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TheMHS 2018 Summer Forum

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When: Thursday 22 & Friday 23 February, 2018 

Where: Mercure Hotel, Sydney, Australia

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Trauma leaves an indelible impression in the lives of survivors. Trauma is associated with the development in a person’s life of mental health problems and substance use, as well as major impacts on social, emotional and physical health.

When trauma is unacknowledged and unrecognised, the effects can be magnified.

People using mental health services have very high incidence of trauma including interpersonal abuse and further betrayal by systems and services. Services are increasingly aware of the incidence and effects of trauma.

Even if trauma occurred many years ago – it matters. It matters for the person, their family and the services and institutions they contact.

One of the many lessons from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is the powerful role that institutions and systems can have in recognising, responding and resisting the re-traumatisation of survivors.

TheMHS Summer Forum 2018 explores how mental health services can recognise and respond to trauma and shows the way forward with trauma-informed care and effective, evidence-based responses that promote healing and recovery.

TheMHS Summer Forum will feature examples of good practice and explore the questions:

  • How is the experience of trauma related to the development and exacerbation of mental health problems?
  • How can services recognise the effects of trauma and provide environments that facilitate safe disclosure and establish trauma-informed responses that are accountable to trauma survivors?
  • Can mental health services go beyond being trauma-informed to provide effective, evidence-based treatments?
  • What is the best available evidence to avoid traumatising and re-traumatising all people who have contact with mental health services?

2018 TheMHS Summer Forum Preliminary Program
(subject to change)

Speaker Biographies Below

Day

Speaker

Overview

Thursday

Helen Milroy

Setting the scene; specific actions into the future – idea of “Safe passage” into, through, and out of mental health services

Kim Felmingham

Martin Dorahy

Impact on the brain/neuroscience of trauma

On trauma, memory, and voice hearing

Margaret Cutajar

Links between childhood trauma, contact with mental health and the justice system

Indigo Daya

Helen Milroy

PANEL: Setting the scene for what needs to change. The implications for services in light of the evidence from above. 

Friday

Indigo Daya

Is trauma informed care really possible and/or human rights issues.

Louise Newman

Speak from her own practice – young people/children; women; Borderline Personality Disorder

Sophie Isobel

Past, Present, Future: a story of implementation of Trauma Informed Care across a mental health service in Sydney

PANEL: System Reform and System Change

Katherine Mills

 

Martin Dorahy

Pam Stavropoulos

Evidence base for treatments for PTSD for people with MH problems 

 

PANEL: Treatment Approaches

Helen Milroy

Indigo Daya

What have we learned?

Guest Speakers:

Helen Milroy

 Helen Milroy

Helen is a descendent of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She is a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2013-2017. She is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Professor at the University of Western Australia, and a National Mental Health Commissioner.

Indigo Daya

Indigo Daya

Indigo is a Senior Consumer Adviser at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, an Adjunct Research Fellow at Swinburne University, and author of a popular online blog about trauma, madness and recovery. She has worked in consumer leadership roles across the mental health sector for more than a decade, with a particular focus on trauma-informed practice. Indigo has lived experience as a survivor of trauma and of mental health services.

Louise Newman

Louise Newman

PROFESSOR LOUISE NEWMAN AM,
BA(Hons) MBBS(Hons) PhD FRANZCP Cert. Child Psych. RANZCP

Louise Newman is the Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

She was the founding Chair of Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry at the University of Newcastle and the previous Director of the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry. In January 2011 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for work in child protection.

She is a practising infant psychiatrist with expertise in the area of disorders of early parenting and attachment difficulties in infants.  She has undertaken research into the issues confronting parents with histories of early trauma and neglect.  Her current research focusses on the evaluation of infant-parent interventions in high-risk populations, the concept of parental reflective functioning in mothers with borderline personality disorder and the neurobiology of parenting disturbance.

She was recently awarded grants for intervention studies in Domestic Violence, and she has published in the areas of infant mental health, attachment disorders trauma, and prevention of child abuse.

She is the Convenor of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group. She has been a Government advisor on asylum seeker and refugee mental health and contributed to the development of policy for mental health screening and response to torture survivors. She has been involved in research into the impact of immigration detention on child asylum seekers. 

Martin Dorahy

Martin Dorahy

Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych, is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and is currently the director of the Clinical Psychology Programme. He has a clinical, research and theoretical interest in self-conscious emotions, and complex trauma and dissociative disorders. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and Co-edited three books in the area of psychotraumatology. He is a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society, the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists. He is a Fellow, Board member and current President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). He maintains a clinical practice focused primarily on the adult sequelae of childhood relational trauma.  

Sophie Isobel

Sophie Isobel

Sophie Isobel is a Clinical Nurse Consultant for Quality, Research and Ethics for Mental Health Services in Sydney Local Health District. She project managed the original TIC project in the district and continues to work to drive and evaluate local implementation. Her background is as a mental health clinician and she is midway through a PhD on the integration of intergenerational trauma prevention into mental health services. 

Katherine Mills

Katherine Mills

Katherine Mills is an Associate Professor and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales. She is also Director of Treatment Research for the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. Katherine’s research focuses on improving our understanding of co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions, developing and evaluating innovative treatment responses, and translating research findings into evidence based resources.

Margaret Cutajar

Margaret Cutajar

Dr Margaret Cutajar is a clinical-forensic psychologist and honorary teaching fellow, Swinburne University, continuing her research on child sexual abuse.

Kim Felmingham

Professor Kim Felmingham is the Chair of Clinical Psychology at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne. 

Kim is a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, who specializes in the field of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  She has over fifteen years experience in treating PTSD, including treating adult survivors of childhood trauma. 

Professor Felmingham is recognized for her research examining the neural and biological mechanisms associated with PTSD, with a specific focus on key mechanisms such as emotional memory consolidation, fear conditioning and extinction, emotion regulation and hormonal and genetic influences on these processes. 

Kim has published extensively in neuroimaging, event-related potential and psychophysiological fields in PTSD. 

A recent research focus is to identify the impact of childhood trauma on neural and psychological functioning, with a specific interest in identifying the impact of critical periods of trauma exposure during development.

Pam Stavropoulos

Dr Pam Stavropoulos is Head of Research at Blue Knot Foundation.

Pam, a former Fulbright Scholar, has held lectureships at Macquarie University and the University of New England, taught in two Master of Counselling courses, and is a former Program Director of the Jansen Newman Institute. She has written research reports in the community health sector, and was a Senior Research Officer with the Mental Health Association NSW.

Pam is a practising therapist, and a supervisor in the area of complex trauma. Her research interests relate to trauma, depression, and the politics of subjectivity.

Pam is co-author of Blue Knot Foundation's Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery and Trauma and the Law: Applying trauma informed practice to legal and judicial contexts. Pam is a member of the scientific committee of the International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation.