11h CPDConference

Perth Mental Health Conference

An Essential 2-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 suffering from a mental illness will be admitted to hospital or enter a primary care clinic. Attend this conferenceto 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?
Dr 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

Dr 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


The Use of Restraint - Whose Need is Being Met?

Restraining a person using a device or medication should only be used as a last resort and only if the risks of not restraining are outweighed by the potential injury or harm that not being restrained could cause. This session reviews the legal ramifications for the use of restraint and will include:

  • What is the legal definition of restrictive practices?
  • On whom can a restraint be applied and in what circumstances?
  • What types of restraint can be used?
  • Is restraint an incident and therefore should it be documented?
3:15 Afternoon Tea


From Mistakes, We Learn…

People who enter a general setting with a physical illness and have a concurrent mental illness require all of their care needs to be met. This session will draw on relevant case studies where mental healthcare may have been suboptimal in a general health setting. In so doing, it will reinforce key legal and professional issues relevant to the care of a person with a mental health illness in a general health setting. It will consider the significance of:

  • Thorough risk assessment
  • Clear communication
  • Correct documentation
  • Prevention of medication errors
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?

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?
Jo Moullin

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
1:30 Lunch and Networking


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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Dot Lenthall

Dr Dot Lenthall is a teacher and psychologist based in Perth. She has researched bullying behaviour ... Read More

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To Be Determined

... Read More

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Doug Brewer

Mr Doug Brewer is the psychologist – clinical coordinator of trauma recovery programs at the Hollywo... Read More

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Joanna Moullin

Dr Joanna Moullin is a lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University and is a lead... Read More

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Terri Burton

Terri Burton is a general nurse, midwife and child health nurse with experience in varied positions ... Read More

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Rachel Tomlinson

Rachel is a registered psychologist who has worked extensively across the lifespan in general counse... 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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