Western 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 active in the Western NSW PHN area. 

For more information about active networks in the Western NSW area or how to start a network, contact MHPN on 1800 209 031 or email contactus@mhpn.org.au.  

Orange MHPN

The Orange network was recently re-launched in with a presentation on ‘NDIS for psychosocial disability in the Orange area’.  The network went-on to have a second meeting in December 2017, where they discussed suicide prevention.

 Some of the other interesting topics the network is keen to explore this year are:

  • Mental health comorbidities/intellectual disability and mental illness
  • Current and emerging treatments – cognitive remediation/Circuits program
  • Child and adolescent mental health  
  • Personality disorders,
  • Aboriginal mental health.

Meetings are held quarterly on Wednesday afternoons (5.30 -7.30) at the Like Mind offices in Orange. 

Wilcannia MHPN

This network is coordinated by local a hospital mental health nurse and university academic, Elizabeth Martin with the input of a visiting psychiatrist from Sydney, Prof Alan Rosen. The network meets quarterly at the local community mental health service with a regular mix of primary health professionals, such as GPs, as well as core mental health professionals such as mental health nurses, psychiatric registrars, psychologists, social workers, and community support workers from across the not-for-profit sector. The network has held 22 meetings to date, and recent meetings have featured interdisciplinary group discussion around topics such as grief and loss, eating disorders, work stress, and non-suicidal self-injury or self-harming behaviours.  

Bathurst MHPN

This network is coordinated by a group of psychologists – Dr Robyn Vines, Lia Blaikie, Don Finlayson – and a practice manager, Nadia Zanco. The meetings are held at the Bathurst Rural Clinical School.

Most recently the network met for a presentation from Debby Krahe on Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).  EEFT is a therapeutic approach to work with parents and other caregivers with a child (of any age) struggling with intense emotions and/or with mental illness such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders.  Planning is currently underway to set a date for the next meeting. 

Forbes/Condobolin/ Parkes Network

Network members meet quarterly, alternating between local Forbes and Parkes Services Club so that everyone has a chance to attend. The network began in 2010 and provides excellent opportunities for collegial networking, peer support and improving referral pathways in the local and surrounding areas.

Cobar Network

The Cobar MHPN is coordinated by Katrina Ward, Counsellor and Manager of Family Mental Health Support at Interrelate.  The network is very active and meets monthly.  It has met 69 times since 2010.   This interdisciplinary group focuses on networking and discussion of local mental health priorities and services.  The group expects to continue meeting monthly this year at the Cobar office of Flourish Australia (formerly RichmondPRA). 

Orange Psychotherapeutic Interventions Reading Group

This small reading group is coordinated by psychologist Nicola Hoskins-Murphy.   The group meets monthly to discuss a reading or journal article on therapeutic treatments and ongoing therapeutic support of long-term clients with complex mental health needs.  A number of mental health practitioners from a variety of disciplines attend the meetings including, psychologists, psychiatrist registrars, a psychiatrist, a counsellor and a mental health case manager.  The network fosters collaborations and improves referral pathways in the Orange region.

Broken Hill Network

Local hospital senior mental health nurse and academic, Elizabeth Martin, together with researcher and visiting psychiatrist from Sydney, Professor Alan Rosen coordinate this network.  Meeting quarterly at the local GP super-clinic, the group is a combination of primary health professionals including GPs, mental health nurses, psychiatric registrars, psychologists, social workers, and community support workers from across the not-for-profit sector.  Broken Hill Network has met over 20 times since it began.  Its recent meetings have featured interdisciplinary group discussion around topics such as eating disorders, work stress, and non-suicidal self-injury or self-harming behaviours.