Abstract Submissions

TheMHS Conference 2020

Balancing the System
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
25 – 28 August 2020

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 Biography
  6. Abstract
  7. Learning Objectives
  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.
  • TheMHS values and welcomes sharing of lived experience via presentations, however it is important that these submissions include reference to mental health service delivery 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)
  • Other


  • CALD
  • Carer / Family / Whānau
  • Youth
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Gender
  • Indigenous / First Nations
  • Regional / Rural / Remote
  • Substance Use
  • Other

Learning Objectives

Please state 2 Learning Objectives 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 describes innovations, research and evaluation programs, outcomes, effective practice, creative services, as well as personal stories about mental illness and mental health.
  • Each presentation is either 10 minutes plus 5 minutes Q&A; 15 minutes plus 5 minutes Q&A or 20 minutes plus 10 minutes Q&A.
  • It is suggested to include no more than 2 presenters per paper.


  • 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 hands-on learning to practice the techniques and skills or discussion and debate on a given topic.
  • 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.
  • A brief plan of how the time will be allocated/managed is to be submitted by the applicant within the abstract.
  • It is suggested to include between 3 – 5 presenters.
  • Workshops can be submitted for either 60 or 90 minutes.


  • The symposium is designed to take a more formal approach to the selected topic that is relevant to clinical issues, system of care, programs or a specific mental health related topic.
  • At least 20% of the total allotted time must be devoted to questions and answers, or to group interaction.
  • A brief plan is to be submitted by the applicant, containing a description of the unifying theme(s) as a whole, followed by an abstract of each individual paper within the symposium.
  • It is suggested to include between 3 – 5 presenters and 1 chairperson.
  • The applicant arranges the chairperson.
  • Symposiums 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’
  • With permission of author/s, providing all delegates with contact details for all e-Poster submitters

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.
  • A brief plan is to be submitted by the applicant, 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.