Month: January 2015

Pension facts


To be eligible for the Disability Support Pension (DSP), you have to be permanently blind or have a physical, intellectual, or psychiatric impairment that makes you unable to work for 15 hours per week. Almost every one of our readers will already know this. The basics are basic, but the DSP can be a labyrinth to beginners.

The amount of money you receive on the DSP will depend on your income (salary) and assets (things you own, like property). You can earn up to $160 a fortnight clear before it starts to eat into your pension, but don’t let this stop you! Keep in mind that a single person on the DSP would have to be raking in $1,845.60 a fortnight to completely lose their benefits (and if you’re lucky enough to be raking in $922 a week, we salute you!) However, the amount you can earn before your payment reduces to $0 may be higher if you are eligible for Rent Assistance.

One benefit to working with our organisation is that RichmondPRA is an expert at providing vocational rehabilitation for people with mental health issues, so we know how the system works. Our many sites specifically employ people with a lived experience, so you can rely on our expertise in balancing your DSP and wage as best we can.

The DSP is a big subject. If you’d like to know more about your specific situation, you can find every morsel of information at:

Meet Belinda


Born in Australia from Thai and English backgrounds, Belinda was halfway through a Bachelor of Arts Diploma in Education when her mental health issues first appeared. Belinda went from an outgoing high-achiever to a person her own family barely recognised, and schizophrenia soon played absolute havoc with every part of her life. Stress is usually a factor in the emergence (and also the return) of most kinds of mental health issues, and university is one of the most stressful things you can do at a young age. Sadly, Belinda was unable to continue her education and had to leave uni, which was a crushing day. Although disheartened by this event, Belinda hopes to return to university one day and realise her dream of becoming a teacher. Continue reading “Meet Belinda”

Dangerous when hot


By Grant J Everett

The vast majority of people take medications of some kind, even if it’s only the occasional aspirin or daily fish oil tablets. What you may not be aware of is that even “safe” drugs – such as paracetamol – can have severe, even fatal, side effects if misused. In this story, we’re going to talk about the dangers of certain medications in relation to something we have plenty of in Australia: heat.

Exposure to strong sunlight and temperature extremes can burn your skin, give you sunstroke and even produce cancerous melanomas, but being on powerful medications can make these things a whole lot worse. Psychiatric medications have an assortment of common side effects, such as sleepiness, drooling and weight gain, but some of them go beyond annoying or embarrassing and well into the category of DANGEROUS. For instance, according to their safety sheets the following medications can make heat-related problems much more likely as well as more severe.

Continue reading “Dangerous when hot”

Fighting paranoia

paranoid-eye-is-watching-youparanoia (noun): A mental health condition characterised by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organised system. It may be an aspect of a chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia, in which the person loses touch with reality. An unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people is a common component.

Synonyms: persecution complex, delusions, obsession, megalomania, monomania, psychosis

Everybody experiences suspicious or irrational thoughts from time to time. These thoughts are only classed as paranoid when they are exaggerated to the point where they impact on your life and (importantly) when there is no evidence that they are true, and yet you can’t shake them. And by the way: simply feeling that something is true doesn’t make it true.

There are three specific boxes that need to be ticked for what you are experiencing to be a paranoid thought, and they are:

1) The fear that something bad will happen

2) The belief that someone (or an external cause) will be responsible for this specific misfortune

3) And that these beliefs are actually unfounded in reality

Continue reading “Fighting paranoia”



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-Warren & Grant

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