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Research to improve Queenslanders wellbeing in the spotlight at The National Mental Health Services Conference

26 August 2019

Addiction and Mental Health Services research to improve community wellbeing will be highlighted at The Mental Health Services Conference (TheMHS) in Brisbane today.

Executive Director, Addiction and Mental Health Services, Metro South Health Kieran Kinsella said the work of the Service to improve general wellbeing, from working with families to focusing on nutrition and the role of physical exercise in mental ill-health would be a highlight of the conference.

“By applying the findings of our research, we can make a real difference in people’s lives,” Mr Kinsella said.

“Our Senior Research fellow Dr Marianne Wyder will present findings around how we can support families who care for people with mental health concerns.

“Our research is looking at what is it like for families, how they adapt, and what adjusting and coping well means to them, by considering this, we can improve the care they receive.”

 “When families, who are supporting people who experience a mental health crisis, come to our service they can be in a “triage zone” where it is hard for them to take in information, they are just trying to get through each day.

The conference will explore the role of resilience in building healthy communities across all facets of the sector from the consumer experience to Non-Government Organisations, General Practitioners and public mental health services.

“Looking after the general wellbeing of our patients and the community helps to improve resilience,” Mr Kinsella said.

“We know that nutrition is a major concern for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and Metro South Health has published Queensland’s first healthy eating toolkit to assist supported accommodation providers to ensure a healthier environment for residents.

“Our Community Nutritionist Donni Johnston will talk about how to help improve health outcomes for people living in supported accommodation, who are typically living with a mental illness or intellectual disability."

TheMHS Conference 2019 brings people from across Australia and New Zealand to stimulate debates that challenge the boundaries of present knowledge and ideas about mental health care and mental health systems.

“Consumer and Carer Consultant Dr Justin Chapman wants to inspire conversation about new ways to improve physical health outcomes for our patients.

“He is interested in the attitudes and opinions of addiction and mental health workers about integrating physical health care into mental health services.

“These are things like who is responsible for monitoring indicators such as waist circumference, body mass index and blood pressure; and perceptions about professional responsibility across disciplines.

“As a service, this is an opportunity to look at what can do and needs to be done to improve our patient’s physical health.”

Addiction and Mental Health Services speakers at TheMHS Conference include:

  • Kathy Madson, Senior Clinical Social Worker
  • Paul Hickey, Social Work Lead
  • Social Inclusion and Housing
  • Donni Johnston, Snr Community Nutritionist
  • Dr Frances Dark, Director of Mental Health Rehabilitation stream
  • Gordon Kay, Senior Social Worker
  • Dr Marianne Wyder, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Justin Chapman, Carer and Consumer Consultant

To learn more about the conference, visit The Mental Health Services Learning Network.

Photograph: Front Donni Johnston, Snr Community Nutritionist, Dr Marianne Wyder, Senior Research Fellow (back left), Dr Justin Chapman, Carer and Consumer Consultant (back right).

Last updated 28 August 2019
Last reviewed 19 July 2019

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