The Transition Committee met on 12 May 2015 and reviewed progress against the Transition Plan for the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP). This was an important discussion as the critical next steps in the transition were considered.

Rhonda Loftus, NSWIOP Executive Director, reported on the planning that has progressed to inform the overall direction for education delivery reform for the agency. This will include some staged consolidation of existing programs and the planned development of a new interprofessional core program for applied mental health studies based on nationally recognised capabilities.

It was noted that key officers from NSWIOP and HETI are meeting with the Commonwealth’s Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) in late May. Extensive preparation have been undertaken for this meeting as it will form the initial discussions on the proposal for the transfer of the NSWIOP’s higher education provider (HEP) to the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI). There will be opportunity to discuss how NSWIOP prepares for its organisational accreditation as a HEP due in June 2016 and to ensure all the requirements for compliance with the Threshold Standards to which TEQSA works can be managed now and beyond the transition.

Throughout the Transition Committee’s oversight of the NSWIOP, it has always been clear that the management of the NSWIOP’s HEP has always been one of the major features of this undertaking. The Committee was advised that the conversation with TEQSA will provide assurance that the governance proposals and other critical issues that are needed for compliance are addressed. If TEQSA advises that plans need to be modified, NSWIOP and HETI will have sufficient time and resources so as not to affect the renewal or other processes.

It is expected that confirming the plans for managing TEQSA-related issues will enable other transition stages for NSWIOP to be mapped out. These options will be discussed at the next meeting in August 2015.

The development of a mental health workforce plan was another critical issue discussed. This issue reflects one of the review recommendations but is also of sector-wide significance as it has a major bearing on the progress to build capacity in line with the Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW, 2014-2014. It is expected this work that will be led by the Ministry of Health and will commence in coming months.The plan will inform training and education not only for the NSWIOP but the timeliness of its development and implementation will be significant for the transition and the ongoing renewal of the NSWIOP.

Mr John Feneley noted on behalf of the Transition Committee, there was satisfaction with progress against the Transition Plan and that the NSWIOP was moving in a pleasing direction that would position itself well for its linkage with HETI as well as in its provision of mental health education and training going forward.

Christine Senediak, Course Coordinator for the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry’s (NSWIOP) postgraduate courses in Child Adolescent Mental Health, has been working with Lifeline Mid Coast at Port Macquarie on promoting personal responsibility for self-care for psychologists, staff and volunteers who are exposed to potentially traumatic and distressing material, including clients’ stories.

Over the past few years, Christine, in her capacity as NSWIOP Course Coordinator, has provided training on Effective Clinical Supervision Skills and Reflective Practice Supervision for Lifeline Mid Coast staff. Her work on Clinical Supervision and Reflective Practice has also been cited in a paper written by Ann Evans MAPS, Lifeline Australia Practice Adviser entitled “Self-care for Psychologists: Lifeline’s Learnings” which was published in the February 2015 issue of InPsych, the bimonthly bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society.

Christine will form part of Lifeline’s Supervision  Pilot  project reference group which will advise on strategies for the implementation of the project. In addition, she will also review Lifeline’s procedures on reflective practice and provide advice on the need to develop other self-care documentation or training material.

familyAustralian Association for Infant Mental Health, Inc 2015 National Conference

And father makes three: family inclusive practice

29 to 31 October 2015 | UNSW Australia, Sydney

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and activities:

Rod McKay and National Mental Health Commissioner Lucy Brogden
Rod McKay and National Mental Health Commissioner Lucy Brogden

Dr Roderick McKay, Director of Psychiatry and Mental Health Programs at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP), recently graduated from the inaugural Future Leaders in Mental Health Program conducted by the National Mental Health Commission.

The program aims to support the further development of consumer and carer mental health leaders and advocates, and find and develop the next generation of leaders. Participants were selected based on their capabilities, experience and/or potential to operate at the national level and to work with and contribute to the Commission’s vision and mission.

The program is an initiative of the National Mental Health Commission in collaboration with Mental Health Australia, and with the support of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.

A national call for nominations was undertaken in December 2013, with an independent assessment panel including people with a lived experience of mental health problems, government and business representatives reviewing over 130 nominations received from around Australia.

National Mental Health Commission Chair Prof Allan Fels said, “The Commission believes strongly in the importance of developing the capacity of the consumer and carer movement, and in the power of lived experience, whether from personal experience or supporting someone else.

We congratulate and welcome this group of mental health leaders and look forward to their ongoing contribution to mental health reform. We are all aiming and working for the same thing – helping ensure that all Australians live a contributing life, and achieve the best possible mental health and wellbeing.”

Dr McKay is proud to have graduated with ten other outstanding individuals with lived experience of mental illness. He stated that the program was a great example of how people with very different experiences and skills from across the mental health landscape can identify common goals, work together and inspire each other to achieve more.

He looks forward to using this experience, and the skills gained during the program, in his leadership role at the NSWIOP.

Following is the complete list of the National Future Leaders in Mental Health Program graduates:

  • Julie Anderson (VIC)
  • Dean Barton-Smith AM (VIC)
  • Michael Burge OAM (QLD)
  • Jen Coulls (SA)
  • Fay Jackson (NSW)
  • Lyn Mahboub (WA)
  • Sarah McFarlane-Eagle (NSW)
  • Rod McKay (NSW)
  • Lei Ning (VIC)
  • Rebecca Randall (ACT)
  • Sebastian Robertson (NSW)
Mental Health Program graduates
Pictured (L-R): JulieAnne Anderson (JA Projects Pty Ltd); National Mental Health Commissioners – Kay Patterson, Ian Hickie, Nicole Gibson; National Future Leaders In Mental Health graduates – Michael Burge, Jen Coulls, Lei Ning, Rebecca Randall, Sebastian Robertson, Fay Jackson, Rod McKay, Sarah McFarlane-Eagle; Catherine Lourey (D/CEO, National Mental Health Commission), Julie Anderson (National Future Leaders in Mental Health graduate), Frank Quinlan (CEO, Mental Health Australia), Janet Meagher (Program Co-Sponsor and ex-National Mental Health Commissioner), Dean Barton-Smith (National Future Leaders in Mental Health graduate)

People involved in the project but absent from the picture: Lyn Mahboub (National Future Leaders in Mental Health graduate), Robyn Kruk (Program Co-Sponsor and ex-CEO National Mental Health Commission), Kylie Wake (Director, Consumer and Carer Programs, Mental Health Australia)