The need for a strong multi-disciplinary workplace in public (and private) child and adolescent mental health services MHYF Vic was born out of the multi- disciplinary efforts within public child psychiatry services in the late 1980s. The original Victorian Coalition of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Professionals had representatives from the following disciplines: Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing, Family Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social work, and, even, Speech Therapy. All had equal voices as the contributions of each discipline could complement the contributions of all other disciplines.
Health Minister Maureen Lister encouraged the formation of the Coalition, which was established through the chairmanship of a working party by Allan Mawdsley. The founding President of the Coalition was current MHYF Vic committee member, Jenny Luntz. The second President was also a Social Worker: Eve Newman. Winston Rickards was the third President. The Coalition always worked collaboratively and always with the purpose of including all professionals in furthering the cause of mental health service for families.
The expansion of accessibility to quality mental health services through the expansion of the Medicare system in 2006 saw many people gain access to quality services through private practitioners in all disciplines. And new opportunities were created for collaborative mental health work in the private sector through the Mental Health Professionals Networks located in suburban and rural centres.
It has been proposed through negotiations with the Federal Health Minister that the kinds of collaboration possible in the state publicly funded services should be applied to private practice. MHYF Vic sees great merit in this proposition. However, if a client can only receive 12 consultations under Medicare in a calendar year, the possibility of extensive collaboration seems limited.
Social Workers and Occupational Therapists in private practice add quality to the overall profile of service delivery and specific expertise for their clients. Many of these professionals by virtue of specialist training provide important services to families. We believe that these professionals need to be accredited with Medicare. We urge these professions to take steps to guarantee that their practitioners can provide quality mental health care.
Our new Secretary
MHYF Vic is please to announce that postgraduate clinical psychology ACU student, Ms Prashnitha Prakash has accepted the invitation to take over the role of Secretary. The role has been redesigned to allow for a better distribution of the workload and allow Nitha to work her way into this job.
Nitha is an international having grown up in Kuwait and the United States, where she began a medical degree and was involved in public advocacy work. Then she came to Australia and studied psychology at Deakin University and RMIT, and now clinical psychology at ACU.
HISTORY CORNER: 1926
Australia’s first hospital almoner was Lady Ella Latham, joining the management committee of the Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, at the age of 45 years. She served as president of the committee from 1933 to 1954, transforming the institution from charity hospital to the internationally recognized provider of medical services and training that we know today. (Winston Rickards joined the RCH a year after Lady Latham left the Presidency).
In 1935 she founded the Society for Crippled Children and collaborated on other projects with lady Gowrie, another significant contributor to generations of Melbourne children. The lecture theatre at the RCH is named after Lady Latham.
Underlying her contribution is the contribution that Social Work has made to children’s mental health services. MHYF Vic honours this contribution and encourages contemporary Social Workers to be inspired by her contribution and for governments to recognize the important place of Social Workers.
2010 International Association for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied professions will be held in Beijing, from 2 to 6 June, 2010. MHYF Vic sends of a merry party off presenters including Suzie Dean, Lynn Ruggiero, Suzanne Robson, Jacinta Bleeser, Sarina Smale, and Chris Smale.
MHYF Vic wishes to thank Collingwood Rotary for their fully funding of attendance by our carer representatives, Suzanne and Lynn.
Winston S Rickards Memorial Oration
Following this year’s success, planning is underway for next year’s Winston Rickards Memorial Oration. MHYF Vic invites suggestions as to theme and speaker for 2011.
COAG and Mental Health
In the weeks preceding the announcement of the 2010 Federal Budget there was much debate about health and hospital policy. The child and adolescent mental health service sector were very concerned about the lack of attention being given to better resourcing of mental health services for families.
As a general initiative, the COAG reforms were to illness services and MHYF Vic believes that money can be more wisely spent on preventation and early intervention services.
Those following the WebSite will see that the Project list is expanding and that presentations are planned for a variety conferences. All Project areas invite the participation of interested persons. Expect two new Project areas to be documented in the next month or so: independent carer and consumer projects and the beginning of a process in indigenous mental health.
Following constructive feedback, The MHYF Vic website is seeking new livery (colour scheme). Website grandmaster Ron Ingram invites you to have a look at www.mhyfvic.org and find out about us, who we are and what we stand for, our aims and objectives. And how we can make it more attractive to all.
One feature of the WebSite to be launched soon will be the capacity for blogging. If you are interested in discussing child and adolescent mental health issues start your own blog on our site, or link with us and join your bloggers with ours!
MHYF Vic committeePresident, Allan Mawdsley
• Vice-President, Jenny Luntz
• Secretary, Nitha Prakash
• Treasurer and Membership Secretary, Lillian Tribe
• Projects Coordinator, Suzie Dean
• WebMaster, Ron Ingram
• Newsletter Editor, Jo Grimwade
• Youth Consumer Representative, Paul Tribe
• Members without portfolio, Miriam Tisher and David Mushin.
2-6 June, IACAPAP conference, Beijing
25 August, MHYF Vic, AGM
2010 Annual General Meeting
In the fine tradition of the strong series of presentations made to our AGM in previous years, we have invited Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Sandra Radivini, to speak on a topic of her choice on 25th August.
As with last year, the AGM will start with drinks at 6.45pm followed by a short business meeting, then a social dinner and the presentation.
The success of the 2009 sees us return to HOT HONEY Café, 42 Armstrong Street, Middle Park (ph 9696 1900).
THE AGM IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO INVITE YOU TO JOIN US IN ADVOCACY.
One of the themes of this Newsletter has been the contribution of Social Work to our sector (Committee members Jennifer Luntz and Ron Ingram are Social Workers). We would like to link with the AASW and the AMHSW.
Next edition will be concerned with the contribution of of early childhood educators to our national welfare (Committee member Sarina Smale is a kindergarten teacher). We want to make links with childcare organizations and ARACY.
Our previous edition concerned the foundation work of psychiatrist Winston Rickards (Allan Mawdsley and David Mushin are child psychiatrists). We have links with IACAPAP, the RANZCP (C&A) and with Mindful.
We have formed links with VAFT (Miriam Tisher, Jo Grimwade, David Mushin and Suzie Dean are VAFT clinical members), and through them to AAFT as it is founded.
We have several psychologists on the committee (Suzie, Jo, Nitha and Miriam) and have established links with the Child, Adolescent and Family Interest Group and the Clinical Child Psychologist’s group.
Through the former Coalition of Child & Adolescent Mental Health Professionals we have foundational connections with AICAFMHA (Winston Rickards was their Patron and Jennifer Luntz is a current Director)
Please let us join you, so you can join us in advocacy. Group memberships are the same cost as individual memberships : $20
ALL MEMBERS EXPECT RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS, DUE ON 1st JULY 2010, (except those who joined earlier this year)
Mental Health for the Young & their Families in Victoria is a collaborative partnership between mental health & other health professionals, service users & the general public.
PO Box 206,
Parkville, Vic 3052