Northern Sydney 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 active in the Northern Sydney PHN area. 

For more information about active networks in the Northern Sydney area or how to start a network, contact MHPN on 1800 209 031 or

Sydney North Older Persons' MHPN

At the network's most recent meeting, 25 local practitioners attended.  A panel of speakers including, Dr Megan Alle, Andrew Clement and Bernice Moran presented a discussion on ‘Specialist Mental Health Services for Older People (SMHSOP) Community Model of Care Guidelines’. An excellent mix of professions included a psychologist, social workers and GPs attended.

This network is coordinated by a local GP.  It has been effective in encouraging Sydney practitioners to work together to improve outcomes for older Australians who experience psychological disorders.  

Gordon/Chatswood MHPN

This network has met 22 times, with a regular attendance of 15 professionals.  At the September meeting,  a National Disability Insurance Agency representative presented on the NDIS.   At other recent meetings, the network had a counsellor present on Suicide and suicide bereavement and the network heard about paediatric speech by a Local Speech Pathologist.   The network meet at Lifeline – Harbour to Hawkesbury in Gordon,

North Sydney Persistent Pain and Mental Health

This network has a specific focus on persistent pain and mental health, and is coordinated by a social worker and community health educator.  The network has an average of 15 mental health professionals attending who meet quarterly at the Royal North Shore Hospital. 

In February, Professor Christopher Peck - Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Sydney discussed psychosocial factors affecting pain perception in jaw dysfunction.  Last year, guest speakers presented on a range of topics including Music as therapy in the treatment of pain, An Introduction to hypnosis for the relief of Chronic Pain, Integrating pain management into work practices and how graded motor imagery can help chronic pain patients.  

Chatswood Network

Coordinated by a local psychologist, this peer support group has met over 40 times since 2010.  The group meet bi-monthly, with regular attendees including psychologists and a GP.  They discuss case studies and engage in regular professional peer support.  MHPN networks bring practitioners together, which improves referral pathways and mental health services.  Networks provide excellent opportunities for collegial networking, peer support and professional development on a wide range of mental health issues. 

Dee Why Network

This network of interdisciplinary practitioners began in 2010.  Regular members of the group meet for professional development, peer support and to improves referral pathways in Northern Sydney.  Practitioners share their knowledge of services and resources in Sydney.  Dee Why meetings are usually intervention and treatment focused.  The network is coordinated by a local Social Worker.   

North Sydney & Northern Beaches Child & Adolescent Mental Health Interest Group

Regularly meeting over the previous five years, this network focuses their discussion on child and adolescent mental health.  At a recent meeting, the group listened as a guest speaker discuss ‘Fathers Against Violence and Aggression’.  The meetings are an excellent opportunity for collegial networking, peer support and professional development on mental health topics.

St Leonard Network

Members of the group include GPs, psychologists, social workers, counsellors, psychiatrists, and other professionals from a range of disciplines.  The network meets quarterly and focuses on local mental health needs and priorities.  The meetings foster local referral pathways, and practitioners collaborate to support the mental health of the community.