  • You can take them at any time – 24/7
  • You can pick up where you left off – there are no time limits
  • They include video demonstrations to help you visualise putting learning into practice
  • You can accrue Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points with a range of professional associations
Best of all, all eLearning courses are entirely free!

Professional endorsement

The COPMI national initiative’s courses are endorsed for CPD hours by a range of professional associations. You can find out out more about CPD status inside the eLearning system.

Institutions include:

  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) Focused Psychological Strategies
  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
  • The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
  • The Australian Association of Social Workers

Note: Members of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) can accrue CPD hours by participating in CPD activities that they determine to be relevant to their individual professional skills, learning plans and goals. These can be self-initiated. CPD activities do not need to be formally endorsed by the APS or OT Australia as required by the other institutions listed above.

Other professional development resources

Keep updated


It’s National Playgroup Week: Learn about ‘supported playgroups’ for parents with mental illness

From March 20 to 26, Australia will celebrate National Playgroup Week. The event recognises the value of playgroups in the community, as one of the most popular and enduring activities for families with young children.

Whilst the mainstream playgroup structure offers many benefits, families where there is a parent who experiences mental illness may find that their needs are not catered for in these groups. To help support these families, the Australian Government provides funding to operate ‘supported playgroups’ across all states and territories.

What do they do?

Supported playgroups enable people who may not usually access a playgroup to strengthen the relationship with their child in a supportive environment, increase their skills and confidence, and develop valuable social and family support networks. The difference in the ‘supported’ model is that these groups are run by a coordinator who is funded to manage the weekly sessions for a period of time (usually 3 to 12 months). The coordinator will often work with the group to enable individuals to learn how to run their playgroup independently at the end of this period.

Set up your own playgroup for parents with mental illness

Organisations that are interested in setting up a supported playgroup can learn a lot from the ‘Our Time Manual’ that was developed specifically to help others by providing information about the development, implementation and evaluation of the Our Time Playgroup model. The manual includes practical information for the facilitators and parent peer leaders of these groups.

Organisations can contact the Playgroup Australia National Office on 1800 171 882 to discuss potential playgroup sites. Parents can also contact the state associations for information about local groups.  



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