11h CPDConference

Brisbane Mental Health Conference

An Essential Two-Day Update for All Nurses and Midwives


12 - 13 Nov 2020
Mercure Hotel Brisbane,
85-87 North Quay

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Why Attend

Do you work in a hospital, in primary care or in the community? Do you regularly care for people with a concurrent mental illness? Attend this conference to learn about:

  • Rare mental health disorders
  • Healthcare professionals and addictions
  • Mental health in different cultures
  • How to reduce your level of unconscious bias
  • Integrated Alternative Health Therapies and much, much and more...

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Rare Mental Health Disorders

Some of our patients will have a mental health disorder, but what if they develop a rare one? We will need to be there to help our patients cope with their condition, as well as dispel any myths regarding their disorder. This topic will discuss some rare mental health disorders and includes:

  • Dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder)
  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
  • Psychosis

Assessing Amphetamines – Have We Got the Right Toxidrome?

Methamphetamines are synthetic forms of the drug amphetamine. When in a crystal form, ice or crystal methamphetamine is formed. Methamphetamines are generally synthesised with other substances and usually at a relatively low cost. The unknown nature of this mix creates a challenge when a person presents under the influence of methamphetamines. In the context of a methamphetamine overdose or toxicity, often other substances are also present. So what does this mean for clinical treatment? This session reviews the toxicology considerations associated with amphetamine-like substances. It includes:

  • What is methamphetamine toxicity?
  • Which toxidrome is associated with amphetamines?
  • What are the challenges of this presentation?
  • What are the antidotes?
  • How can pharmacotherapy reduce the toxic effects of the drug?
  • What are the immediate and supportive treatments indicated for stimulant overdose?
11:00 Morning Tea

Alexandria Friend

Bigorexia – Male Eating Disorders

Social media constantly bombards us with images of perfect bodies, causing feelings of inadequacy that, in some cases, can potentially lead to eating disorders. Though women may have become the face of eating disorders, these also affect men. This session will discuss:

  • How are eating disorders in men and women different?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of eating disorders in males?
  • Are there any gender-specific treatment options for males with eating disorders?
Alexandria Friend

Not a Typical Diagnosis – Understanding Atypical Anorexia

Often, anorexia nervosa is associated with an unhealthy low weight range. This is not always the case. This session will explore atypical anorexia and the consequences that may occur when there is a poor relationship with food. Topics include:

  • A brief overview of the concept of an eating disorder and the main diagnoses
  • What an atypical eating disorder is and what it looks like
  • A case presentation of an atypical eating disorder, including its assessment and management
  • Treatment options for atypical anorexia
  • The role of diets in eating disorders and recent literature
  • How a nurse might be able to talk to someone with an eating disorder without causing controversy
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Thana Roysmith

Taboo – Mental Health in Different Cultures

Mental health is a sensitive topic in a lot of cultures due to the stigma attached to it. Though most cultures are beginning to discuss mental health issues, we still have a long way to go. This session includes:

  • How can we facilitate the discussion of mental health with our patient whose culture doesn’t normally discuss mental health?
  • Why is it that being removed from one’s culture may actually contribute to a decline in mental health?
  • What are the ways we can help a patient who is from a non-English speaking background have access to mental health services?
3:30 Afternoon Tea

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

No Man’s Land – Mental Health and Stigma

Mental illness can be complex and, at times, unpredictable. With a public hungry for more information, how do we look behind the numbers and examine the real effects of mental health on the individual? Topics include:

  • Why so much stigma, shame and embarrassment around mental illness versus physical illness?
  • How can an unrealistic depiction of mental illness promote stigma?
  • What happens when stigma becomes discrimination?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Tim Emerton

Saints and Sinners: Healthcare Professionals and Addictions

The TV show Nurse Jackie showed us a healthcare professional with an addiction to prescription medication. Though people have complained about it, it highlights an issue that affects nurses and other healthcare professionals worldwide. This session will explore:

  • What are the reasons why some healthcare professionals become addicted to prescription medication, alcohol and/or other drugs?
  • Are there any challenges faced by healthcare professionals who want to seek treatment for these addictions?
  • How can we help our colleagues who may be addicted to prescription medication, alcohol and/or other drugs?
Kris Freeman

Integrated Alternative Health Therapies for Persons with Anxiety and Depression

Bowen Therapy, Applied Myoskeletal Therapy, NST TMJ Foundation, the Dorn Method and OldPain2Go® Methodology are non-invasive therapies usually used to treat physical pain but can also be used to treat anxiety and depression. This session will look at the following:

  • What are the benefits of using Integrated Therapies?
  • What is a brief explanation of each therapy?
  • How do these therapies work for persons with anxiety and depression?
  • Are there any contraindications?
  • What evidence is there that it helps?
10:45 Morning Tea

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem: Factitious Illness Imposed on Another

Munchausen syndrome by proxy, now known as factitious disorder imposed on another, has been catapulted into the spotlight by famous cases, such as the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard by her daughter. This session will shed light on the disorder. It includes:

  • What causes someone to develop Munchausen syndrome by proxy?
  • Are there any warning signs that could indicate that a mysterious illness is actually Munchausen syndrome by proxy?
  • Have there been suspected cases of Munchausen syndrome by proxy that turned out to be false?
12:15 Lunch and Networking

Peter O'Connor

We Need to Talk About This – Masculinity and Mental Illness

Men have always been told that they have to be the strong ones, but they can only take so much. This session discusses why some healthcare professionals are advocating a gendered treatment approach and will discuss:

  • Why are men less likely to seek mental health services?
  • What are the mental health resources currently available to men?
  • How is toxic masculinity playing a part in men’s mental health?
Ash Broom & Sami Stewart

Grey Rainbow: LGBTQI Mental Health

In Australia, people who identify as LGBTQI have the highest suicide rate of any group, but this rate could be even higher due to underreporting. This session discusses the mental health of those who identify as LGBTQI and includes:

  • Why are LGBTQI communities at such a high risk for suicide?
  • What are the ways we could better support our patients who identify as LGBTQI in accessing mental health services?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Identifying Potential Domestic Violence

Things are not always what they seem. Violence and abuse are experienced in many different ways. It is not always easy to identify if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or is in an abusive relationship. This session will include:

  • What are the red flags that may indicate potential domestic violence is occurring?
  • The psychological trauma of domestic violence – what does this look like and how do we support a person in this situation?
  • What is the best practice for healthcare providers so that they are better prepared to care for victims who report a history of strangulation?
  • How can we support victims of cyberstalking and other forms of online harassment?
4:45 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 4.2 million people in Australia received prescriptions for mental health-related conditions between 2017 and 2018. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent illnesses, followed by affective and substance use disorders. This means that nurses and other health professionals in all healthcare settings will increasingly provide care for those with a primary or co-existing mental health problem and need the ability to provide evidence-based, holistic healthcare that is highly dependent on a sound mental health knowledge base.

Purpose of Program

To provide nurses and other health professionals with an update about common mental illnesses and the holistic care of people.

Your learning outcomes:

Commit to an open mindset on the behaviours of people with mental health conditions so as to provide unconditional positive regard
Apply new learning about mental health conditions in the development of holistic mental healthcare plans
Apply the principles of therapeutic use of self to improve the recovery and healing of those with mental health disorders
Establish clear personal boundaries and maintain them to promote a strong, safe therapeutic alliance within the mental health context


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Karen-Ann Clarke

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experience of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental healthcare. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space. Read More

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Alexandria Friend

Alexandria Friend is an accredited practising dietitian with Eat Smart Nutrition Consultants. Her workload involves private one-on-one consults, assisting patients of a psychiatric hospital with their nutrition and presentations of varying topics and audiences. The diversity of her role has allowed her to gain experience in a wide range of nutritional issues, including, but not limited to, weight concerns, chronic disease management, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, sports nutrition and mental health. She believes in a patient-centred approach, as there is no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to nutrition, and she takes pride in providing individualised care to each and every one of her patients. Read More

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Tim Emerton

Tim Emerton works in an outpatient withdrawal and pharmacotherapy stabilisation clinic as a Nurse Practitioner: alcohol and other drugs. He also works in two pharmacotherapy clinics. Tim has worked in AOD and mental health for the past 24 years in various capacities. This has included managing an outpatient withdrawal service and a pharmacotherapy unit, delivering from cert IV to diploma level AOD education and case managing in a pharmacotherapy clinic. He has worked in the community and inpatient mental health settings. He spent 18 of those years working in the Northern Territory, which provided him with a diverse range of experiences. He was the Community Nurse of the Year in the Northern Territory in 2006 and he was the first AOD Nurse Practitioner in QLD. Tim has a passion to further professionalism and education in AOD nurses and the general community. Read More

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To Be Determined

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Ash Broom

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Peter O'Connor

Peter O’Connor received his PhD in Organisational Psychology from The University of Queensland in 2007 and is a registered psychologist in Queensland. Prior to commencing his position at QUT in January 2010, Peter worked in Sydney for two years at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He is involved on in a number of professional projects and consults in the areas of: personality development; organisational change; and leadership. Peter’s research interests include the study of human personality, particularly in the context of work. Peter’s research has focused on the biological basis of personality and learning styles, and how this can be used to predict leadership and job performance. Peter has presented at a number of domestic and international research conferences, and has published several articles in top international personality journals. Read More

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Sami Stewart

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Kris Freeman

Kris Freeman is a female entrepreneur, who created a multi-award-winning calendar company from nothing to well over a million dollars within five years. Her story has been so inspirational to others that she has been published in two books: 'Female Entrepreneurs' by Leiza Clarke, which went on to be in the Top 10 Best Sellers List, and 'Stop Mumpreneur Madness' by Rochelle Dent. She won the 2003 Australian Micro Business Awards for the best manufacturer and best home-based business in Queensland and, in 2005, she won the Telstra Business Awards for the best micro-business in Queensland. She has also written a book herself called 'Motivated Animals' published by Hay House, based on one of her best-selling calendars of the same name targeted towards those struggling with their lives. In 2010, Kris suffered with a serious health condition, where she was able to repair hundreds of “dead irreparable brain cells” caused by an inch big hole in her heart. Kris sold her calendar business in 2013 and now works within the health industry where she works to elevate the mind, energise the body, enrich the heart, engage the soul and enable life. She now helps her patients heal themselves through her many body and mind therapies. Kris is a Smart Bowen therapist, an applied myoskeletal therapist, a Dorn method practitioner, an OldPain2Go® Practitioner and a TMJ specialist. Kris attracts two types of patients into her clinic: those with complex, chronic pain and those who have anxiety and depression.  Read More

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Thana Roysmith

Thana has professional qualifications in Education and Psychology. She currently works as a Multicultural Advisor with the Multicultural Advisory Service at Diversicare providing cross-cultural education to Aged and Community Care service providers and working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, providing information on Aged Care. Her areas of interest are cultural competence, aged care and mental health. Read More


12 - 13 Nov 2020


Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane QLD,4000


$629.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  
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