Abstract Submissions

Virtual TheMHS Perth Conference –  February 2021

Balancing the System
TheMHS Perth Virtual Conference
9 – 12 February 2021

Submissions are now CLOSED. For any enquiries regarding a submission, please contact info@themhs.org

Conference Theme: Balancing the System

Across Australia, our public mental health systems are experiencing significant and ever-increasing demands on acute and clinical bed-based services.

This not only represents challenges to outcomes for individuals but is also a huge challenge in terms of sustainability.

There is widespread acknowledgement that in order to address these pressures and improve quality of life we need to balance the mental health system through investment in prevention and community support. To achieve this, we need to bring the clinical and the community together in a more substantive and coherent way.

This conference will explore how we can make this a reality.

How will your presentation at the Annual TheMHS Conference – Perth, February 2021 relate to the theme of “Balancing the System”?

Submission Process

Your abstract must be submitted online. After filling in your personal details, the abstract submission process involves entering the following:

  1. Abstract Title
  2. Presentation Type
  3. Theme and Sub-Theme
  4. Authors
  5. Presenting Author(s) Biography
  6. Abstract
  7. Learning Objective
  8. References

Abstracts are accepted on the following conditions:


  • Papers must be presented by the authors. Proxies will not be permitted except in an emergency such as illness or misadventure.
  • The committee reserves the right to accept or refuse any submission.
  • The committee reserves the right to allocate a session time or presentation type, which differs from that applied for.
  • Wherever possible, ensure that a range of stakeholders including consumers, are included as presenters in symposia, workshops, debates, roundtables.
  • Do not include tables, diagrams or graphs in the abstract.

PLEASE NOTE that only the first author will be advised in writing with regard to the acceptance or otherwise of the abstract submission. The first author (as given in application) will be the main contact for correspondence about the presentation, therefore please include an additional email if you would like another contact copied in.


Submissions that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned to the author for editing.

Length of Abstract

  • Abstracts for all papers, snapshots and ePosters should be a maximum of 200 words (excluding learning objective and references).
  • Abstracts for symposia, workshops or other innovative presentation types should not exceed a total of 800 words (excluding learning objective and references).

Content of Abstract

The abstract:

  • The abstract should be as informative as possible and truly represent the intended presentation.
  • Your abstract will be used both for selection purposes and if selected will be used in the online program.
  • It should include a statement of the aims of the presentation; sufficient information to allow a delegate to learn what may be gained by attending the presentation; a strong concluding sentence in summary of the abstract.
  • Consideration of the overall conference theme of ‘Balancing the System’ should be given, and your abstract should clearly explain how your presentation relates to this overarching conference theme.
  • TheMHS values and welcomes sharing of lived experience via presentations, however it is important to include how this relates to an understanding of mental ill-health and/or to mental health service policy, delivery and/or development.

Themes and Sub-Themes

When submitting an abstract the person must choose ONE theme ONE sub-theme:


  • Evidence into Practice (research, evaluation, quality, services, programs)
  • Clinical Treatment and Care (assessment, treatment, interventions, techniques)
  • Recovery and Wellbeing
  • Engaging Communities, Prevention and Promotion
  • Innovation and Challenges
  • Policy, Leadership and Management, Service Reform
  • Workforce and training (peer workers, clinicians, academics, supervision)
  • Bringing the Clinical and Community together
  • Social Justice (equity, access, participation and rights)


  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
  • Carer / Family / Whānau
  • Youth
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Gender
  • Indigenous / First Nations
  • Regional / Rural / Remote
  • Substance Use
  • Other

Learning Objectives

Please state one Learning Objective in answer to this question:

What will delegates learn from attending this presentation to enhance their knowledge of mental health matters or skills in mental health service delivery?


  • This section is preferred, however it is not compulsory.
  • Please enter 2 references to support your abstract.
  • Please note that these are academic references, not character or personal references.
  • References may be formatted in your preferred academic style. If in doubt, TheMHS Learning Network recommends using the APA referencing style:

e.g. For a journal:
Surname, J.S., & Surname, A.D. (2011). Article title. Journal Title, 10(4), 299-300.

e.g. For a book:
O’Donoghue, T., & Clarke, S. (2010). Leading learning: Process, themes and issues in international contexts. London: Routledge.

Types of Presentations

Please note that time limits for speakers will be strictly enforced so that there is adequate time for discussion of papers and for other speakers in the session to have their full allocated time.

Oral Presentations

  • An oral presentation can include innovations, research, services, creative therapies and arts, or personal stories.
  • Each presentation is either 10 minutes plus 5 minutes discussion; 15 minutes plus 5 minutes discussion or 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion.
  • The suggested number of presenters per paper: 2


  • Design your workshop to be participatory.
  • The focus will be on a particular issue or topic relevant to mental health services and audience participation is maximised. For example the opportunity for discussion and debate on a given topic, or practical learning of skills.
  • At least 50% of the total allotted time must be devoted to questions and answers, or to group interaction – remember this is NOT a lecture.
  • Within your abstract, submit a brief plan of how the time will be allocated/managed.
  • The suggested number of presenters: 3 – 5
  • Workshops can be submitted for either 60 or 90 minutes.


  • The symposium is designed to take a more formal approach to the selected topic.
  • At least 20% of the total allotted time must be devoted to audience interaction.
  • Within your abstract, submit a brief plan, containing a description of the unifying theme(s) as a whole, followed by an abstract of each individual paper within the symposium.
  • The suggested number of presenters: 3 – 5 presenters, including a chairperson.
  • Symposia can be submitted for either 60 or 90 minutes.


e-Posters provide an opportunity to display new research or evaluation results, clinical or service advances, new program features, or work-in-progress. TheMHS will facilitate connection between delegates and authors of e-Posters by:

  • Providing all delegates with copies of ‘e-Poster Abstracts’
  • Providing all delegates with contact details for all e-Posters (with permission of author/s)

Format: An e-Poster should be a maximum of 1 (one) PDF or JPG slide that will be available on digital touch screens in the Exhibition Area at the conference, and on the conference mobile app. More information regarding e-Posters will be provided upon acceptance of abstract.

Other Presentation Types

  • This presentation category is only for submissions that do not fit within one of the above categories.
  • Within your abstract, submit a brief plan including explanation of the proposed presentation format and how the presentation or session time will be allocated/managed.
  • Other presentation types could include panel sessions, debates, roundtables, Pecha Kucha sessions, fishbowl sessions, performances etc.
  • The presentation needs to fit into a 15, 30, 60 or 90 minute time frame.

Submissions are now CLOSED. For any enquiries regarding a submission, please contact info@themhs.org