Each year TheMHS is proud to present a series of forums and workshops as part of our annual conference. In 2019 forums and workshops aim to spark conversation, encourage positivity, and arm attendees with knowledge.

9:00am – 4:30pm

Novel Approaches to Suicide Risk Management:
PROTECT – PROactive deTECTion

One of the most difficult challenges for a mental health professional is supporting the recovery of a person in suicidal distress, when the psychological pain is such that suicide has become the salient solution to the entrapment of life. Walking in the shoes of that person is immensely difficult. The goal is to help them see that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. To achieve this clinicians have to act as hope vendors. This is a challenging enterprise that needs training and development.

Conventional assessment and management involves taking over control in order to maintain safety. Is there another way? Can safety be enhanced by empowering the person and their natural circle of support as equal partners on the road to recovery?

Why attend this workshop?

Without risk there is no recovery but there is a fine line to strike. Through a range of case studies and experiential training, workshop attendees will explore many innovative concepts. Deep empathy, relational safety, despair map, risk response balance sheet and “creep – crash – crawl” to name a few. The skills, knowledge and competencies needed are captured in four frameworks that make up PROTECT.

AWARE (Self-awareness framework): How to balance facts and feelings and make clinical decisions mindful?

DESPAIR (Assessment framework): How to ground risk thresholds using the DESPAIR map?

ASPIRE (Management framework): How to co-create a safe and empowering recovery journey?

NOTES (Documentation framework): How to capture meaningful narratives that enhance safety both for the person and the professional?

PROTECT provides a structured approach to mindfully manage ones thinking, feelings and responses that are needed to steer a person amidst intense suicidal distress towards safety. The one day workshop will translate the latest research into practice and is applicable across all age groups and diagnostic categories.

Who should attend? Doctors, nurses, psychologists, allied health workers, rehabilitation specialists and peer workers in mental health will benefit. Experienced professionals will get the opportunity to refresh their competencies and pick up new skills and concepts while for newcomers into the field they will gain a strong foundation to suicide risk management.

Workshop Presenters

Manaan Kar Ray, Clinical Director Psychosis, Academic Clinical Unit, Addiction and Mental Health Services Metro South Health, Brisbane

Chiara Lombardo, Senior Research Officer (Qualitative), Mental Health Foundation, London

Sepehr Hafizi, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, UK.


Further information about PROTECT can be found here www.progress.guide.

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9:00am – 4:30pm

This year’s consumer and carer day will be combined using story to build resilience and community. The day aims to open a dialogue to respectfully discuss the challenges both consumers and carers face. It will be a transformative day of story, peer leadership and building your own resilience toolkit. There will be the options to workshop and discuss issues within the consumer and carer experiences, and there will be positive takeaway messages including self-care and resilience. The day will include activities, relaxation and mindfulness with a positive experience.

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9:00am – 4:00pm

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and cultures have shown remarkable resilience: surviving and flourishing despite more than 200 years of the depradations of colonisation. What better way to illustrate this resilience and optimism within our vibrant communities than with a forum highlighting the many ways in which Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander are negotiating the challenges thrown at them by today’s Australia, whilst also building a resilient future?

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