Authors: Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice
Event: 2003 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Consumer or Carer Program or Service
Abstract: Cath Roper – Consumer Academic with the CPNRP The employment of a mental health consumer as an academic member of staff within the CPNRP was seen as a significant means to address the issue of consumer perspective and participation in the field. It is our understanding that no other such position exists in any other university either in Australia or internationally. Cath Roper contributes to the aims and objectives of the Centre through her role as lecturer in post graduate courses offered through the School of Nursing, facilitating workshops in the clinical field, and offering consumer perspective consultancy on a variety of projects. She has written numerous research papers for publication on mental health issues, and regularly speaks at conferences across the country. She also facilitates consumer reference groups on promoting consumer perspective training and education to the mental health sector, and is currently editing “Sight Unseen,” a verbatim account of the experiences of consumers of mental health services, to be published later this year. Description of Facility/Organisation: Located at the School of Nursing, The University of Melbourne, The Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice, CPNRP, is an initiative for psychiatric nurses and other stakeholders including clinicians, managers, academics, researches and consumers in the mental health field. Funded by the Mental Health Branch, Department of Human Services, Victoria, the CPNRP operates in partnership with the North Western Mental Health Program (Melbourne Health). There are currently 12 employers, although numbers are constantly expanding to meet increased demand, including lecturers, academic researchers, consumer academic, administrative manager and policy analyst. The CPNRP commenced operation in November 1999, with a budget of approximately 1.8 million dollars over five years. The Centre currently has more than 600 mental health nurses, consumers, carers, medical practitioners and allied health staff on its mailing list. To date they have approximately 1,000 participants in the courses and training programs operated by the CPNRP. The primary aim of the CPNRP is to contribute to the ongoing articulation, development and advancement of psychiatric nursing practice in order to continually improve the well being of mental health consumers. The CPNRP is committed to bridging the gap between clinical practice, research, education and professional development, and works with psychiatric nurses, consumers, carers, industry groups and government in order to achieve this aim on a state, national and international level.