This episode will discuss TheMHS Learning Network, health system integration to address complexity, the role of digital mental health, the TheMHS Conference and TheMHS Awards.
In the first episode of Season 2 Digital Mental Health Musings host Dr. Ruth Crowther speaks to Jane Austin and Lyndal Sherwin from TheMHS. They discuss the origins of the TheMHS Learning Network, their goals, the upcoming TheMHS Conference, and TheMHS Awards.
Jane Austin is Executive Director of TheMHS and has had a background in health organisation management for the last twenty years. This has included roles at the George Institute for Global Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Jane has also held Board positions, including as a Director of the Asthma Foundation of NSW. Jane’s work has spanned the UK, Australia and New Zealand and in recent years she volunteered at a phone counselling service, supporting people living with social isolation, suicidal ideation, and mental distress.
Lyndal Sherwin is the TheMHS Awards Manager. She is an Occupational Therapist and has close to 20 years’ experience working as a mental health clinician and health services manager within acute, community and forensic mental health services within Australia and the UK. Lyndal also currently holds the role of Clinical Rehabilitation Manager in Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Services in Northern Sydney Local Health District. Lyndal is passionate about trauma informed, recovery oriented service provision that is truly led by lived experience and expertise.
How TheMHS came about; their history and goals
TheMHS began as a small group of psychiatrists in 1991 seeking a broader conference with more mental health services represented, exploring the wider health sector. Founded by Alan Rosen, Viv Miller, and Roger Gurr, the aim of TheMHS has always been to bring together a wide range of lived experiences and expertise to share knowledge and perspectives.
The goals of TheMHS have evolved from a conference focus to a number of different things. Their focus now is on creating shared multi-disciplinary learning opportunities for everyone in mental health, actively engaging people with lived experience, inspiring mental health service reforms, and recognising excellence and quality in research and practice through their awards program.
The focus on navigating complexity and integrating the health system and the role of digital mental health
Navigating complexity has always been an element of TheMHS activities, however in recent years due to increased innovation and complexity for people accessing services and the workforce. Members of the health sector have identified increased difficulties with connecting patients to mental health services and support and feeling distanced from mental health support resources. There is a clear need to collaborate across multiple sectors to support mental health wellbeing or recovery as there are lots of factors that contribute to mental health however, these partnerships can be difficult and complex.
Digital mental health services are becoming critically important with the increasing importance of connected care, equitable access to services, and integration with the main system. Their role in supporting service delivery and aiding navigation of the complex health system is continually being discussed.
The TheMHS Conference and what people can expect this year
The TheMHS Conference includes a mix of different presentations, a broad range of perspectives, a diverse range of symposia, and fabulous keynote speakers. Participants and delegates can also expect lots of sharing of ideas about what’s working, issues and problems, and sharing of programs and initiatives that are navigating complexities and building integration across Australia and New Zealand.
The TheMHS conference also includes the presentation of TheMHS annual service and research awards, recognising excellence and innovation in mental health in Australia and New Zealand.
The conference is attended by consumers and carers, clinicians, service managers, educators, researchers, and more, coming together to share perspectives, learn from each other, and build a shared understanding.
TheMHS Website: https://www.themhs.org/
TheMHS Awards: https://www.themhs.org/about-the-awards/
TheMHS Conference: https://www.themhs.org/sydney-annual-conference-2022/
TheMHS Conference Abstracts Submissions: https://www.themhs.org/abstracts/
Contact TheMHS at https://www.themhs.org/contact/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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