Newsletters

February 2016

Newsletter No. 53

This edition Two exciting forthcoming events: “Children’s Matters” Seminar Winston Rickards Memorial Oration 2016 C&A Mental Health : Remembering the Past and Looking to the Future Review of Mental Health Services 2015, the Australian Government response. Victorian Mental Health Strategy 2015 History Corner 1966 Child Mental Health & Children’s Court

“Children’s Matters –
What really matters to
Victoria’s children?”
MHYFVic will be co-sponsor (together with the Law Institute of Victoria, Berry Street Children’s Services, the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, and the Office of the Public Advocate) of a seminar on February 29th to look more closely at recent amendments to the Children’s, Youth and Families Act and to advocate for change. All Members and Associates are encouraged to attend.
The seminar will be held free of charge in the Ella Latham Theatre at the Royal Children’s
Hospital on Monday 29th February from 9.30am to 1.00pm.
RSVP to bhorsfall@swin.edu.au .
The healthy developmental progress of children must be considered in conjunction with their involvement with family and caregivers. Children are dependent upon adults for their care. MHYFVic hosts several Projects relating to the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental disorders through universal and targeted interventions enhancing the functioning of children and their families. See Prevention Project Task One, Prevention Project Task Two, Prevention Project Task Three on our website.
It must be acknowledged, however, that there are times when families may not be able to provide the necessary care, and substitute care is required. There are well-established processes for investigation of alleged cases of need for care and protection by Child Protection officers of the Department of Health and Human Services. Many cases are managed without the involvement of the Children’s Court. The Children’s, Youth and Families Act governs cases brought before the Children’s Court.
Protection Orders may require families to achieve necessary changes with or without periods of substitute care of the child. Substitute care is ordinarily undertaken by fostering. Some cases require therapeutic programs in specialist units. Occasionally it is recognised that permanent care orders are needed.
The Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry (the Cummins Inquiry) reported that it has been taking on average five years to obtain a Permanent Care Order for children during which time they have been exposed to further trauma. It was recommended that barriers to adoption and Permanent Care Orders should be identified and removed. It was considered that greater certainty should be provided as soon as possible to children experiencing out-of-home care and that the number of placements should be significantly reduced.
An amendment Bill has been passed by Parliament and will come into operation very soon. MHYFVic strongly supports the principle of ensuring early permanency planning for children whose parents are seen to be incapable of the necessary parenting. However, there are several serious practical issues with the amended Act in its present form, for which we advocate further amendment. Two of the most serious are the inadequacy of the assessment process and the lack of judicial oversight.
Appropriate assessment, reporting of difficulties, case planning for necessary changes, provision of assistance to resolve problems, and monitoring of outcomes is the fundamental basis for child protection. Unless this is done it is not appropriate to make permanent care decisions. However, under the amended Act, the decision is based on elapsed time rather than upon incapacity of parenting. Permanency planning is calculated from when a child is first placed in out-of-home care on an Interim Accommodation Order. Time limits are mandated as 12 months for children under two years of age, 18 months for children 2 to 7 years old, and 24 months for children older. The amendments severely restrict the oversight by the Court of arrangements of the Department.
The Act enables the recommendation for permanent placement to be made by a worker whose expertise is in Child Protection, not in the psychological management of dysfunction. Theconsequences of removal of children from their families of origin (lessons already amply demonstrated in Adoption Legislation reform and in the Stolen Generation) demand that such action only be taken after a major effort has been undertaken to remediate the family and expert evidence is provided to indicate that the family is incapable of responding. Although the Act requires DHHS to take reasonable steps to ensure that services are provided, it does not enable the decision to be deferred when services have not been provided.
The obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure necessary services for children and families took a fundamental step for the worse and has never recovered from the decision a couple of decades ago by the late Mr John Paterson, then Head of the Department of Human Services, that the core business of child protection workers was in the management of cases not including the provision of support and counselling which was to be referred out to other service-providers. The reality is that referral out does not mean that necessary services are actually provided. This will remain a fundamental weakness of the system until such time as DHHS resumes responsibility for service provision either directly or by contractual arrangements.
The Children’s Court magistrates will no longer have the power to oversight the justice of recommendations for permanent placement. This is such a serious decision that assessment and families exhibiting serious lifelong natural justice demands that the evidence on which it is based is able to be appropriately judged. Protective workers should not be prosecutors, judge, and hangman. They simply do not have sufficient expertise.
MHYFVic believes that the Act requires amendment to ensure that a major attempt at remediation is mandated and that adequate assessment is undertaken to give evidence to a judge that the family is unlikely to improve before permanent care orders can be made.
The parliamentary Legal & Social Issues Committee received numerous submissions about the amended Act which were overwhelmingly in accord with the MHYFVic advocacy for further amendment. Many other issues were raised in submissions, most particularly the importance of maintenance of sibling relationships (including mandated co- placement), the rigidity of the time-frames, the limitations on family-of-origin contact, and the need for improvements in the child protection system. The Office of the Public Advocate went so far as to say that these changes were contrary to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Another recurring theme was the over- representation of aboriginal children in the system and the failure to heed lessons from past experiences such as adoption legislation reviews and the “stolen generation” reviews.
Although MHYFVic has received a letter from the Minister, The Hon. Jenny Mikakos, that there will be a review of the success of the amendments six months after implementation, there is considerable concern at the validity of such a review and whether it will be adequately researched and truly independent of departmental bias. This concern is shared by a number of other organisations. Come talk it over!

Winston Rickards Memorial Oration for 2016
“PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR THE VERY
OLD AND THE VERY YOUNG………… A PATHWAY FROM PSYCHOANALYSIS TO
CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS AND A THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY ”
To be delivered by
FRANCIS MACNAB AM OM PhD DD
Clinical Psychologist and Contextual Analyst Executive Director of The Cairnmillar Institute
Outstanding in the creation of high quality and innovative psychotherapy at a community service level, Dr Macnab will reflect upon challenges and ways forward. He will trace a pathway from his training in Scotland, through his experiences with group therapy with people suffering chronic schizophrenia in a long-stay mental hospital, and working with their families, to the beginnings of a therapeutic community in Melbourne, now embracing the development of the Big Tent Project for kindergarten children, and the SAGE Project with nonagenarians. Along this pathway, Dr Macnab will highlight his development of Trauma Therapy, leading to Contextual Therapy and to the Release Mechanisms. As Founder of The Cairnmillar Institute, he will include some reflections on Cairnmillar’s 55 years.
On Monday 21st March 2016 at 7.30pm Ella Latham Theatre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria.
“Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Remembering the Past and Looking to the Future”
Our President, Professor Jo Grimwade, gave a most interesting historical paper at the scientific meeting on 17th November, jointly sponsored by MHYFVic and the Victorian Branch of the Faculty of Child Psychiatry of the RANZCP. It surveyed the rise of the child guidance movement in America about a hundred years ago.
In celebration of this centenary of organized child and adolescent mental health services, MHYFVic will be promoting a series of seminars over the next several years looking more deeply at the insights emerging from this paper. Whilst the paper featured many of the milestones of where we have come from, the seminars will look more closely at where we are today and where we are heading in the future. It is our mission to propose implementation of best practice models for our future services.
Professor Grimwade approached his history of child mental health services through vignettes of key players. These included :
Stanley Hall, President of Clark University who was Founder, in 1891, of the American Psychological Association. He began a Child Study program in 1891 which went on for twenty years, culminating in his advocacy for the 1909 Presidential Congress on Childhood.
William James, foremost psychologist of his era, who encouraged Clifford Beers to write his book A mind that found itself, based on the personal experience of insanity from 1900 to 1903. James was outspoken on reform of asylums and staff, a movement re-labelled by Adolf Meyer as the “Mental Hygiene” movement. He gained interest of medical practitioners and of philanthropists by virtue of his book American pragmatism, published in 1910, shortly before his death.
The Mental Hygiene Movement was launched as Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene in 1908, then a year later as National Committee for Mental Hygiene. Its focus on insanity prevention led to delinquency early intervention and then to Child Guidance with the aid of philanthropy.
Adolf Meyer, a Swiss neuropathologist recruited to USA in 1892, advocated the Psychobiological approach. In the model, all things that affected the human; biological constraints, social influences, and behaviour were to be addressed in a holistic response. Meyer was keen to intervene in the prevention of insanity and promote mental hygiene; he thought adolescence was the time to intervene.
Juvenile Justice was another seminal influence in development of youth mental health clinics. The South Australian Juvenile Court opened in 1896. Chicago Juvenile Court opened in 1899. Boston Juvenile Court opened in 1906. Judge Baker adopted a medical model of juvenile justice so that children could be helped to recover from their delinquency. His model was adopted across the USA.
1909 Illinois Institute for Psychopathic Research (Healy), became the Institute for Juvenile Research (Healy & Bonner), thence recruited to found Judge Baker clinic, Boston in 1917. Another notable research unit was the Bureau of Child Guidance, New York, (Glueck) in 1921.
The role of philanthropy was crucial in the development of social work. Jane Addams, daughter of an Illinois Senator, inherited enough funds for independent living following a very successful school and college education. She visited Toynbee Hall in London in 1889 and decided to set up a settlement house in Chicago. The focus from the start was self-sufficiency and education. Social Work emerged from the beneficent practices of Settlement House residents in Chicago, Boston, and elsewhere. The first course was in 1892.
Other important philanthropic milestones included : 1876 Johns Hopkins established a Medical School and Hospital; 1909 Henry Phipps joined Mental Hygiene Movement, funded Clifford Beers and later a clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital; 1909 Ethel Dummer backed delinquency research; 1917 Rockefeller funded child development program; 1918 Commonwealth Fund formed by Harkness family; 1922 Lizzie Merrill-Palmer opened the Detroit nursery school; 1922 Commonwealth Fund underwrote Child Guidance Demonstration clinics.
The seven Commonwealth Fund Demonstration clinics of 1922 were:
 St Louis, Missouri (court-affiliated clinic)
 Norfolk, Virginia (court-affiliated clinic)
 Dallas, Texas (hospital-based)
 Los Angeles, California (hospital-based)
 Twin Cities, St Paul and St Paul and
Minneapolis, Minnesota (integrated into
the community)
 Cleveland, Ohio (integrated into the
community)
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (integrated into the community)
Our services, today, have built upon a rich tradition. The forthcoming MHYFVic Seminars will not only acknowledge the heritage and the lessons learned, but will advocate for better things to come. It promises to be an exciting journey. Allan Mawdsley
THE MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN SURVEY
At the same scientific meeting where our President presented his paper on the history of the child mental health movement, the Chairman of Victorian Branch of the Faculty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr Paul Robertson, presented a summary of the recent National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children that had been mentioned in our September newsletter.
One in seven children (aged 4-17) (13.9%) had a mental disorder by DSM4 criteria. Of these (in rounded figures) 2/5 were girls and 3/5 were boys; 60% were mild, 25% moderate and 15% severe. The severe cases (2.1% of the total) were three times more prevalent in adolescents 12-17 than in younger children. Major Depression Disorder was more likely to have greater impact then ADHD, Anxiety Disorder or Conduct disorder.
56% with a mental disorder had used services in last 12 months; higher with severity of disorders (41.2% mild, 72.5% moderate & 87.6% severe). 67.7% reported having their needs fully or partially met. Although there are still unmet needs, this appears to be a significant improvement upon earlier surveys.
The full text of the report can be downloaded from the Commonwealth Department of Health website.
Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR (2015) The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health, Canberra
Review of Mental Health Services
In our November 2015 newsletter we highlighted a report by the National Mental Health Commission on problems perceived in delivery of mental health services. In an amazing turn of speed the Commonwealth Government has already published its response. This is the summary :
Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services
The National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services ‘Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities’, highlighted the existing complexity, inefficiency and fragmentation of the mental health system and presented a compelling case for long-term sustainable reform.
The need for action is critical when considering almost four million people in Australia will experience a mental illness in any one year. Mental illness is the third largest cause of disease burden in Australia after cancer and cardiovascular disease and the largest single cause of non-fatal burden, and results in significant health, social and economic and productivity consequences.
More efficient and sustainable approaches are needed to improve the system for individuals, across the life course and across illness severity, and to improve targeting of efforts. Key system-wide problems highlighted in the Review included:
– Fragmentation, inefficiency, duplication and a lack of planning and coordination at a local level;
– Service delivery based on the needs of providers, rather than on consumer choice; – Waiting too late to intervene to offer services for people with mental illness, with an imbalanced focus on acute, crisis and disability services rather than prevention and early intervention;
– A ‘one size fits all’ approach to service delivery that does not optimally match or meet individual needs; and – Underutilisation of innovative approaches to use workforce and technology.
The Commission particularly highlighted the economic costs and social burden of mental illness and the implications if governments fail to act. The economic cost of mental illness to Australia is enormous, with estimates ranging up to $40 billion a year in direct and indirect costs and lost productivity. A significant share of this can be averted if the right services are put in place.
The Government has taken the opportunity of considering the challenges raised by the Commission, to ensure a better future is delivered for people with mental illness and their families. The Government has undertaken a collaborative and consultative approach to develop a comprehensive plan for action. This included establishing an Expert Reference Group to explore how to put some of the Review recommendations on the ground, along with targeted consultations across the mental health sector which have informed this response.
The Australian Government is committed to the system change necessary to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the mental health system. Immediate action will see the mental health system transformed within the next three years, with a significant shift in the way services are planned and delivered, within a stepped care approach to mental health.
This response presents a system-level change in the Australian Government’s role in funding and reform, based on the following platforms: – Person centred care funded on the basis of need;
– Thinking nationally, but acting locally – a regional approach to service planning and integration; – Delivering services within a stepped care approach – better targeting services to meet needs;
– Effective early intervention across the lifespan and across the care continuum – shifting the balance to provide the right care when it is needed;
– Making optimal use of Australia’s world leading digital technology; and
– Strengthening national leadership – facilitating systemic change at all levels and promoting the partnerships needed to secure enduring reforms.
The response outlines nine, interconnected, concrete areas of reform:
Locally planned and commissioned mental health services through Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the establishment of a flexible primary mental health care funding pool
PHNs will lead mental health planning and integration at a regional level, in partnership with State and Territory governments, non- government organisations (NGOs) and other related services and organisations. Consumers will benefit from a local service system which is designed and planned around their needs and which makes the best use of available workforce and services. A flexible pool of funding will be established from which PHNs can commission services to meet local needs.
A new easy to access digital mental health gateway A single gateway will be established offering phone line and online access to navigate mental health services as a first line of support. Consumers will have straightforward access to evidence based information, advice and digital mental health treatment.
Refocusing primary mental health care programmes and services to support a stepped care model Primary mental health programmes and services will be redesigned within a stepped care model, moving from the ‘one size fits all’ approach to better match services to individual need. The PHN flexible pool will support provision of services within this stepped care model. Consumers will benefit from better targeted services.
Joined up support for child mental health
A new networked system will be established, to help reduce the impact of mental illness on children. Children will benefit from being supported by better informed and joined up services, a single integrated end to end school based mental health programme and new pathways to services including online based support.
An integrated and equitable approach to youth mental health Better connections will be made between services and sectors for youth with mental health and related issues, including supporting engagement with education and employment.
Young people with or at risk of a range of mental health issues will benefit from services which are better integrated, more equitable, and which meet the need of young people with severe mental illness, and young people with mental health and substance misuse problems. Current programme funding for youth mental health services will be channelled through PHNs, which will commission appropriate services based on community need.
Integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services Mental health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be enhanced. There will be better integration between mental health, drug and alcohol, suicide prevention and social and emotional wellbeing services at a regional level, with skilled teams providing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with mental illness.
A renewed approach to suicide prevention
People at risk of suicide will be better supported in their local community through a new evidence based approach to suicide prevention, including a systematic and planned, integrated and regional approach, replacing the current piecemeal approach. Negotiations with states and territories will seek to ensure that people who have self- harmed or attempted suicide will receive critical follow-up support, and efforts to reduce suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be refocused.
Improving services and coordination of care for people with severe and complex mental illness People with severe and complex mental illness will benefit from new innovative approaches to coordinating and packaging available services and funding to better meet their multifaceted needs, from new assessment arrangements and from ensuring the National Disability Insurance Scheme delivers on its promise in providing choice and control for people with a disability arising from mental illness.
National leadership in mental health reform
The Australian Government will lead the mental health reform actions outlined in this response, which are critical to implementing an improved, efficient and sustainable mental health system. The Government will also continue its ongoing responsibilities in promotion, prevention and stigma reduction activities, supporting consumer and carer engagement, building the evidence base and ongoing monitoring to enable continued improvements in mental health. As part of this leadership role the Government will support the development of the Fifth National Mental Health Plan, which emphasises the linkages between state funded acute facilities and the new primary mental health environment. In addition, the Plan will be an opportunity to develop an appropriate performance framework and national indicators for measuring progress towards reform in this context.
The Australian Government is committed to change – real and meaningful change – in the delivery of mental health and suicide prevention and improving the system for the benefit of all Australians. The Government is pleased to announce this reform package but recognises that the changes will be significant and need to be staged in a way that avoids disruption to service continuity for consumers and providers alike. To this end we will work closely with stakeholders to successfully implement these critical reforms.
The full text of the paper is downloadable as a pdf from the website of the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services
ISBN: 978-1-76007-234-6 Online ISBN: 978-1-76007-235-3
Allan Mawdsley
MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY 2015
In our November 2015 newsletter we published a note on the MHYFVic response to the call for submissions on the Victorian Government’s proposed Ten Year Mental Health Strategy. To our amazement, the government has already issued ‘Victoria’s Ten Year Mental Health Plan’
The publication was issued in December 2015 by The Hon. Martin Foley, Minister for Health in the Victorian Government. Although it does not specifically address the issues raised in our submission, we did receive a letter of thanks for our submission and we must acknowledge that the generalities of the plan are perfectly in keeping with MHYFVic’s hopes. Time will tell whether or not the hopes are realised.
The following is an extract of the text. The full text is available at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/mental- health/priorities-and-transformation/mental- health-priorities-for-victoria.
“The plan builds on the previous Victorian mental health strategy, Because mental health matters: Victorian Mental Health Reform Strategy 2009-2019. It also incorporates feedback from public consultations, policy changes in Victoria and Australia, new evidence-based practice and opportunities to align with other government policies and strategies.
Victoria has led Australia in delivering holistic, consumer-directed, carer-inclusive treatment and support in a range of community and inpatient settings. This plan builds on this strong history of excellence, but there is still a long way to go.
A key part of this work is about how we work with the Commonwealth on mental health reform, because Victorians need a system that works together well, and they should be able to get the support and services they need, when they need it – regardless of who funds it.
We will continue to advocate to maximise the benefits that primary healthcare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and other Commonwealth Government mental health programs can deliver for Victorians. We will continue to lobby the Commonwealth to reverse its $17.7 billion in cuts to public hospitals over 10 years – which will see $1.8 billion cut from acute mental health services. We will also maintain pressure on the Commonwealth to reverse cuts to important services such as perinatal support for mothers.
Our plan starts with a clear goal: that all Victorians experience their best possible health, including mental health.
The Victorian Government is committed to creating a healthier, fairer and more inclusive society. That means good mental health for everyone, particularly people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. It means that people living with mental illness get the same respect and opportunities as everyone else.
We will use outcomes to guide our efforts to create the best conditions for Victorians’ mental health. The outcomes listed here are a starting point and an aspiration, not a conclusion. As we learn more about how to measure experiences and outcomes, we will keep improving them, and the indicators that sit under them.
We will also strongly advocate for an outcomes approach in the upcoming Fifth national mental health plan.
The Victorian government funds public clinical mental health services that treat people with severe and enduring mental illness. These services are managed by public hospitals and include bed-based and community-based outpatient services. Some people using clinical mental health services are treated as compulsory patients under the Mental Health Act 2014 (people considered to be in need of immediate treatment to prevent serious deterioration in their mental or physical health or prevent serious harm to themselves or another person).
State-funded clinical mental health services deliver assessment, treatment and clinical case management in acute inpatient settings and in a range of services in the community. They include child and adolescent mental health services, adult mental health services and mental health services for older people. A number of publicly funded specialist clinical mental health services are also delivered on a statewide basis. These services offer treatment for specific types of conditions or high level needs. In 2015-16 these services treated approximately 65,000 people.
The Victorian government also funds the Mental Health Community Support Services, provided by a range of non-government providers, which deliver support services to people psychosocial disability associated with mental illness. In 2015-16 it is anticipated that these services will provide support to more than 12,000 adults. Over the next three years most of these services will transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme as it rolls out across Victoria.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme will significantly increase the number of Victorians with psychosocial disability who receive support, and change the way support is provided. The range of support services available will be far wider, and Victorians with psychosocial disability support needs will be able to choose the support and services they receive to meet their individual needs.
The Public health and wellbeing plan 2015- 2019 establishes a new and ambitious population health vision for the state: a Victoria free from the avoidable burden of disease and injury, so that all Victorians can enjoy the highest attainable standards of health, wellbeing, and participation at every age. Mental health is one of six key priorities in this plan
In Health 2040, we have started a process for long-term reform of the health system in Victoria, based on the perspective of the people who use the system. This includes thinking about the alignment of the mental health system with the broader hospital and community health sector, and ways to ensure that the most vulnerable members of the Victorian community have access to the kinds of support and treatment services they need.
Good mental health takes more than just good mental health services. For that reason, our actions will address the bigger picture across Victoria. We will take action in health promotion, prevention and early intervention that is not restricted to government services. Action will be linked with our Public health and wellbeing plan 2015–2019 which prioritises the improvement of Victorians’ mental health. Like that plan, this plan focuses on prevention and promotion and our efforts to achieve the outcomes outlined in this plan will include a focus on environments that create good health. We will aim to change attitudes and behaviours, and improve workforce participation, social connection, civic participation, community resilience and suicide prevention. In some cases, our actions will aim to drive change through the community sector and private sector.”
HISTORY CORNER, 1966
With the report of the presentation on the history child guidance clinics already in this newsletter, I thought of a different topic that measures the changes in our society and may impact subtly on our practices.
When I was ten years old, I experienced my first public education program transmitted by television; or, at least, the first I can remember. Our family had been slow to adopt the new technology, but after my father returned from a science teacher world tour, he had decided TV could be a means for social advancement.
In the months prior to 14 February, 1966, there was a jingle and a cartoon character across all known media (I am not sure that there was a collective noun for TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, back then) whose name was Dollar Bill. The jingle, to the tune of Click go the shears, was very catchy!
Something like;
“Click go the coins, boys, Click, Click, Click …” And finishing with: “On the fourteenth of February, 1966!”
Decimal currency had arrived. There were many advantages, but many debates, about the new coinage. The name drew some attention and there was a very strong anti- Americanization flavour to the debate. This led to the proposition that the new currency be called the “Royal” or the “Rand”.
Most liked the design of the coins with Australian fauna featured so prominently. Most did not like the 50 cent coin, which had to be replaced as it was so similar to the 20 cent coin. Many teachers mourned the passing of facility with a twelve-base number system. But, I am not sure anybody objected to the date being Valentine’s Day. I don’t recall when Valentine’s Day became a recognized social date in the Australian calendar. I have often argued that it was not part of our culture if the date chosen for currency change was the same for this memorialization of love.
I know that when this date became a likely one for my marriage, we quickly dismissed it as we did not want anyone confusing our intentions with some plastic add-on to culture.
Wikipedia tells me that there was a Saint Valentine. Roman Emperor, Claudius, forbade the marriage of young people as he thought unmarried soldiers fought harder. But Roman priest, valentine, thought it was good for the Christian Church to have married couples producing Christian children and so performed marriages in private. Eventually he was caught and in the year 269 AD, he was sentenced to death by beheading, but only after he had also been beaten and stoned.
By all means celebrate Valentine’s Day if you are a Christian, but know its meaning.
I remember that the Swedes changed over to driving on the right side of the road at about the same time as we switched currencies, and the “six-o’clock swill” stopped on 1 February, 1966, but I don’t recall the health messages or public campaigns associated with this change.
Fifty years later, we have greatly improved our health and mental health services, and public education is a standard feature of broadcasting. We have long had an improved fifty-cent coin, but no longer have one cent and two cent coins, the dollar and two dollar notes have become coins, and our folding currency is plastic not paper. But I still won’t celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Jo Grimwade
In Memorium : Linae Bell (Jolley)
In our November newsletter we reported the untimely death of one of our supporters, the late Linae Bell. MHYF Vic members who would like to commemorate her life might wish to join her husband, Jason, in a special event called “The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers” benefiting the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
On 16-17 April 2016 Jason and his team will walk approximately 60 km in two days to raise funds to support breast and gynaecological cancers research, treatment and services.
You can join Jason’s team or sponsor his walk by making an online donation through the link below. http://www.endcancer.org.au/site/TR/Even ts/Melbourne2016?px=1290089&pg=perso nal&fr_id=1180
Jo Grimwade
OUR UPDATED WEBSITE
After much thought our website has been significantly revised to give casual visitors immediate information about what we do and what we stand for, whilst at the same time allowing members to go straight to specific sections such as Projects or Newsletters or Events, without having to navigate past reams of information.
Now that the main revision has been implemented we are working on tasks of development of Projects to give us the evidence base for our advocacy. There are quite a few items under development at the present time which are not yet reflected in the website but over the next few months we expect to see a burgeoning of activity.
Visit us on mhyfvic.org
2016 MHYF Vic Committee
* President : Jo Grimwade * Vice-President : Jenny Luntz * Past President: Allan Mawdsley * Secretary : Celia Godfrey * Treasurer : Anne Booth * Membership Secretary:Kaye Geoghegan * Projects Coordinator, Kylie Cassar * WebMaster, Ron Ingram * Newsletter Editor, Allan Mawdsley * Youth Consumer Representative, vacant * Members without portfolio: Suzie Dean, Miriam Tisher.

Archives

September 2021
Newsletter No. 77
July 2021
Newsletter No. 76
June 2021
Newsletter No. 75
January 2021
Newsletter No. 74
October 2020
Newsletter No. 73
August 2020
Newsletter No. 72
June 2020
Newsletter No. 71
March 2020
Newsletter No. 70
February 2020
Newsletter No. 69
November 2019
Newsletter No. 68