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.
The Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association
Children who grow up with a parent living with a mental illness are largely invisible to services.
COPMI have worked with families, professionals, health 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 child mental health.
Changes to funding
Government funding was being withdrawn from small mental health programs, with the plan being to provide funding to only a few larger mental health organisations.
The AICAFMHA Management Team acknowledged that their area of mental health ‘child’ was not well known. This posed a risk, as this important work could be lost in the upcoming changes as the larger mental health organisations focussed on their areas of expertise, mainly ‘youth’ and ‘adult’.
With low awareness of their work, outside those that they serviced, the first objective was to educate stakeholders about the difference between ‘infant & child’, ‘youth’ and adult’ mental health. Whilst, at the same time confirming AICAFMHA’s 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 that had done over twenty years, and their 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 rebranding
At the same time as communicating AICAFMHA’s expertise in the area of ‘infant & child’ mental health we commenced looking at developing a new name and branding for the organisation. It was important that the branding and name were in line with their position, and one that was more accessible to our stakeholders.
We surveyed the mental health sector and worked closely with the Board to articulate their unique positioning, that being the national advocacy body for infant & child mental health.
It was vital for AICAFMHA’s new branding to reflect their specialist service, that of knowledge and their advocacy agenda to existing 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 of education, research and advocacy.
The positioning line Advancing the mental health of infants, children and adolescents was developed to confirm the area of mental health they work in. This is complemented with the word ‘advancing’.
A new logo
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, that is one of codesign and lived experience.
It is approachable, friendly and fun, without being too ‘kiddified’. The colourful flat colours provide a modern approach. The font is slightly rounded to tie in with the round iconography.
The new name, positioning line, logo and branding were integrated into the new Emerging Minds website and print materials.
This leaflet formed the basis of communications in face to face settings to, introduces the new name and continues to communicate the organisations 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.”
The work by Emerging Minds is ongoing.