Annual Conference FAQ

Has the 2020 Perth TheMHS Conference been cancelled?

No! However, due to COVID-19 restrictions the format of the 2020 Perth Conference has been changed.

It is now a virtual conference taking place in February 2021.

What is a virtual conference?

A virtual conference is just like a regular conference, only all the components take place on the internet rather than in person. This not only includes speaker presentations, but also e-Poster displays, exhibition spaces, and even networking events! We’re pleased to say that having a virtual conference means anyone not confident about inter-state or international travel can now access the conference from the comfort of their own home or office.

Can I access the virtual conference from anywhere?

Yes. As long as your chosen device (laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet) has internet access, you will be able to attend the conference from anywhere in the world. Please note that the quality of your access will depend on your internet connection. We recommend that you access the conference from somewhere with a stable internet connection, such as your home or office.

Who is the conference for?

TheMHS Conference is the largest multidisciplinary mental health conference in Australia and New Zealand. This means we welcome everyone involved and interested in the mental health sector, including clinicians, managers, people with lived experience/consumers, carers, and academics from NGO, public and private sectors of the mental health community.

Who can present papers?

TheMHS Conference has an official Call for Abstracts process that closes in early March each year, and we welcome abstracts from anyone that feels they have something valuable to contribute to the conversation about mental health. All abstracts are reviewed by an group of experts in the field, and successful presenters are notified between April and June each year.

When can I register for the virtual TheMHS Conference?

Registrations will open on October 1st, 2020, with an early bird special.

You can register here.

How long has the conference been running?

TheMHS Conference started in Adelaide in 1991 and due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, will hold its 30th annual conference online in February 2021.

Where is the conference program?

The conference program can be viewed here.

Please be aware that it is subject to change.

When does the conference start?

The conference starts on Monday 8 February 2021 with a pre-conference day of lived experience/consumer and carer forums. The conference is opened officially on Tuesday 9 February 2021.

When are the winners for The Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand announced?

The Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand are announced on the morning of Monday 8 February, 2021.

Winners will be notified beforehand by mid-November 2020.

Who is TheMHS Learning Network?

TheMHS (pronounced “themes”) Learning Network is an international learning network for improving mental health services in Australia and New Zealand. TheMHS Learning Network is an independent, registered charity run by a volunteer Board.

Who is the 2020 Ambassador for The Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand?

The 2020 Ambassador is Professor Fiona Stanley, AC

For previous Awards Ambassadors and Award presenters, please see the Winners Archive and click on the appropriate year.

How do I apply for a bursary or subsidy to attend the Annual Conference or Summer Forum?

TheMHS Learning Network is a charitable organisation that runs solely on the revenue we generate from conference registration fees and annual sponsorship.

An annual sponsorship from the Australian Government through the Department of Health enables our Conference to offer Lived Experience (Consumer and Carer/Family) Forums; The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Awards; and bursaries for Consumers to attend the Annual Conference. However, this sponsorship is restricted to the Conference and is dependent on an annual application.

We advertise when applications are open for bursaries for the annual conference via our broadcast emails, so please make sure you are subscribed to these.

Unfortunately at this point in time, we receive no funding for bursaries to our Summer Forum and in order to keep the fees as low as possible for everyone, we are unable to offer complimentary bursaries for Summer Forum.

Are Concession Fees available?

Concessions are given to full time students, pension card holders, government beneficiaries, community services card holders (NZ), SuperGold card holders (NZ) and unemployed people only. Please forward evidence (e.g. photocopy of pension card or student card) of concession/beneficiary status to TheMHS by either fax or email.

What is your cancellation policy for the virtual conference?

At any point prior to the event you are welcome to contact us in writing to nominate a substitute delegate at no additional charge.

Delegate fees will be refunded 100% (less a $120 administration fee) only if TheMHS Learning Network is notified in writing six (6) weeks before the event, that is:

  • Tuesday 29 December 2020 for TheMHS Virtual Perth Conference – February 2021

50% of fee (less a $120 administration fee) will be refunded if written notification is received in writing four (4) weeks before the event, that is:

  • Tuesday 12 January 2021 for TheMHS Virtual Perth Conference – February 2021

NO REFUND will apply after these dates, except at the discretion of TheMHS Learning Network’s Board. Late applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Board, with its decision being final.

If a delegate from a group of 10+ cancels, thereby reducing the group size to less than 10, the group coordinator will be invoiced for the 5% discount that was originally applied to the group.