Speakers

TheMHS Summer Form 2020
Mercure Sydney
20 – 21 February 2020

TheMHS is pleased to announce that the following speakers will be bringing their expertise and their research to the 2020 TheMHS Summer Forum. They will be presenting on the topic of Homelessness, Housing and Mental Health: Crises and Opportunities.

Presentations at the Summer Forum focus on exploration of the theme, peeling back layers to offer insights revealed by research, while also making recommendations on steps to follow to procure systematic change. We hope that delegates come away from the Summer Forum thoroughly informed and inspired by speakers to take action in the pursuit of bettering the mental health sectors in Australia and New Zealand.

The speaker lineup for the 2020 TheMHS Summer Forum is currently in development. Please check back with us for more program and speaker announcements.

Nicola Brackertz

Biography

Nicola is a research specialist with over 20 years’ experience in a wide range of areas related to public policy, social justice, housing and disadvantage.

Research interests include interventions to address financial stress and financial hardship, social innovation, community participation in local government decision making, performance measurement and evaluation of services, and the relationship between gender, work and life outcomes.

Nicola has expertise in the design, implementation and analysis of research in both academic and applied contexts.

She has worked with a variety of stakeholders from the not-for-profit, government and community services sectors.

Topic

Title: Falling through the cracks: new evidence on housing and mental health trajectories

Summary: A safe and secure home is the foundation for mental health and recovery. Yet, people with mental ill-health experience unstable housing trajectories and many struggle to access the help and support they need. New evidence from a national research project examines how individual experiences, the service system and policy interact to shape housing and mental health trajectories and identifies circuit breakers that can set people on a path to recovery. The findings highlight that stable and secure housing is a precursor to and foundation for mental health recovery and effective interventions need to consider this.

Joe Falkner

Biography

Joe studied at the University of Cardiff, where he completed a degree in Mental Health Nursing in 1996.

Since 2002 he has worked at a number of Community Mental Health Services, Cockburn, Peel and Rockingham/Kwinana.  His jobs included working in early psychosis services and managing community mental health teams.

In 2009 Joe was seconded to set up the clinical services at Albany, great southern headspace,  the first headspace site in WA. It was here he developed his passion for youth mental health. Since that time Joe has worked for Western Australia Youth Mental Health Service, where he helped to set up and coordinate the clinical care of Ngatti House, a mental health residential program for young people.

His current position is Youth Accommodation Liaison, Clinical Nurse Specialists (YAL, CNS), a flagship partnership between Youth Mental Health services and youth crisis accommodation providers.

Topic

Title: West Australia’s Youth Mental Health Service and NGO Homeless Accommodation partnership

Summary: Mental health disorders are more prevalent among homeless young people than among the general youth population. Poor mental health is identified as both a factor for, and a consequence of youth homelessness.

As a response to this increased rate of mental health disorders in homeless youth, the role of Youth Accommodation Liaison, Clinical Nurse Specialists (YAL, CNS) was established in 2017.  The YAL, CNS works in partnership with Youth Crisis Accommodation Services and provides an integrated service model to support homeless young people with mental health issues and co-occurring drug and alcohol issues.

Young People who access the service are:

  • Provided with a comprehensive assessment and treatment package that will address presenting mental health symptomatology and substance misuse issues;
  • Supported in accessing existing mental health services, including Community Support Services and Clinical Services;
  • Improving the Youth Accommodation Services in managing young people with mental health and co-occurring Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) issues;
  • Providing Youth Accommodation Services a link to mainstream mental health services in order to better inform their practice and thereby improve outcomes for the young people who reside at their facilities.

Olav Nielssen

Biography

Olav Nielssen is a psychiatrist who trained at St Vincent’s Hospital. Olav was a visiting psychiatrist at Justice for fifteen years and for the last 13 years has performed a weekly clinic at Matthew Talbot Hostel. He was also formerly a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

Olav is professor of psychiatry at Macquarie University and has a wide range of research interests.

Topic

Title: Pathways in and out of homelessness for people with severe mental illness in inner city Sydney.

Summary: The presentation reports on the results of more than 2000 individual presentations to psychiatric clinics in the inner city homeless hostels over an eight year period, and discusses housing solutions for people with severe mental illness.

Jenny Ranft
(presenting with Clyde Eriksson)

Biography

Jenny leads the Wentworth Community Housing response to homelessness including three Specialist Homelessness Services and a whole of community project called Heading Home. She has worked from within local and state government and the not-for-profit sector to lead teams and deliver programs and reforms that strengthen families and build communities. With an interest in cross-agency collaboration, Jenny has led regional initiatives in Western Sydney to change culture and practice through whole-of-government strategies and through local initiatives to engage the private sector in responding to homelessness.

Qualifications: Jenny holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters in Applied Science – Social Ecology. Earlier this year Jenny was awarded the Outstanding Not for Profit Community Leader in Western Sydney ZEST Award by the NSW Premier.

Topic

Title: No Place to Call Home – developing a model to end tent cities

Summary: Tent encampments are a growing trend as people who are homeless strive to create a private space in which to live and connect with others facing homelessness. But it’s no place to call home. Tent encampments are unsafe places with high rates of assault, deteriorating health and high mortality rates. It has become critical for communities to develop responses that

  • house people with the support to sustain their home and
  • return public spaces to the community

Through two projects in Western Sydney we are learning about what works in housing people from tent encampments and returning those sites to the community. A model is emerging for a ‘whole of community’ response to this particular and complex form of homelessness. Integrating responses across Mental Health, Homelessness and Housing services is critical to success.

Clyde Eriksson
(presenting with Jenny Ranft)

Biography

Clyde Eriksson is an Occupational Therapist currently working as the Manager, Transitional Services for Mental Health within the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.  Clyde has extensive experience working across community and inpatient mental health services.  A priority of his role is development and strengthening of collaborative relationships with partner organisations to improve mental health consumer experiences.  Clyde was the mental health representative on the Hawkesbury Rough Sleepers Working Group and coordinated mental health service responses.

Topic

Title: No Place to Call Home – developing a model to end tent cities

Summary: Tent encampments are a growing trend as people who are homeless strive to create a private space in which to live and connect with others facing homelessness. But it’s no place to call home. Tent encampments are unsafe places with high rates of assault, deteriorating health and high mortality rates. It has become critical for communities to develop responses that

  • house people with the support to sustain their home and
  • return public spaces to the community

Through two projects in Western Sydney we are learning about what works in housing people from tent encampments and returning those sites to the community. A model is emerging for a ‘whole of community’ response to this particular and complex form of homelessness. Integrating responses across Mental Health, Homelessness and Housing services is critical to success.

Karen Fisher
(presenting with Peri O’Shea)

Biography

Karen Fisher is a professor at the Social Policy Research Centre UNSW Sydney. She specialises in disability and mental health policy research in Australia and China, using inclusive methods.

Topic

Title: Mental health Housing and Accommodation Services Initiative (NSW HASI) effectiveness to live in the community

Summary: NSW Ministry of Health has several related programs under the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) banner, including Community Living Supports HASI (CLS-HASI) and HASI Plus. HASI had been running since 2002-2003, now operating across the State to provide support for people with severe mental illness in the community. The approach includes a place to live, support to live in it and clinical support. The HASI evaluations show that the approach can ensure people live well in their own home, with meaningful social connections and participation, and sustained lower use of health services.

Peri O’Shea
(presenting with Karen Fisher)

Biography

Dr Peri O’Shea is a well-recognised and respected leader in the mental health sector.

Peri’s work and personal histories have given prominence to social justice, social inclusion and participation.  Peri has many years of experience supporting lived experience participation and mental health service reform through advocacy, research and education.

Peri’s strong understanding of mental health policy and consumer issues is informed by her professional work and her own lived experience of mental illness as a consumer and a carer.

Peri has degrees in psychology and social policy, a PhD in Applied Sociology.

Topic

Title: Mental health Housing and Accommodation Services Initiative (NSW HASI) effectiveness to live in the community

Summary: NSW Ministry of Health has several related programs under the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) banner, including Community Living Supports HASI (CLS-HASI) and HASI Plus. HASI had been running since 2002-2003, now operating across the State to provide support for people with severe mental illness in the community. The approach includes a place to live, support to live in it and clinical support. The HASI evaluations show that the approach can ensure people live well in their own home, with meaningful social connections and participation, and sustained lower use of health services.

Shane Jakupec

Biography

Shane Jakupec works as a regional manager for Neami National in NSW. He has worked in the community managed mental health sector since 2000 and been working with the specialist homelessness sector since 2012. He has worked with programs such as the Housing, Accommodation and Support Initiative (HASI), Partners in Recovery (PIR) and Assertive Outreach Homelessness. Shane has qualifications in mental health, training and leadership and recently completed a Master of Social Work (qualifying). Shane’s work history has included direct service delivery, management and leadership, working as a trainer and also in service development. Shane has recently been involved in the implementation of the Supported Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) in Inner Sydney. STEP is a recently funded program by the NSW Family and Community Services Department that provides funding for head leasing and support for people to move out of homelessness and into safe, secure housing with support for up to a three year period.

Beth Fogerty

Biography

Beth is the Regional Manager, Gippsland for Wellways Australia. She has worked in both private and public mental health settings including acute and community mental health settings. She has a keen interest in supporting individuals who experience mental ill-health and homelessness to live the life they want to live within their community of choice.

Beth has been involved with the Doorway Housing and Recovery program since its pilot stages and holds oversight for Wellways specialist housing programs.

Topic

Title: Doorway: The case for private rental in addressing homelessness for individuals who experience mental ill-health

Summary: Housing and homelessness is an increasing problem, as noted by welfare and community agencies. The annual demand for crisis and longer-term housing solutions are exceeding traditional housing programs. To address this issue, Wellways Australia implemented Doorway, a housing first program that is tailored to supports individuals who experience mental ill-health and homeless into the private rental market. This presentation will address the strategies implemented to support participants to access and sustain their private rentals.

Milk Crate Theatre

Biography

Milk Crate Theatre uses performing arts to change the story of homelessness. They provide creative opportunities for participants to build confidence, skills and social connection to help make positive life changes.

Topic

Where Homelessness and Theatre Intersect

The arts play an integral, yet often underestimated, role in contributing to personal wellbeing. Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre, Margot Politis, presents a dynamic overview of their very unique company, and the specific ways in which their programs are contributing to the improved wellbeing of people who have experienced homelessness, mental health issues and disability.

Margot will also show a selection of short film pieces from the company’s latest major work, Natural Order, and explain how their strengths-based and collaborative approach offers participants genuine inclusivity and ownership.