For over 20 years Emerging Minds has been dedicated to advancing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Australian infants, children, adolescents and their families. The organisation now leads the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, delivered in partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Australian National University (ANU), the Parenting Research Centre (PRC) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
Emerging Minds develops mental health policy, services, interventions, training, programs and resources in response to the needs of professionals, children and their families. We partner with family members, national and international organisations to implement evidence-based practice into the Australian context.
Changes to the funding of mental health programs across Australia would see the withdrawal of funding and the discontinuation of the COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) program.
For over 15 years AICAFMHA (The Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association) had delivered the COPMI program.
Children who grow up with a parent living with a mental illness are largely invisible to services. COPMI have worked with families, professionals, organisations and government to bring the needs of these children to the forefront.
This work has seen a change in the way services interact with services and families. COPMI resources are unique, used extensively throughout Australia and have international
recognition and respect.
Through this work AICAFMHA had built up a wealth of knowledge and networks and were uniquely positioned in this area of mental health.
Changes to funding
The government were removing funding from small mental health programs and planned to fund several larger mental health organisations instead.
The AICAFMHA Management Team acknowledged that their area of mental health ‘child’ is not well known and this important work could be lost in the changes as the larger mental health organisations focused on their areas of expertise, mainly ‘youth’ and ‘adult’.
We commenced with strategic planning sessions with the Board of Management. With the low awareness of their work outside of those that were involved with AICAFMHA and the COPMI resources our first objective was to educate key stakeholders about the difference between ‘infant & child’, ‘youth’ and adult’ mental health. At the same time confirming our expertise and progressive approach in the ‘infant & child’ area of mental health.
The contents of this 16 page booklet represented a summary of the need within the ‘infant & child’ area, the work we had done over twenty years and our success in making a real impact on the lives of children living with a parent with mental illness. A video was produced to talk of the outcomes of the COPMI Program.
The content of these communications formed the basis for all discussions and communications with the larger mental health organisations and government.
Renaming and branding
At the same time as we were selling establishing our expertise in the area of ‘infant & child’ mental health we were also looking at developing a new name and branding for the organisation. It was important that our branding and name were in sync with our position and one that was more accessible to our stakeholders.
Promoting mental health for young Australians
We surveyed the mental health sector and worked closely with the Board to articulate their unique positioning as the national advocacy body for infant and child mental health.
It was vital for AICAFMHA’s rebranding to reflect their specialist service, knowledge and advocacy agenda to clients, supporters and collaborating organisations.
A new name
After researching the many mental health organisations operating in the sector, we worked through several ideas around the concepts of mind, brain, head and children to find a strong name that expressed AICAFMHA’s unique offering.
From this process the name Emerging Minds was born. It reflects the organisation’s focus on the developing minds of young people and also their progressive work as advocates driving a national conversation, education, research and advocacy.
The positioning line Advancing the mental health of infants, children and adolescents was developed to establish the area we work in and to state, through the word ‘advancing’ that we are an organisation that is progressive.
The new logo is an illustration of the process of a mind forming ideas, conversations and people overlapping to create a single identity.
It also illustrates the organisations process of intervention and resource creation, i.e. codesign and lived experience.
It is approachable, friendly and fun, without being too ‘kiddified’. The colourful flat colours provide a modern spin.
The font is slightly rounded to tie in with the round iconography.
The new name, positioning line, logo and branding were integrated into the Emerging Minds website and print materials.
This leaflet formed the basis of communications in face to face settings to, introduce the new name and continue to communicate our expertise and success.
In October 2017 Emerging Minds announced:
“After 15 years of delivering the Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) national initiative, earlier this year our team at Emerging Minds received the exciting news that the Australian Government had funded us to lead the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.
This innovative project sees our remit widen significantly to include several key areas of child vulnerability and represents a hugely positive step for infant and children’s social and emotional wellbeing in Australia.”