The 22nd International Mental Health Conference

The 22nd International Mental Health Conference

This week the eMHPrac team attended the 22nd International Mental Health Conference, an annual event bringing together professionals, workers and volunteers to learn best practice, grow meaningful connections and implement mental health care solutions. The conference takes place over three days and features live keynote presentations, concurrent presentation, an interactive exhibitor hall, practical workshops, networking opportunities, and more. This year the event was held virtually due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and was attended by 450 delegates.

Theme: Embracing Change: Next Steps in Delivering Industry Excellence and Integrated Care

This year the International Mental Health Conference theme centred around ‘embracing change’, exploring how mental health care can be improved through diversity and the role of innovation and new technology in mental health care.

Presentation topics included:

  • Indigenous perspectives of ancient wisdoms for mental health and wellbeing
  • Lived experience involvement in service co-design
  • Australia’s mental health reform agenda
  • Innovation in service delivery due to COVID-19
  • Implementation of digital technology.

Digital Mental Health in the Age of COVID

eMHPrac Director Heidi Sturk is a member of the International Mental Health Conference Program Committee and gave a presentation on Anxiety in the Age of COVID: Exploring Relevant Online Support and Resources. The presentation discussed how the COVID pandemic has affected people, and the role digital mental health resources can play in supporting mental health during this time. Heidi also provided guidance on how professionals can go about choosing the right resource and few examples of suitable mental health resources to get started with.

Delegate feedback:

“Thank you for this information. I’m not very technology savvy so loving this availability and easy access for resources.”

“Good that you have already prepared the fact sheet and resource links so not everyone has to develop their own.”

In addition to Director Heidi Sturk’s presentation, there were many other presentations around the topic on digital mental health in Australian mental health care. These presentations included:

Transforming Face-to-Face Mental Health Work with Digital Technology

Associate Professor Neil Thomas, Director,

National eTherapy Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology

Digital Transformation in a Digital Mental Health Service: the MindSpot example

Dr Shane Cross


Identifying and Supporting Emergency Service Workers Experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr Kathy O’Grady

Black Dog Institute

A bit more about the 22nd International Mental Health Conference

The International Mental Health Conference is run by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association Inc. is a non-government, not for profit organisation. The role of the Association is to advance the field of mental health in the region by the application of knowledge about mental health: from mental health education, training and research to mental health advocacy.

The 22nd International Mental Health Conference faced many difficulties this year, being rescheduled multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the hosts have persevered to adapt and organise another excellent event.

Delegate feedback:

“This has been the best online event I’ve been to… Fantastic job and a great platform for both presentations and connecting directly… amazing job under some pretty extraordinary circumstances. Well done!”

“A massive thanks to the whole team and the presenters – excellent demonstration of adaptability and rising to the challenge. Very much appreciated.”

“Congratulations to all involved in a fantastic conference. Thank you to all presenters for your fantastic insight. I very much enjoyed all of the sessions I participated in and look forwards to catching a couple I missed on record.”

Upcoming Conferences in 2022

Catch us at these upcoming conferences in 2022 or head to our Events page to find out more about all of eMHPrac’s upcoming activities.

Frontline Mental Health Conference

SeaWorld Gold Coast, 14-15 Mar 2022

Developing the knowledge and skills of first responders in leadership positions to actively promote positive mental health within organisations.

Theme: Working together – Exploring an Integrated Health and Wellbeing Approach

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference

SeaWorld Gold Coast, 28-30 Mar 2022

Providing practical skills, relevant information, personal insight, and strategies for professionals committed to the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

Theme: Listen, Learn and Co-Design: Establishing Partnerships with Children, Young People and Families

Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference

JW Marriott Gold Coast, 9-11 May 2022

Developed by the sector, for the sector, proving an inspiring and innovative learning environment for people who work with alcohol, other drugs and behavioural addictions.

Theme: Bold dreams and new directions

Workplace Mental Health Symposium

SeaWorld Gold Coast, 22-24 Aug 2022

Discussing all aspects of mental health and wellness at work to create mentally healthy workplaces where all employees feel safe and supported.

Theme: From awareness to action: How do we do workplace mental health and wellbeing?

23rd International Mental Health Conference

Gold Coast Convention Centre, 5-7 Sep 2022

The pinnacle event for mental health professions, providing education, inspiration, connection and support to help mental health professionals and the emerging workforce.

Theme: Coming together to shape the future: Positivity, resilience and optimism

Indigenous Wellbeing Conference

Location TBA, 24-25 Oct 2022

Discover the latest Indigenous-led, grassroot programs and projects taking place around the nation and across the seas, learn how to implement practical evidence-based research into service, and gain a greater understanding of Indigenous protocols, practices and considerations.

Theme: Honouring Indigenous Voices and Wisdom: Balancing the System to Close the Gap

Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference

Adelaide Oval, 9-11 Nov 2022

Gain practical solutions to improve mental health services in Australia’s rural and remote areas.

Theme: Weathering the storm: reflecting on 2020 and planning for what’s next

Stop Domestic Violence Conference

Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2022

Bringing together professionals working in all realms of domestic and family violence as one unified voice for change, providing practical tips, strategies and case studies.

Theme: A safer future is everybody’s responsibility: how we’re continuing our mission for change