11h CPDConference

Perth Mental Health Conference

An Essential Two-Day Update for Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals

Perth Mental Health Conference 2019


16 - 17 Dec 2019
Holiday Inn Perth City Centre,
778-788 Hay Street

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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? Even if you are highly experienced in your speciality, are you confident in your knowledge of common mental health conditions? Many people living with a mental illness will be admitted to hospital or enter a primary care clinic. Attend this conference to better understand the following:

  • Mythbusting borderline personality disorder
  • How to reduce your level of unconscious bias
  • Mental health and the media
  • Clinical assessment and management of an opioid overdose
  • Not a typical diagnosis – atypical anorexia and much, much more…

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One

Doug Brewer

When Trauma Lingers…

Many of us experience trauma. It is not always from typical traumatic events that can threaten our health and safety. Some of us may go on to further experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress or have a diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What if a patient in your care is experiencing this? Providing comprehensive mental healthcare that is considerate of a person’s holistic needs is essential if we are to prevent re-traumatisation while in hospital. This session considers practical approaches to supporting a person with PTSD to feel safe during a hospital stay. It includes:

  • What is trauma and how does it affect a person?
  • What are the comorbidities that are commonly associated with PTSD?
  • How can we communicate with highly traumatised people?
  • How do we treat trauma-related mental illness and where can you refer a patient for help?
Dot Lenthall

No Man’s Land: Mental Health and the Media

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?
  • Does the way we present mental health to the media give a realistic picture?
  • What happens when mental health goes beyond the professional and enters our personal life?
10:45 Morning Tea

Dot Lenthall

Not Just a Bit Down – Depression and Its Debilitating Effects

Depression is a disorder that affects many people in Australia. It is an illness that can be debilitating to the person and their carers, as well as a challenge to treat. This session will look at:

  • The difference between normal ups and downs and clinical depression
  • Risk factors for depression – from genetics to circumstances to lifestyle, and why all are important
  • Treatment options for depression – there’s more to it than just medication
  • Communication skills that are helpful when interacting with someone who experiences depression – why patience, compassion and empathy are so important
Terri Burton

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:

  • What is atypical anorexia and how does it differ from “typical” anorexia nervosa?
  • What are the signs and symptoms?
  • What are the behaviours of someone with a poor relationship with food?
  • Over-exercising and counting calories, what’s the danger?
  • Can diets cause an eating disorder?
1:15 Lunch and Networking

Richard O’Regan

Opioid Overdose – Clinical Assessment and Management

Opioids are widely prescribed and frequently administered by nurses, as well as commonly used in the community. These medicines and drugs such as morphine, heroin and oxycodone have huge potential to cause significant harm. Because of the action of these substances and capacity for respiratory depression, opioids are being implicated in a large and rising number of fatal overdoses. The prevalence of this demands that nurses are well informed about:

  • Why opioids are causing such high numbers of overdose deaths
  • Signs and symptoms of opioid overdose
  • Assessment and recognition of opioid overdose
  • How opioid overdose is managed
  • Guidelines for the administration of naloxone
  • Preventing opioid overdose – safe practises and a look at harm minimisation
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jane Armstrong

LGBTQI+ and Mental Health: Back to Basics

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?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Doug Brewer

Understanding Personality Disorders – Sorting Myths from Facts

Personality disorders are some of the most complex mental illnesses. They can be associated with deeply ingrained, extreme, inflexible and maladaptive patterns of relating to and perceiving both the environment and themselves. There is a need for all nurses to identify and clearly understand personality disorders if people in care are to receive the best possible health outcomes. This session will include:

  • How are the terms “personality” and “personality disorder” defined?
  • What are the characteristics of a personality disorder?
  • Why can they be challenging?
  • What are effective communication strategies when caring for people with a personality disorder?
Robyn Westgate

Identifying Potential Domestic Violence

Things are not always what they seem. Bruising sustained from a fall down the stairs or a head injury with a vague explanation may be hiding a story of domestic violence. A patient presenting for treatment who is accompanied by a partner may be in a highly controlling relationship. In this session, we will explore the challenging situation where we might suspect a person may be experiencing violence or abuse. Topics include:

  • What are the red flags that may indicate potential domestic violence?
  • What is “forensic injury”, and how can we correctly identify appropriately document it?
  • Psychological trauma – what does it look like?
  • How can we support a person in this situation?
11:00 Morning Tea

Rachel Tomlinson

Recognising and Responding to Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts

What would you say and how would you respond to a person who has disclosed self-harm or suicidal thoughts? How would you ensure their safety? A risk assessment is essential if we are to recognise a change in a person’s mental state that may place them in danger of self-harm or suicide. This session looks at how to recognise and respond to a person who may be experiencing self-harm or suicidal thoughts. It includes:

  • What’s the difference between self-harm and suicidal thoughts?
  • What are the common triggers for these feelings?
  • How is a risk assessment conducted?
  • What are the approaches to managing patients who present with self-harm or suicidal thoughts?
Rachel Tomlinson

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 the following:

  • 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?
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Steve Allsop

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 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?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Doug Brewer

Unconscious Bias – We’re All Guilty

Unconscious attitudes and beliefs impact on everyday situations, without us even being aware that they are present. As a nurse, recognising unconscious bias towards patients can influence the way healthcare is provided. This session will encourage you to consider:

  • What is unconscious bias and how does it present itself in a healthcare setting?
  • How does unconscious bias affect care?
  • How do we become aware of our own biases?
  • Why might we need to change our unconscious attitudes or beliefs?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

People who enter a general healthcare setting with a physical health complication and have a concurrent mental illness must receive comprehensive care. The ability of nurses and other health professionals to provide holistic healthcare to all people with a co-existing mental illness is highly dependent on a sound knowledge base. There is a timely need for an evidence-based update on a range of common mental health disorders and conditions so that health professionals are better positioned and informed to support a person with a mental illness.

Purpose of Program

To provide nurses and other health professionals who work across a range of general healthcare settings with a comprehensive update on common mental illnesses so as to improve a person’s health outcomes.

Your learning outcomes:

Give a trauma-informed approach to people in your care who have a concurrent mental illness
Improve your understanding of mental illness to result in greater patient satisfaction in general healthcare environments
Provide a feeling of safety and security to people hospitalised with a physical health complication who have a concurrent mental illness as a result of practical techniques being employed
Establish clear personal boundaries and maintain them to promote a strong, safe therapeutic alliance


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Richard O'Regan

Richard trained as a GP and developed an interest in addiction medicine over 20 years ago. He has worked for many years as an Addiction Medicine Consultant with the North Metro Community Alcohol and Drug Service where he treated individuals with problematic use of alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs. Richard is now the Director of Clinical Services at Next Step Drug and Alcohol Services and is the WA Branch Chair of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine. Read More

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Dot Lenthall

Dr Dot Lenthall is a teacher and psychologist based in Perth. She has researched bullying behaviour for her doctorate in communication. As well, she is the author of the book entitled: "Don’t Just Stand There, Parents Take Action", which is written for parents whose children are being bullied. Dr Lenthall is the only licensed master practitioner trainer in engaging adolescents in Western Australian and the Northern Territory. Read More

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Jane Armstrong

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Doug Brewer

Mr Doug Brewer is the psychologist – clinical coordinator of trauma recovery programs at the Hollywood Clinic, Hollywood Private Hospital in Nedlands. He was president of the Australian Association of Traumatic Stress Studies from 2010 to 2012 and is a board member of the International Association of Traumatic Stress Studies Global Collaboration on Trauma. He is also a member of the Veterans Mental Health Clinical Reference Group for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Canberra. He frequently lectures and conducts workshops on the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder both at universities and to the broader community, including remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. Read More

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Terri Burton

Terri Burton is a general nurse, midwife and child health nurse with experience in varied positions in both hospital and community settings, including the prison system. She has been involved in tertiary education for over 30 years, teaching nursing, midwifery, child health, paediatrics, theology and counselling students. Terri has conducted parenting programs and drug proofing your kids seminars in the community and is both a Core of Life facilitator and a Confident Body, Confident Child facilitator. She has been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years and has established and coordinated a children’s services organisation (Kids R Us) for five years. Terri is a qualified counsellor, providing therapy for both children and adults. She worked as an art therapist at the Eating Disorder Clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital. Terri provided reflective practice supervision for counselling students, chaplains, early childhood educators, nurses and midwives. Her PhD research was on eating disorders in pregnancy. Read More

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Rachel Tomlinson

Rachel is a registered psychologist who has worked extensively across the lifespan in general counselling, play therapy, a women’s refuge, homeless hostel, drug and alcohol counselling, education settings, children’s residential homes, domestic violence and trauma counselling. Rachel has delivered presentations at national conferences and university guest lectures on topics such as play therapy, domestic violence and trauma. Rachel also works closely with journalists in Australia, USA and the UK providing expert commentary on a variety of mental health topics, relationships, child development and parenting. Read More

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Steve Allsop

Professor Steve Allsop has been involved in policy, prevention, and treatment, research and practice, professional development and service management for almost 30 years. He has been involved in developing responses to alcohol and drug-related problems in the workplace in many countries, working with governments, health and safety staff, employers, and employee organisations. For a number of years, he was a member of the WA Commission on Occupational Safety and Health. As professor and director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University of Technology, he is director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Read More

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Robyn Westgate

Robyn Westgate is a skilled researcher, educator and advocate with a demonstrated history of experience working with disadvantaged women. Currently, she is engaged with Curtin University implementing family and domestic violence awareness training for leaders and managers. Robyn has been the victim of severe domestic violence, and now advocates about domestic violence and women in prison. In 1999, Robyn was herself incarcerated and was one of the last women in WA sentenced to life imprisonment prior to the changes to the definition of self-defence in law. Robyn served just over 17 years in prison, and was released three years ago. Robyn has been driven as a result of her experiences and the desire to effect change to earn her numerous academic credentials, including a BHons Criminology focusing on Domestic and Family Violence and Domestic Violence Homicide, and Graduate Diploma Criminology and Justice. Robyn is currently undertaking a PhD at Curtin University. Read More


16 - 17 Dec 2019


Holiday Inn Perth City Centre
778-788 Hay Street
Perth WA,6000


$610.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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