GET REAL: Podcast

Get Real

Talking mental health & disability

What’s it like to live with a mental health condition, or a disability, or both? How can we make life better for people who face these complex challenges in their lives? GET REAL presents frank and fearless conversations about mental health and disability, including people with lived experience, frontline workers in the industry, as well as policy-makers and advocates.

Episode 1: Who cares? Caring for carers

People who care for a friend of family member are the unsung heroes of our community. Carers provide a service that would otherwise fall on the health system, providing a $15bn contribution to the Victorian economy alone. Yet they often face enormous challenges. In this episode, we talk to three people with lived experience about what it’s really like to support someone with a complex mental health issue or a disability, and how we can better care for carers.

Episode 2: The disability sector response to COVID-19

People with disabilities are highly vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic. Is our government doing enough to help them? What more do people with disabilities – and the organisations that support them – need to get them through this crisis safely?

GET REAL talks to the CEOs of three disability support organisations that have banded together with more than 30 others to lobby the government for the help that the sector desperately needs. Together, this non-affiliated coalition, as part of the NDIS, supports more than 300,000 people with disabilities across Australia, employing thousands of Australians.

Guests include Kate MacRae (CEO Able Australia), Stephanie Gunn (CEO Gateways Support Services) and Karenza Louis-Smith (CEO ermha365).

Episode 3: VROOM VROOM: Virtual Reality training for the psychosocial disability workforce

How do we equip our workforce to support people who are living with psychosocial disabilities?

This week, GET REAL explores an innovative virtual reality training project designed to offer immersive experiences to enable disability support workers to quickly gain competency in this work.

Guests include Thomas MacNamara,  Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Lightweave, and Ellen Maple, Project Manager – Learning Design and Development, ermha365.

Episode 4: Telehealth: delivering mental health support in a time of social distancing

Now more than ever, people need support with their mental health. This episode explores how ermha365’s mental health team has pivoted to telehealth services to continue to provide care and support to our clients, while maintaining social distancing to help flatten the curve. 

Guests include Sally Wall, ermha365 Manager of Mental Health Services, plus Cass, Jess, Marnie and Clare who provide mental health support services in South Eastern Melbourne and Geelong/Barwon.

For support with your mental health:

In South Eastern Melbourne, contact SEMPHN Access & Referral on 1800 862 363 (8.30am-4.30pm weekdays)  or visit the SEMPHN website and download the referral form –

In Geelong/Barwon, contact the Access Team at Barwon Health Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services (MHDAS) on 03 4215 0000 for an assessment. A Mental Health Community Clinician (case manager) then makes the referral to ermha365.

Episode 5: Getting help for your mental health during COVID-19

This week, GET REAL asks a very practical question: where do you go to get help for your mental health, particularly if it is something you’ve struggled with even before COVID-19, or you have an underlying mental health condition, or the advice that’s widely available just doesn’t seem to make a difference for you?

Guests include Karenza Louis-Smith, CEO of ermha365 and Board Member of Mental Health Victoria; Lynne and Cassie, Practice Leaders in ermha365’s Psychosocial Support Program, PSS; and Shandya and Shyleen, a consumer and PSS support worker, talking about how getting support through PSS has helped Shandya to manage her mental health issues and achieve her goals.

The PSS program provides mental health support across a wide catchment area in South Eastern Melbourne that stretches from St Kilda to Sorrento to Bunyip, including the major population hubs of Clayton, Dandenong, Moorabbin, Caulfield, Cranbourne, Frankston and Pakenham. To access the PSS program, contact SEMPHN Access & Referral on 1800 862 363 (8.30am-4.30pm weekdays)  or visit the SEMPHN website and download the referral form –