South Eastern NSW PHN

19 September 2018  Project progress

MHPN networks are an opportunity for mental health practitioners from different disciplines to collaborate.  Research shows that networking develops practitioner relationships, improves referral pathways and outcomes for patients. 

The below networks are some of the active networks in the South Eastern NSW PHN area. 

For more information about active networks in the South Eastern NSW area or how to start a network, contact MHPN on 1800 209 031.

Shellharbour - Suicide Focus Network

A meeting was held in June featured a presentation from Michelle Ellis (Anglicare Senior Case Worker; Family Mental Health Support Service) entitled: A case workers journey;

Community mental health, and the everyday impact of the NDIS.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place in late August/early September. 

This long running interdisciplinary network was established in 2010 by Registered Nurse/Education Consultant and long-standing coordinator, Sandra Bolack.  The network has covered a range of topical issues including; the pros and cons of focusing on suicide intervention, issues related to suicide and homelessness, work stress and suicide, and LGBTI risk factors and experiences of suicide.  Network membership is made up of professionals with backgrounds in psychology, social work, mental health nursing, and community mental health across the not-for-profit sector.

Wollongong Network

Coordinated by Padmini Pai, Social Worker and Leadership Development Manager at ISLHD and Angela Ponzetti, Clinical Nurse Specialist at the local Sub Acute Mental Health Unit, this large network meets quarterly at the South Coast Private Hospital.

Meetings focused on developing skillsets for improved professional practice and have included topics such as:The future of measuring “success” in Primary Health Networks and Private Psychiatric Hospitals; Are you showing compassion towards yourself?  The role of contemplative practice and mindfulness in protecting against compassion fatigue; Exploring the therapeutic challenges while moving from 'stuck' to 'unstuck' and Active listening skills while dealing with adolescents in a clinical setting. 

Yass MHPN 

A recent Yass MHPN meeting was on ‘Remount”  a collective of friendly and astute horse lovers who understand the healing power and health benefits of being with horses and recognise the benefits of sharing this with the Defence veteran community.  Remount rolled out in November of 2016 and offers contemporary Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans living with psychological wounds of their Service opportunities to improve their mental fitness and social well-being through the vehicles of their horsemanship programs.

The Yass network was established in 2012 and currently shares the coordination role among its members. This network holds evening meetings at the Soldier’s Club in Yass, and have covered a diverse range of topics including, suicide, anxiety, Police and Mental Health and a variety of treatment options including Sandplay.

Shoalhaven Child & Adolescent Mental Health 

This locally driven network coordinated by Praveena Rajeswaran, Clinical Psychologist Registrar and Michelle Anderson, Social Worker from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, has been meeting since February 2017.  This unique network holds lunchtime meetings at the Anglicare Office in Nowra, and have covered topics including; working with young people presenting with gender dysphoria and promoting resilience in children through early intervention and prevention approaches. 

Cooma MHPN 

Cooma was formed in 2010 is a small network that focuses on various areas of mental health. Network meetings consist of case study discussions and guest speaker presentations. This network Aims to meet quarterly.

Their recent meeting in May 2017 covered Empathy and the processes involved in empathy, and our capacity to act empathically with clients/patients. 

Ulladulla Network

Local clinical psychologist, Dr Karen Donaldson coordinates the Ulladulla network.  During February the network met at the Milton medical centre and listened to Michelle Anderson CAMHS, share a service update presentation.

Generally, between 10 and 15 local practitioners regularly meet at the Milton Medical Centre, over afternoon tea purchased from the local bakery.  They discuss local issues, listen to guest presentations and enjoy networking. 

Goulburn Network

Jeff Wilson from Grand Pacific Health, coordinates the Goulburn Network.  The group has met regularly for 6 years and has a very high number of local mental health professionals attend.  The network usually meets at Grand Pacific Health and is a platform for Goulburn mental health practitioners to network and discuss issues in a supportive environment.

Eurobodalla Network

Coordinated by Jodie Hodgetts from PIR, Eurobodalla Network focuses its meeting topics on a wide variety of mental health issues.  Mental health professionals meet to listen to guest speaker presentations, case study discussions, participate in peer support and community development, and listen to panel discussions.  The network aims to foster collaborations and improve referral pathways in south-eastern NSW.