Western Victoria 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 Victoria PHN area. 

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

Horsham MHPN

At the network’s most recent meeting, local GP Dr Salcedo from Tristar Medical Group presented  to the group on the link between chronic pain and disease and mental illness. This network meets quarterly and attracts a mix of professions. Meetings usually have a guest speaker.

Ballarat MHPN

This network meets quarterly and attracts a mix of professions. Meetings usually have a guest speaker. At a recent meeting in August, guest speaker Anita Hoare presented on ‘Complicated Grief’.  The meeting was well attended with over 20 practitioners registering to attend.

Geelong Depression and Anxiety Special Interest MHPN

This large network of over 500 mental health professionals meets bi-monthly with a specific interest focus on the treatment of depression and anxiety. Coordinated by Cathy Bolger, Case Worker - Family Services at Bethany Community Support, network meetings consist of presentations by members and guests, networking and peer support.

In 2016, 137 mental health professionals attended a network meeting, with the majority being either social workers or counsellors. Topics included DIR Floor time (Developmental Individual-difference Relationship-based model), Invitation to Recovery: Counselling clients at increased risk of suicide or self-harm, Internet Pornography and its impact on males and their relationships, Coherence Therapy and Memory Reconsolidation – the brain’s natural processes of healing from emotional injury, Equine Assisted Learning & Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Refugees and mental health.

In May 2017 the network had 43 professionals attend a meeting entitled ‘WHAT THE FAMILY? – Keeping children and families in mind – in work with diverse families’ presented by Drummond St services Geelong.

Central Grampians

Established in 2010, this network meets at the Great Western Hotel for a meal, networking, and guest presentations.  In June 2017 the network had a guest speaker from the PHN to present an update on service planning in the area that was attended by 20 health practitioners. 

Geelong Eating Disorders

This network has met since 2010 with a specific focus on mental health and eating disorders. The meetings usually include guest speaker presentations and discussions to address local needs. The network meetings bring local practitioners together, which improves referral pathways and support in the area. 

Geelong Balint Network

This case-based network meets monthly in Geelong.  It is a small peer support group.  The group examines the work that goes on within the clinician. A Balint Group is a small experiential, educational group in which participants meet to discuss difficult and intriguing cases. The focus of the group is on the emotional aspects of the case, particularly the client-practitioner relationship. 

Hamilton Network

Between 15 and 20 mental health practitioners usually attend the Hamilton Network meetings.   The group usually meet in the evening at a local restaurant in Hamilton.  Clinicians enjoy networking and listening to guest speakers guest over dinner.   The network fosters collaborations and improves referral pathways in the Hamilton region.

Portland Network

Meeting at Edwards Waterfront Restaurant, the group is coordinated by psychologist Flip Oberholzer.   Between 10 to 15 local practitioners attend regular meetings to hear guest speakers present.  This network meets quarterly and focuses on local mental health needs and priorities.  The meetings improve local referral pathways, and practitioners collaborate to support the mental health of the local community. Members of the group include GPs, psychologists, social workers, counsellors and other professionals from a range of disciplines.  

Geelong Family Violence Network

About 20 local service providers and Geelong health practitioners meet regularly at charity, ‘Give where you live’. A full range of health professionals attend the network meetings and they gather to discuss local concerns and issues in family violence and mental health.  The meetings provide excellent opportunities for collegial networking, peer support and professional development on mental health topics.

Warrnambool Network

Warrnambool PHN’s Mental Health Coordinator, Trudy Fenwick coordinates this network of about 20 local mental health practitioners.   The group usually meet at the Warrnambool PHN offices.  Local health services host the meetings and suggest topics.  The network aims to foster collaborations and improve referral pathways in the Warrnambool region.