Dr Manaan Kar Ray is the Clinical Director of Psychosis Academic Clinical Unit Addiction and Mental Health Services at Metro South Health in Brisbane.
We spoke with Manaan about the workshop he’ll be presenting at TheMHS Conference in August called ‘Novel Approaches to Suicide Risk Management.’
1. How did you first become involved in the mental health field?
As a Medical student I wanted to do something incisive, and most probably was headed towards surgery, till my placement in mental health. On my first day, I knew that this is what I am meant to do. It was incisive, many times over, just did not need a scalpel, only a patient ear. And two decades on here I am.
2. Why should people attend your workshop ‘Novel Approaches to Suicide Risk Management’?
Losing a person one is supporting through suicide is one of the most anxiety provoking thoughts for a mental health professional. However helping a person who has walked right up to the precipice of death turn around and discover alternative ways to cope is a most rewarding experience. The principal aim is for attendees to find the confidence to embrace the opportunity to engage a person in suicidal distress as it can be lifesaving. In the workshop we will be sharing the latest research findings in the field of suicide and translating them into novel ways in which one can further their practice. The workshop will pull together novel concepts as well as adaptations of established therapeutic approaches into pragmatic interventions both in the assessment and the management of suicidal distress. Constructing relational safety through the use of the PROTECT frameworks and tools of like safety planning balance sheets and care compass, will be brought to life through the use of engaging case studies.
3. What key learnings will participants be able to take away from this workshop?
The key learning that we would want for our participants will be to discover their own strengths and use them to strike a balance between risk and recovery. After all without risk there is no recovery and learning to use the PROTECT frameworks will help strike that fine balance.
4. What’s one thing not many people know about you?
When my son was 2 years old, I bought a Thomas the Tank Engine and the skeleton of a Model Railway for Christmas, oops sorry that was Santa. Anyway after that started a love affair with model trains which lasted just short of a decade, till we moved to Australia last year. Needless to say all those limited edition digitally controlled engines which made me feel like the station master with complete control was just for my son, nothing to do with me!!! And don’t even get me started about Lego.
5. What’s your favourite part of Brisbane and why?
Seeing the sun set from Wilson’s point across the Story Bridge is one of my favourites. Saying that South Bank is not too far behind, love the energy that’s there. After all it was the Jacarandas in bloom in October 2016 on my first visit to Brisbane that enticed me down under from Cambridge.
6. Where can people find out more about your work? e.g. TheMHS Conference, your website, published papers etc.