Exploring careers in mental health

We invite you to join our ‘lunch and learn’ webinar to find out more information about a fulfilling career in mental health.

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59:15

 

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Daniel Hermens
I am Professor of Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Thompson Institute, which is a research centre dedicated to better understanding and treating some of Australia's most pressing mental health problems.

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Daniel Hermens
My iron research focuses on adolescent brain development and how this relates to the onset and trajectory of mental disorders in youth.

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Daniel Hermens
I'm also the program coordinator of the mental Health and Neuroscience Postgraduate degrees, which are all which all involve self paced and online courses created and taught by clinical and research experts.

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Daniel Hermens
Now these courses are designed to expand career horizons and they are applicable to a wide range of fields, including education, mental health policy and government working with vulnerable people, supporting young people, and even a pathways to high degrees and research.

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Daniel Hermens
As I'm sure you would agree, the topic of mental health is increasingly relevant no matter what field you're in.

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Daniel Hermens
The mental health sector is experiencing significant demand for all professions and mental health workers play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of the national mental health system.

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Daniel Hermens
Unfortunately, mental health problems are on the rise as an indicator of this.

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Daniel Hermens
In 2008, major depressive disorder was ranked as the third leading cause of disability worldwide, and in 2019 it was ranked #2.

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Daniel Hermens
The World Health Organization has projected that major depression will be a leading cause of will be the leading cause of disability by 2030.

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Daniel Hermens
In 2000 and 2021, the national Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that 15% of Australians aged 16 to 85 years experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.

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Daniel Hermens
Notably, almost 40% of young Australians, that is, those aged 16 to 24 years, are reported having a mental disorder in the past 12 months, and this was the highest in any age group.

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Daniel Hermens
But I'm concerningly this actually this statistic was an increase by another 50%, so a 50% increase since the last national survey in 2007.

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Daniel Hermens
We need a new vision for the future of mental healthcare to address these rising problems, and there is a great need for an increase workforce to support this.

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Daniel Hermens
Today we will delve into the different roles, career, opportunities, challenges and rewarding nature of working in the mental health sector and hopefully help you to consider a career in mental health.

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Daniel Hermens
We have an exciting lineup for you today featuring three guest speakers who have already made significant contributions to the mental health sector in the first part of the webinar 1 by 1, our guests will describe their career paths to date and share their valuable insights and experiences.

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Daniel Hermens
This webinar represents an excellent opportunity for you to find out more, so if you have any questions and I encourage you for our guest speakers or general inquiries, please post them in the chat and if you could with your questions, please indicate the name of the guest speaker that you're directing the question to, or whether it's a general inquiry and we will address these questions during a Q&A session towards the second half or in the second half of the webinar.

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Daniel Hermens
So I would now like to introduce our first speaker, uh Louise.

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Louise Melhem
Hello.

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Daniel Hermens
If you can unmute Louise, uh Louise, Melhem is a mental health nurse working at community.

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Daniel Hermens
Excuse me?

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Daniel Hermens
Western Community Mental health in the acute brief intervention service team in SA and I'm gonna throw over to you, Louise, in about a minute or so.

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Daniel Hermens
Could you tell us more about your role and how your pathway to this career?

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Louise Melhem
Sure.

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Louise Melhem
Thanks Daniel for the introduction.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry, my name's Louise.

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Louise Melhem
Everyone.

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Louise Melhem
I work in Western community mental health, as Daniel said, and I work in the acute brief intervention team.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry, I work with Members in the Community suffering from a variety of mental health illnesses ranging from mild to complex.

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Louise Melhem
Who are in crisis?

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Louise Melhem
Sorry, I previously worked in our ongoing team which works with more chronic illness and to get me here I finished a Bachelor of Nursing in 2013.

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Louise Melhem
I worked as a nurse in several departments including radiology, pre and post surgery, nursing education, and now I've been working in mental health for about three years now, and I also completed a postgraduate masters in mental health nursing at Flinders University, which is also where I did my Bachelor of Nursing.

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Louise Melhem
And I've finished this prior to starting my career in mental health.

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Louise Melhem
So yeah, that's how I've got here and tell you a little bit about why I chose the this role if you'd like.

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Daniel Hermens
That would be great.

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Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry I tried to work in mental health probably long before I decided to be a nurse.

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Louise Melhem
I always knew that mental health is where I would end up.

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Louise Melhem
I'm very passionate about it.

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Louise Melhem
I've seen people close to me suffer from various mental health issues and yeah, it's something I hold close to my heart, so I understand the importance of mental health and how it impacts all aspects of our lives, including our physical health, and I want to be able to help people understand themselves and what their barriers or challenges may be and work through these together and come up with a plan.

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Louise Melhem
So personally I try to understand what people's strengths are and I helped build on those.

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Louise Melhem
Umm, I really think as well that community does quite as well.

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Louise Melhem
As you know, hospitals and all of that community also plays a large role in mental health.

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Louise Melhem
What happens after a hospital admission is so important and people need support throughout their journey, which means that after they've left hospital, it's yeah us looking after them in the community and helping them achieve their goals.

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Louise Melhem
So yeah, my I guess I like to help people live more happier, fulfilled lives.

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Louise Melhem
And that's why I'm here.

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Daniel Hermens
Fantastic.

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Daniel Hermens
Louise, tell us what a typical day in your role looks like.

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Daniel Hermens
A little bit of touched on this already.

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Daniel Hermens
Tell us a little bit more about a typical day for you and the team you work in.

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Louise Melhem
Yeah.

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Louise Melhem
No.

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Louise Melhem
No day ever looks the same in nursing, especially in mental health, so it definitely keeps things interesting, but I guess we work in a multidisciplinary team, umm, with a variety of mental health nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists and psychologists, and a typical day we start off our day with meetings to discuss agendas for the day.

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Louise Melhem
Any overnight consumers or referrals which have come through and then these get distributed to clinicians by the clinical coordinator.

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Louise Melhem
So we discussed progressive consumers, any deteriorating consumers or new consumers and as nurses particularly, we are involved in medication management and monitoring.

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Louise Melhem
We have a clause Appin clinic and a depo clinic which is where clients receive antipsychotic medication and we also do home visits to manage medication as well.

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Louise Melhem
And yeah, in our morning meeting, we discussed sort of what happened overnight with consumers.

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Louise Melhem
Any follow up required for the day and we schedule our own day depending on what our clients need.

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Louise Melhem
So we do, although we work in a team, we also work quite autonomously, which is what I love.

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Louise Melhem
So we'll have appointments booked with our clients to complete assessments and this range is from face to face visits at home.

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Louise Melhem
We take cards out, we drive to people's homes and visit them there, and the complete assessments there or sometimes this is done through phone calls and sometimes clients come into the office as well.

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Louise Melhem
And I guess we just determine on a day to day basis.

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Louise Melhem
What the acuity is?

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Louise Melhem
So if there's a crisis that's coming in the morning, particularly in the acute team, we will prioritize that of course and discuss sort of what we need to do on the day.

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Louise Melhem
And we yeah, we help each other as a team.

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Louise Melhem
We go out and pairs like for safety measures and yeah, we make sure everyone is supported in our team, including newer junior staff and yeah, in between that I guess it's just documentation and doing office work and trying to get a break when we can.

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Louise Melhem
That's probably how I would summarize what a day looks like.

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Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

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Daniel Hermens
I I'm perhaps some more related or specific question to what you were just saying or to build on what you were just saying.

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Daniel Hermens
Can you tell us or describe some of the challenges that you encounter in your role?

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Louise Melhem
Yes.

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Louise Melhem
I think I think probably the thing that stands out most it would be probably the demand there is a big demand and a lot of people you know need help and support.

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Louise Melhem
And I think you know that's always challenging because we want to help everyone as much as we can and we wish we had 50 hours a day, but unfortunately we don't.

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Louise Melhem
So I guess we manage this via prioritizing what is most urgent and that's how we work out how we can meet the demand.

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Louise Melhem
The delegate different tasks to different clinicians.

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Louise Melhem
We work as a team to help each other.

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Louise Melhem
If someone not as busy then they might help pick up some of that load and that sort of thing, and I think it's really important to have a good team and good management, which I definitely can say that I do.

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Louise Melhem
I feel very supported and that that really helps meeting those demands.

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Louise Melhem
Umm.

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Louise Melhem
And I think the other thing I'd probably say is sometimes we do deal with, yeah, some challenging situations and we might have an someone who maybe is, UM, quite aggressive and that that's an example.

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Louise Melhem
And that can be quite confronting and the way I would deal with this is I'm using some deescalating techniques and always remaining calm and uh, I guess afterwards having a debrief with my team, whether it's my manager or supervisor and thinking about sort of what went well and and what could be maybe done better next time.

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Louise Melhem
But yeah, they're probably some of the bigger challenges, I would say.

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Daniel Hermens
I've got some colleagues who are mental health nurses and I've always admired how good they are at deescalating situations.

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Daniel Hermens
For those who might not know, could you elaborate on that, Louise?

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Daniel Hermens
What?

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Daniel Hermens
What's DS collation mean and what?

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Daniel Hermens
What skills does it mental health nurse need to do that?

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Louise Melhem
Yeah, I think that the escalating is about, I guess when someone's quite heightened and there are emotional response, just trying to bring that down.

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Louise Melhem
So that can mean a variety of things.

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Louise Melhem
For example, it could be and like speaking at the same level as the person I'm speaking in a very calm tone and demeanor and.

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Louise Melhem
I guess listening to the person and validating what they're saying.

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Louise Melhem
So I think that's really important and I think the main thing is, umm, yeah, also keeping a distance as well.

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Louise Melhem
We always keep a physical distance too and always have.

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Louise Melhem
Sort of like an escape route or escape.

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Louise Melhem
Do you need to get out of a difficult situation?

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Louise Melhem
That's always important, but also making sure that we're safe and if there is a confronting situation, we do involve SAS and say, Paul, if we feel that there might be a safety issue.

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Louise Melhem
But I think for me it's about being umm, just connecting with a person and listening to them and and being calm.

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Louise Melhem
And I think that goes a long way if someone feels heard and they feel that you're really listening to them.

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Louise Melhem
I think that in itself deescalated someone.

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Daniel Hermens
Alright, thank you.

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Daniel Hermens
Just to look at like perhaps the the other end of the spectrum, perhaps I'm not sure, but can you tell us about some of the more rewarding or or the what would be some of the best parts of what you do are in your role?

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Daniel Hermens
I think in a way what you just answered is, is related to that.

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Daniel Hermens
But yeah, can you give us some other examples of some of the more rewarding or what might be the best parts of what you do?

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Louise Melhem
Yeah, absolutely.

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Louise Melhem
I think for me it's the it's the small wind, it's the reward you get when you're genuinely help someone and they tell you and they're thankful and grateful for that.

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Louise Melhem
I think people, not you genuinely care, and that you're actually trying to help them.

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Louise Melhem
People can see that.

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Louise Melhem
And yeah, I think just the gratitude you get for that and and knowing that you've done your best to help someone, I think that's really valuable for me.

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Louise Melhem
And I guess as well working with.

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Louise Melhem
Yeah, I'd like the team I work with.

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Louise Melhem
I work with genuinely good people who also wanna help others, so we share similar goals and we have fun with each other at work.

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Louise Melhem
You know, in between everything going on, I think it's really important to work in a good team and that I can definitely say I do at the very supportive and you know, we try to have fun as well as much as it is a professional space.

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Louise Melhem
I think that's really important in mental health.

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Louise Melhem
You've got to be able to have a laugh and have some on in between.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry.

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Louise Melhem
Yeah, that's what keeps me going.

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Louise Melhem
And they're probably the main the main rewarding things for me.

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Daniel Hermens
Uh, I've got one more question for you, Louise, and and then we'll move on to the next speaker.

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Daniel Hermens
Uh, what are some of the things that you say to people outside of mental health about what you do in terms of your insights into the role and what you've discovered or even another way you might wanna answer this is, what do you have?

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Daniel Hermens
Any tips for people coming in so got a multiple choice question here?

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Daniel Hermens
Or do you have any tips for people who are thinking about being a mental health nurse?

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Daniel Hermens
Perhaps something that you haven't told us already.

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Louise Melhem
Yeah. OK.

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Louise Melhem
Umm, I guess I would say I think find out what you're really passionate about and I guess take the steps to do that.

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Louise Melhem
I think a lot of people worry that maybe it's too late to change their career pathway and I think it's honestly never too late to do another course to do another certificate or go down a different path.

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Louise Melhem
I think it's really important to find out what gives you fulfillment and what you enjoy and work towards that.

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Louise Melhem
I guess in in my role now I have an interest in different types of therapy, and although it probably fits in more with the psychologist role, we still umm do a lot of the techniques from the the therapy when we're assessing consumers and we're seeing consumers.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry, just recently I've finished a couple of certificates in dialectical behaviour therapy and cognitive behavior therapy and my work has supported me with that and I think yeah, it's important to know that you can keep growing within your role and there are so many different pathways that you can go down in my experience, especially as a nurse, there are just so many different avenues.

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Louise Melhem
And I guess when I first started, I guess it took me, you know, almost 10 years to get to where I am now.

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Louise Melhem
But I look at all of that as experience and all of those different jobs I had really added to my role now and my skills.

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Louise Melhem
So I don't I don't regret any of that.

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Louise Melhem
And I, yeah, I guess that's what led me to where I am now.

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Louise Melhem
So I think I would just tell people to just, you know, create goals and work towards what they're passionate about.

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Louise Melhem
And yeah, I find mental health really fulfilling and I love it.

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Louise Melhem
Sorry, yeah, hopefully some more people get on board.

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Daniel Hermens
Thank you so much, Louise.

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Daniel Hermens
It's been great talking to you and there will of course be a chance towards the end of this for you, perhaps to answer some questions and and if people have any questions for the ways like I said, please put them in the past.

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Louise Melhem
Thank you so much.

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Daniel Hermens
So thanks again I I've been to our next speaker now.

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Daniel Hermens
Uh Christian Aliferis is a registered psychologist working at turning points, alcohol and Drug Centre and also at Banyule Community Health in Victoria, a High Christian.

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Daniel Hermens
Nice to see you.

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Daniel Hermens
And tell us a little bit about, as you've just heard summary from Louise, tell us about your role and how you got to be where you're at.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Thank you Daniel.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I'm so I'm a registered psychologist.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So in terms of study pathway, I've done a bachelor and psychology and then I've done a an equivalent on Asia or graduate deployment symbology.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I did my first four years at Deakin University in Melbourne.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Victoria and I didn't know what area of psychology I wanted to pursue, so I decided to.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Undertake a master of professional psychology.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm, through Monash University, which is one year Masters degree by coursework?

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And there's a place on component as well.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And then I completed it one year internship to achieve full registrations or psychology lists and now I've gone back to do my Masters in clinical psychology.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I've done a few years of study, but it's made really great.

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Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

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Daniel Hermens
Yeah, perhaps might take the opportunity to ask you elaborate on that.

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Daniel Hermens
So you know what to there's you're registered psychologist already, but you're doing clinical masters in psychology.

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Daniel Hermens
Tell us a little bit more about why you do that and what that means in terms of your career outcomes.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So, so tensive being a generalist psychologist, there are a lot of opportunities.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I'm still, however, once I was completing my internship I noticed I was using.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I was working with a lot of clients who presenting with complex mental health issues, so that have been complicated by uh, addictive behaviours like substance use and gambling.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So my interest just grew from that and I felt like my study wasn't completely finished yet.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I decided to pursue clinical psychology.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And how does it found this?

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Has a stronger focus on working with mental illness and clients presenting with mild to moderate and severe complex mental health problems.

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Daniel Hermens
Great.

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Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

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Daniel Hermens
I tell us, Christian, tell us what a day, you know.

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Daniel Hermens
Looks like for you in your role.

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Daniel Hermens
I remember we had a chat before and you said that you do some face to face interviews and assessments, but you also do online work.

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Daniel Hermens
Look, get is that you did as in one day.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Daniel Hermens
But I guess you might tell us what a day in the life of Christian looks like in terms of being a psychologist.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I guess just to echo always, no days.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Typical HTK is different.

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CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So my baniel community health role, UM, that might range from me seeing clients for assessment face to face, delivering counselling or psychotherapy to clients attending clinical review meetings for clients referred to our program.

0:20:50.360 --> 0:21:7.120
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Also undertaking my own supervision as skills developments and consolidating my knowledge and some also complaining admin which forms a chunk of the role as well.

0:21:10.680 --> 0:21:12.910
Daniel Hermens
That might be a segue to the next question.

0:21:13.420 --> 0:21:15.520
Daniel Hermens
What are some of the challenges in your role, Christian?

0:21:18.180 --> 0:21:26.40
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So yes, there's there is a lot of demands to echo always again for the services.

0:21:26.950 --> 0:21:30.270
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm so and I guess.

0:21:32.600 --> 0:21:34.490
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Clients presenting with higher equity.

0:21:34.500 --> 0:21:34.790
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Uh.

0:21:34.800 --> 0:21:42.760
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Prioritise for urgent support, so if they're in crisis for example umm so it's.

0:21:42.870 --> 0:21:51.650
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I guess it's balancing your time effectively and I'm managing self care because the brawl can come with a lot of emotional labor.

0:21:53.910 --> 0:21:58.950
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
That's certainly one challenge, I guess another challenge.

0:22:0.330 --> 0:22:2.600
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Particularly in my role is.

0:22:2.930 --> 0:22:22.690
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
We'll do we are presented with some ethical dilemmas which can be quite complex to navigate, but I do have a really supportive team and a great supervisor and manager, so they're always available for debriefing and coming up with strategies to navigate at the most ethical way.

0:22:25.30 --> 0:22:27.730
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I guess another.

0:22:28.410 --> 0:22:36.530
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
The challenge in my role is working with interpreters, so we I do work with a lot of culturally and linguistically diverse clients.

0:22:37.610 --> 0:22:41.460
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
UM and it's great because I've learned so much from them.

0:22:41.670 --> 0:22:43.460
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I'd learned from all my clients.

0:22:44.860 --> 0:22:50.340
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
However, having an interpreter there can be some communication barriers, so that can be a challenge.

0:22:50.350 --> 0:22:50.920
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Another go to.

0:22:53.10 --> 0:22:53.430
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:22:54.90 --> 0:22:55.880
Daniel Hermens
Uh, yeah.

0:22:55.890 --> 0:22:58.140
Daniel Hermens
As I mentioned before, you've you.

0:22:58.150 --> 0:23:0.120
Daniel Hermens
Oh well, you're working the drug and alcohol sector.

0:23:0.130 --> 0:23:5.500
Daniel Hermens
You do face to face work and online stuff which involves anonymity times.

0:23:5.670 --> 0:23:5.810
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah.

0:23:5.850 --> 0:23:15.800
Daniel Hermens
Could you tell us about some of the strengths and weaknesses of those different approaches in helping people and also what you've learned as a psychologist in terms of those two different roles?

0:23:15.810 --> 0:23:16.960
Daniel Hermens
If I could make call it that.

0:23:18.700 --> 0:23:20.40
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah.

0:23:20.420 --> 0:23:31.820
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So that's my role in like is it telephone councillor, guess the benefits of that is that people can access the media support wherever they are.

0:23:32.620 --> 0:23:33.130
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:23:34.780 --> 0:23:49.180
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And another, I guess benefit of that is that sometimes it can be quite anxiety provoking for some clients, particularly use that I found to attend a face to face service.

0:23:49.190 --> 0:23:53.370
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So we do have online mediums to accommodate for that, such as through web chat.

0:23:54.880 --> 0:24:3.640
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So in essence, there is greater accessibility with having telehealth compared to face to face guess.

0:24:3.650 --> 0:24:19.350
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
One of the challenges that I found is that, umm, it can be a bit more of a challenge to effectively assess risk whilst over the phone or doing web chat versus face to face because you don't have those.

0:24:19.750 --> 0:24:24.750
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm, those queues for body language you can't assess.

0:24:25.530 --> 0:24:27.360
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, the physical presentation.

0:24:29.620 --> 0:24:41.330
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I guess that's another challenge, but having a great support, which I do at turning point does help alleviate that challenge.

0:24:44.260 --> 0:24:44.770
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah.

0:24:44.780 --> 0:25:3.230
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So and I guess one of the other things that I've found with telephone and online is it can, um, they bit more challenging to establish a therapeutic alliance of report as compared to face to face because of those queues.

0:25:3.910 --> 0:25:4.570
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:25:5.250 --> 0:25:9.980
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And the presence of the individual in the room versus on telephone.

0:25:9.990 --> 0:25:14.380
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So that sense of connection can be a bit harder to obtain.

0:25:17.130 --> 0:25:18.20
Daniel Hermens
Thank you, Christian.

0:25:18.30 --> 0:25:20.400
Daniel Hermens
I same question I asked.

0:25:20.410 --> 0:25:24.80
Daniel Hermens
Louise, what are some of the most rewarding aspects?

0:25:24.90 --> 0:25:26.860
Daniel Hermens
What are the best parts of of your role and what you do?

0:25:29.150 --> 0:25:29.420
Daniel Hermens
Umm.

0:25:29.110 --> 0:25:31.590
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, there's so many rewarding aspects.

0:25:33.10 --> 0:25:41.740
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I guess in my role as a telephone counsellor linking a client or caller in with the service they needing is really rewarding.

0:25:41.750 --> 0:25:46.360
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
It can be quite complex as some call us to navigate the treatment system.

0:25:47.580 --> 0:25:58.550
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
UM, another rewarding aspect is, yeah, receiving really great positive feedback from clients in terms of the progress they've made.

0:25:59.500 --> 0:26:0.230
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:26:0.460 --> 0:26:5.230
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And it's fairly routine for me to give psychometric assessments.

0:26:5.240 --> 0:26:24.900
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So kind of pre and post measures that are designed to assess symptoms of mental health or drug and alcohol and just noticing the reduction in symptoms and scores as a client progresses through treatment is very rewarding because it shows that yeah, I guess I'm contributing to making a difference.

0:26:25.930 --> 0:26:27.760
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm yeah?

0:26:29.440 --> 0:26:29.750
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:26:29.830 --> 0:26:30.270
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:26:31.730 --> 0:26:35.980
Daniel Hermens
We are almost at a time I'm gonna ask you one quick one, but ask you to answer it quickly.

0:26:36.550 --> 0:26:40.650
Daniel Hermens
What's any tips for people coming into this area as a psychologist?

0:26:43.10 --> 0:26:44.190
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yes, sure.

0:26:44.730 --> 0:26:50.340
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I think what I would tell my younger self is to get as much diverse life experience as you can.

0:26:51.610 --> 0:27:3.690
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Even during your undergraduate years, umm, it's my experience in undergraduate for psychology it is a it's a science and it's theoretical.

0:27:3.700 --> 0:27:12.790
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So there are not as many opportunities to get I guess experience working on the ground in mental health.

0:27:12.800 --> 0:27:26.50
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I guess taking advantage of any kind of volunteering opportunities like through lifeline, I'll be on blue and also joining the Australian Psychological Society as a student member to access other resources and to network.

0:27:27.90 --> 0:27:28.770
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm, I'll probably be my advice.

0:27:30.160 --> 0:27:30.520
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:27:30.530 --> 0:27:30.970
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:27:30.980 --> 0:27:32.400
Daniel Hermens
Nice plug for the society.

0:27:32.880 --> 0:27:33.50
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah.

0:27:32.720 --> 0:27:36.930
Daniel Hermens
Thanks, Christian, and I'm sure there will be some questions for you later. OK.

0:27:36.940 --> 0:27:38.210
Daniel Hermens
Finally, now I'll.

0:27:38.220 --> 0:27:44.860
Daniel Hermens
Well, third speaker and I'm very pleased to introduce to you Madeleine Robins.

0:27:45.450 --> 0:27:50.310
Daniel Hermens
Madeleine is an occupational therapist working at Bendigo Health in Vic.

0:27:51.190 --> 0:27:55.480
Daniel Hermens
In mental health services across inpatient and community settings.

0:27:55.970 --> 0:28:2.240
Daniel Hermens
Madeleine, in about a minute, please tell us about how you got to be an occupational therapist.

0:28:2.250 --> 0:28:5.40
Daniel Hermens
And yeah, what you describe your role for us all.

0:28:5.930 --> 0:28:7.270
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah, no worries.

0:28:7.900 --> 0:28:13.980
Madeleine (Guest)
So when I first came into occupational therapy, I didn't really know what it was about.

0:28:14.720 --> 0:28:24.390
Madeleine (Guest)
So I learned about the role I and did I Bachelor of Applied Science followed by a Masters of Occupational Therapy.

0:28:24.920 --> 0:28:37.350
Madeleine (Guest)
So our role within the mental health setting is to provide a variety of assessments and interventions that focus on what patients want to do and what they need to do.

0:28:37.360 --> 0:28:54.600
Madeleine (Guest)
So looking at their daily tasks, that sort of thing, and only adult acute unit, which is where I'm working at the moment, we assist clients to manage their mental illness within the acute phase, umm and yeah getting into.

0:28:57.160 --> 0:29:12.670
Madeleine (Guest)
Became a part of this role is that I'm a part of a grade one rotation program at Bendigo Health, so I rotate every 6 to 12 months within different areas between physical and mental health.

0:29:14.0 --> 0:29:15.200
Madeleine (Guest)
So I've done.

0:29:15.960 --> 0:29:21.690
Madeleine (Guest)
Uh inpatient rehabilitation through amputees and orthopedics.

0:29:22.360 --> 0:29:31.540
Madeleine (Guest)
Community allied health and now I'm on that on the cute unit and I've been here for about 7 weeks so still new to the mental health area, but really enjoying it.

0:29:33.390 --> 0:29:33.830
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:29:33.840 --> 0:29:34.320
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:29:34.330 --> 0:29:45.660
Daniel Hermens
I guess what many might not know is that you know in mental health sector there are often in in many services multidisciplinary teams as everyone's touched on.

0:29:46.70 --> 0:29:46.340
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:29:45.870 --> 0:29:58.860
Daniel Hermens
And I think you know the role of occupation or therapists, you know, in such teams are really highlights how there are diverse backgrounds in terms of well, diverse training qualification.

0:29:59.190 --> 0:30:4.50
Daniel Hermens
Can you tell us a little bit of a bit more about how you're seeing that now in your training and work?

0:30:4.60 --> 0:30:5.990
Daniel Hermens
How umm. You know?

0:30:6.0 --> 0:30:14.10
Daniel Hermens
Occupational therapy works in a you know you as an occupational therapist works in a multidisciplinary team that we might involve Suchitra lists.

0:30:14.80 --> 0:30:18.170
Daniel Hermens
Or other mental health clinicians.

0:30:18.180 --> 0:30:18.350
Daniel Hermens
Yeah.

0:30:18.360 --> 0:30:19.360
Daniel Hermens
Tell us a little bit more about that.

0:30:20.260 --> 0:30:20.720
Madeleine (Guest)
Yes.

0:30:20.730 --> 0:30:31.590
Madeleine (Guest)
So we work really closely with psychiatrists, the treating team, the nurses, social workers and exercise physiologists as well.

0:30:32.70 --> 0:30:41.770
Madeleine (Guest)
And to really look at different areas that we can help patients in what they're wanting to do and what they're needing to do as well.

0:30:41.780 --> 0:30:57.650
Madeleine (Guest)
So yeah, we all have a bit of an input about what discharge planning would look like or what progress the patient is making and how we can help them in the future when they do go home or go to a different facility.

0:31:0.860 --> 0:31:3.670
Daniel Hermens
I you probably covered some of these things already.

0:31:3.680 --> 0:31:7.960
Daniel Hermens
Tell us a little bit more about what a, you know, a a regular day if there is one.

0:31:8.40 --> 0:31:12.30
Daniel Hermens
Looks like for you I'm just and I might add a little aspect to this.

0:31:12.880 --> 0:31:13.90
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:31:20.530 --> 0:31:20.780
Madeleine (Guest)
Umm.

0:31:12.40 --> 0:31:25.400
Daniel Hermens
So when we were speaking before this webinar, Madeleine, I was talking to you about how you assess cognitive and and and levels of functioning in in clients, in people that you work with.

0:31:25.540 --> 0:31:28.690
Daniel Hermens
Tell us a little bit about that in terms of your day to day role.

0:31:29.560 --> 0:31:30.50
Madeleine (Guest)
Yes.

0:31:30.60 --> 0:31:34.390
Madeleine (Guest)
So we look at quite a variety of things with patients.

0:31:35.40 --> 0:31:38.250
Madeleine (Guest)
So we have a look at their activities of daily living.

0:31:38.780 --> 0:31:50.420
Madeleine (Guest)
We do functional assessments that's looking at pressure area care as well as looking at how they're going with like equipment, whether they need like a shower chair or anything like that.

0:31:51.400 --> 0:32:6.280
Madeleine (Guest)
And that also gives us a bit of an insight into their ability to complete their day-to-day task through task analysis and that sort of thing, because with mental health, it can often impact on someone's ability to complete these tasks.

0:32:7.600 --> 0:32:8.280
Madeleine (Guest)
Umm.

0:32:8.660 --> 0:32:25.650
Madeleine (Guest)
And yeah, as you mentioned, we do cognitive screens, so that can be through things like organising a breakfast group, seeing how they're going, with managing, being able to cook some toast or make a cup of coffee, cup of coffee, or anything like that.

0:32:25.660 --> 0:32:36.210
Madeleine (Guest)
And it really helps us to see what areas they need to work on or yet to be able to get home and be able to do these things at home.

0:32:37.250 --> 0:32:39.690
Madeleine (Guest)
And we also look at different coping strategies.

0:32:41.350 --> 0:32:42.230
Madeleine (Guest)
Sensory modulation.

0:32:43.620 --> 0:32:43.940
Madeleine (Guest)
Uh.

0:32:44.410 --> 0:32:49.860
Madeleine (Guest)
Sleep hygiene and also looking at scheduling in parts of their day as well.

0:32:53.760 --> 0:32:56.610
Daniel Hermens
Uh, this is a little bit of a different question, if I may.

0:32:56.980 --> 0:32:58.720
Daniel Hermens
Madeleine, will you?

0:32:59.320 --> 0:33:13.200
Daniel Hermens
Did you expect or were you surprised to discover in your work that people with mental health problems with mental disorders have such persistent can have such persistent and or even chronic conditions?

0:33:14.180 --> 0:33:15.190
Daniel Hermens
Ah, you know it.

0:33:15.200 --> 0:33:23.340
Daniel Hermens
As compared to other areas in health, is that something you expected in your training or or was surprised once you got in the field, if I could say it that way?

0:33:24.780 --> 0:33:41.420
Madeleine (Guest)
I think it was something that I expected and everyone's different and everyone has different conditions and the impact that their conditions have on their ability to do their day-to-day tasks and completely different.

0:33:41.430 --> 0:33:49.910
Madeleine (Guest)
And I think you see you see a lot of mental health conditions and that sort of thing in even the physical areas as well.

0:33:49.920 --> 0:33:59.660
Madeleine (Guest)
So it's really important to know what you can do for the patients and how we can make a bit of a difference about their daily life and how they're coping.

0:34:4.310 --> 0:34:5.400
Madeleine (Guest)
I hope that answers with this.

0:34:8.960 --> 0:34:9.170
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:34:4.880 --> 0:34:9.930
Daniel Hermens
Uh, yeah, I'm taking some notes here and checking questions coming in.

0:34:9.940 --> 0:34:12.810
Daniel Hermens
Have I asked you the question about the challenges of your role?

0:34:13.370 --> 0:34:14.360
Madeleine (Guest)
No, not yet.

0:34:15.320 --> 0:34:16.290
Daniel Hermens
Tell us about that.

0:34:16.300 --> 0:34:19.200
Daniel Hermens
Umm, what are some of the things that you've discovered that are challenging?

0:34:19.940 --> 0:34:23.430
Daniel Hermens
And of course, I'm gonna ask you a question about the rewarding side of things.

0:34:23.440 --> 0:34:24.970
Daniel Hermens
And the best things as well later.

0:34:24.980 --> 0:34:26.390
Daniel Hermens
But yeah, tell us about some of the challenges.

0:34:27.490 --> 0:34:33.380
Madeleine (Guest)
I think probably one of the biggest challenges is that everyone's different, that you work with.

0:34:33.690 --> 0:34:33.960
Madeleine (Guest)
What?

0:34:33.970 --> 0:34:54.940
Madeleine (Guest)
What works for one person may not work for another, so it's really important to have that conversation with the patient and or all the client and just see what they're wanting to get out of it and how we can help and assist that and really provide that feeling of being listened to for them as well.

0:34:58.650 --> 0:35:0.670
Daniel Hermens
OK, I think you know what the next question is.

0:35:1.480 --> 0:35:1.670
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:35:2.20 --> 0:35:4.380
Daniel Hermens
What is some of the rewarding aspects of what you do?

0:35:4.390 --> 0:35:8.980
Daniel Hermens
What are the best parts of your role as an OHT in in mental health work?

0:35:10.330 --> 0:35:32.520
Madeleine (Guest)
I'd say probably being able to see the difference that we are making, seeing that people are using the coping strategies that we recommended or helped them come up with in an actual setting and you know being able to get that feedback from them that it did help and did make a difference to them.

0:35:32.530 --> 0:35:41.530
Madeleine (Guest)
And yeah, similarly to the other two, just getting that feedback that they're really appreciative of what we do and how we can help.

0:35:48.700 --> 0:35:48.830
Madeleine (Guest)
Yes.

0:35:44.140 --> 0:35:50.350
Daniel Hermens
Uh, I think you said to me before the webinar that you were 18 months in, is that right and fairly early in your career?

0:35:50.360 --> 0:35:51.750
Daniel Hermens
Is that OK for me to say?

0:35:51.780 --> 0:35:52.840
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah, that's fine.

0:35:52.580 --> 0:35:52.870
Daniel Hermens
Do you?

0:35:53.130 --> 0:35:55.190
Daniel Hermens
Do you what might be next?

0:35:55.200 --> 0:36:0.20
Daniel Hermens
Do you think there's additional training down the path for you, or have you thought about that, Madeleine?

0:36:0.180 --> 0:36:7.0
Daniel Hermens
And if so, I could tell us a little bit more what you see might be the future in more qualifications if needed or training.

0:36:7.910 --> 0:36:8.560
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:36:8.570 --> 0:36:12.570
Madeleine (Guest)
So I think I would like to continue training in the.

0:36:12.650 --> 0:36:24.40
Madeleine (Guest)
Mental health area and there are a few different things that you can go into so similarly to what Louise said, there's different certificates that you can go into.

0:36:24.330 --> 0:36:30.430
Madeleine (Guest)
So I'm actually about to start acceptance and commitment therapy to have a look at.

0:36:31.60 --> 0:36:35.130
Madeleine (Guest)
Umm yeah, there's also the cognitive behavioural therapy.

0:36:35.140 --> 0:36:39.250
Madeleine (Guest)
And there is a masters in mental health field.

0:36:39.260 --> 0:36:41.320
Madeleine (Guest)
My colleagues have pursued as well.

0:36:42.50 --> 0:36:58.900
Madeleine (Guest)
Uh, and we do actually have a transition program as well, where people who have worked for two years outside of the mental health area can actually transition into mental health areas and give them a try and see if they like it for 12 months.

0:36:58.910 --> 0:37:3.650
Madeleine (Guest)
And yeah, consider pursuing further education towards it.

0:37:7.430 --> 0:37:8.300
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:37:8.350 --> 0:37:22.520
Daniel Hermens
Finally, any tips to anyone listening right now, or are a younger Madeleine thinking about all the things you've discovered along the way when he tips about a career path in OT and ending up in the mental health sector?

0:37:24.140 --> 0:37:30.200
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah, just keep an open mind about things that you wanna do and find out.

0:37:30.210 --> 0:37:30.430
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah.

0:37:30.440 --> 0:37:30.610
Madeleine (Guest)
What?

0:37:30.620 --> 0:37:40.670
Madeleine (Guest)
You're passionate about and what sort of things that can lead to and and just keep wanting to learn learning in the role is a big thing.

0:37:40.680 --> 0:37:45.670
Madeleine (Guest)
So I don't think there's anyone here that would say they haven't stopped learning.

0:37:45.680 --> 0:37:46.370
Madeleine (Guest)
So yeah.

0:37:47.990 --> 0:37:50.150
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah, just keep doing it.

0:37:50.160 --> 0:37:51.730
Madeleine (Guest)
Keep pursuing things that you want to.

0:37:53.900 --> 0:37:54.280
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:37:54.290 --> 0:37:55.200
Daniel Hermens
Thanks very much, Madeline.

0:37:55.820 --> 0:38:3.180
Daniel Hermens
Uh, well, that concludes the the sort of 1 on one conversational aspect of the webinar.

0:38:3.190 --> 0:38:9.440
Daniel Hermens
And I think you all would have got a great sense of what Louise, Christian and Madeleine are doing.

0:38:9.460 --> 0:38:14.450
Daniel Hermens
In their various roles in mental health sector, we do have some questions coming in.

0:38:14.460 --> 0:38:24.10
Daniel Hermens
So there's a I guess at this point for, well, I have a specific question for Louise, if you're ready and then there will be some general questions for you all to answer.

0:38:24.20 --> 0:38:31.940
Daniel Hermens
So with the general questions, just, yeah, whoever wants to answer that or address that, just turn your mute off and let me know.

0:38:32.930 --> 0:38:37.920
Daniel Hermens
But yeah, these specific question for you, Louise, is in a very specific one, I might say.

0:38:38.50 --> 0:38:42.80
Daniel Hermens
Would you recommend the masters at Flinders University now?

0:38:42.90 --> 0:38:53.150
Daniel Hermens
Whoever asked that question Masters in in what area, but I guess there's a general question about do you know much about post graduate level training at Flinders Uni in the mental health space?

0:38:55.410 --> 0:38:59.260
Daniel Hermens
I guess somebody's thinking of going to Adelaide or already there so.

0:39:0.740 --> 0:39:2.150
Louise Melhem
Yeah, that's good to hear.

0:39:2.240 --> 0:39:8.550
Louise Melhem
I guess with yeah, I studied the masters of Nursing, in particular, mental health.

0:39:8.560 --> 0:39:12.690
Louise Melhem
So there's a lot of different avenues you can go with a masters of nursing.

0:39:12.760 --> 0:39:14.110
Louise Melhem
So my specialty?

0:39:14.280 --> 0:39:16.990
Louise Melhem
Yeah, they've said masters in mental health nursing.

0:39:17.70 --> 0:39:17.760
Daniel Hermens
Yeah, there we go.

0:39:17.500 --> 0:39:18.120
Louise Melhem
So yeah.

0:39:20.50 --> 0:39:20.360
Louise Melhem
Yeah.

0:39:20.370 --> 0:39:24.640
Louise Melhem
So that was, I believe from memory a year and 1/2 full time.

0:39:25.30 --> 0:39:31.900
Louise Melhem
I actually was working full time and had a lot of other commitments in my life, so I studied that part time, which really works well for me.

0:39:31.910 --> 0:39:38.470
Louise Melhem
I liked being able to have that option and I felt that I could then focus on the subjects those two subjects at a time.

0:39:39.560 --> 0:39:42.750
Louise Melhem
And yeah, do that more efficiently I guess.

0:39:42.800 --> 0:39:43.260
Louise Melhem
I've.

0:39:43.270 --> 0:39:44.730
Louise Melhem
Yeah, I've always been at Flinders Uni.

0:39:44.740 --> 0:39:45.830
Louise Melhem
I don't know any different.

0:39:46.340 --> 0:39:47.910
Louise Melhem
I really like the university.

0:39:48.100 --> 0:39:51.750
Louise Melhem
Never had any issues and yeah, quite supportive.

0:39:54.60 --> 0:39:55.590
Louise Melhem
And yeah, they.

0:39:55.700 --> 0:39:58.210
Louise Melhem
Yeah, I didn't have anything negative to say.

0:39:58.220 --> 0:39:59.870
Louise Melhem
It was a positive experience for me.

0:39:59.880 --> 0:40:14.10
Louise Melhem
I'd definitely recommend it, and I guess the difference between doing a certificate or yeah, masters, or what's the other one I forgot the one of the diploma.

0:40:14.280 --> 0:40:22.170
Louise Melhem
Yes, certificate deployment and a masters I can say that, yeah, the if you do go up to a masters, you actually get.

0:40:22.260 --> 0:40:25.970
Louise Melhem
Not that it's about this, but you do get paid more as well in every year, but you work.

0:40:25.980 --> 0:40:27.330
Louise Melhem
So I think that's a bonus.

0:40:27.340 --> 0:40:34.850
Louise Melhem
You don't do it for that, but I didn't actually know that until I started working and and realized that you know, you actually get paid for doing a masters when you work.

0:40:34.860 --> 0:40:41.730
Louise Melhem
So I think if that means doing a few more subjects, I would recommend it in the long term and I learned a lot from it.

0:40:41.740 --> 0:40:47.720
Louise Melhem
All the subjects were really useful and I'm really gave me a good insight into like, different mental health disorders.

0:40:48.530 --> 0:40:53.540
Louise Melhem
They're like different medications for specifically mental health and that sort of thing.

0:40:53.550 --> 0:41:8.830
Louise Melhem
So it really gives you a good insight into it and also you get 25 week placements as well ones in an inpatient setting and then one would be in community and that's how I found what I loved in community by doing that placement.

0:41:9.630 --> 0:41:11.120
Louise Melhem
Hopefully that answers the question.

0:41:12.380 --> 0:41:13.400
Daniel Hermens
He does and very well.

0:41:13.410 --> 0:41:13.880
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:41:14.90 --> 0:41:20.960
Daniel Hermens
Another question I have, I guess this is to anyone, how can this is from a a member of the audience?

0:41:21.270 --> 0:41:27.540
Daniel Hermens
How can a disability support worker or community support worker move into a mental health career?

0:41:32.900 --> 0:41:49.880
Daniel Hermens
Any anyone wants to any caller so you have any of you have colleagues who are disability support workers, community support workers and you know, you might know what they've done to be more in the mental health sector.

0:41:52.710 --> 0:41:53.630
Daniel Hermens
Is that a nod, Christian?

0:41:54.110 --> 0:41:54.890
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, I can.

0:41:54.740 --> 0:41:55.120
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:41:54.950 --> 0:42:8.320
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I can one so E I'd I do so I do work in a multidisciplinary team at Daniels, so I'm we do have, umm like a care coordinator.

0:42:8.330 --> 0:42:15.380
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So it's basically someone who acts as a centralised person to coordinate care for a person.

0:42:16.650 --> 0:42:28.100
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And they've done some training and disability support work, I guess UMM, to enter the mental health sector would be getting.

0:42:29.160 --> 0:42:30.270
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Qualifications.

0:42:30.280 --> 0:42:36.200
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So either through a nursing or RT or SYCHOLOGY degree.

0:42:38.150 --> 0:42:43.400
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And yeah, just getting as much life experience as you can.

0:42:43.790 --> 0:42:51.90
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I'm probably encouraging, you know, some other kind of volunteer work that's specifically focus on, on mental health.

0:42:51.910 --> 0:42:52.570
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:42:52.610 --> 0:42:54.470
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Like Lifeline or beyond blue?

0:42:55.350 --> 0:42:56.940
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm and I went.

0:42:56.950 --> 0:42:57.270
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I was.

0:42:57.920 --> 0:43:1.810
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I'm studying my undergrad.

0:43:1.820 --> 0:43:16.50
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I didn't have a lot of mental health experience, so I did volunteer with an agency that I was supporting people with depression, anxiety and prescription medication dependence, and that was fine support.

0:43:16.880 --> 0:43:23.890
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I found that just really consolidated my experience further and enhance my applications for masters too.

0:43:23.940 --> 0:43:27.150
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So yeah, I hope that answers your question.

0:43:27.800 --> 0:43:29.500
Daniel Hermens
That's very helpful. I'm sure.

0:43:29.540 --> 0:43:41.700
Daniel Hermens
Yeah, I guess I would also add that there, you know there's many postgraduate courses available, graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, that in mental health and related areas that I think would also certainly help.

0:43:41.940 --> 0:43:45.770
Daniel Hermens
Umm, you know, entering the mental health sector workforce.

0:43:46.140 --> 0:43:51.230
Daniel Hermens
Any other I answers for to that question we we've got more.

0:43:52.670 --> 0:43:58.470
Daniel Hermens
I might move on, so this is a question from me actually at what stage in your life?

0:43:58.920 --> 0:44:19.330
Daniel Hermens
Ah, so you know, as a child and adolescent in high school, you know, maybe later on, when did you first hear about any careers in mental health in the mental health sector, or were you inspired by anyone or, you know, it, what stage in your life did you hear about such things?

0:44:20.280 --> 0:44:20.570
Daniel Hermens
Yeah.

0:44:20.580 --> 0:44:22.390
Daniel Hermens
Anyone that's an open question.

0:44:27.390 --> 0:44:28.30
Daniel Hermens
Yeah, Louise.

0:44:28.40 --> 0:44:28.340
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:44:27.660 --> 0:44:30.770
Louise Melhem
I can answer hopefully in all sick of my voice right now.

0:44:33.370 --> 0:44:38.300
Louise Melhem
I think for me, I yeah, I was always very passionate about mental health from when I was really young.

0:44:38.310 --> 0:44:39.970
Louise Melhem
I wanted to be a psychologist.

0:44:40.530 --> 0:44:54.540
Louise Melhem
I found that very fascinating and understanding the brain and behavior I always yeah, from a little kid knew that I would do something to do with mental health and and yeah, being a psychologist, I always dreamed of being that.

0:44:54.670 --> 0:45:1.410
Louise Melhem
And I ended up in nursing, which wasn't the plan, but nonetheless it gave me a lot of experience.

0:45:1.740 --> 0:45:4.40
Louise Melhem
And I, yeah, I don't regret any of that.

0:45:4.120 --> 0:45:6.390
Louise Melhem
And I still knew I would end up in mental health.

0:45:6.400 --> 0:45:7.330
Louise Melhem
And here I am.

0:45:7.620 --> 0:45:12.150
Louise Melhem
So yeah, I think that's how I've that's how I've come here.

0:45:12.160 --> 0:45:21.20
Louise Melhem
Always knew I would work in mental health and yeah, with that anything else to add to that question?

0:45:21.190 --> 0:45:25.440
Daniel Hermens
Well, you a mental health nurse who does cognitive behavioural therapy and similar things.

0:45:25.450 --> 0:45:27.470
Daniel Hermens
So that's very much overlapping with psychology.

0:45:28.260 --> 0:45:29.270
Louise Melhem
Yes, that's right.

0:45:28.270 --> 0:45:32.250
Daniel Hermens
Uh, Christian Madeleine.

0:45:32.260 --> 0:45:33.890
Daniel Hermens
Do you not have to do anything to add to that?

0:45:33.900 --> 0:45:39.290
Daniel Hermens
Was it something that you found or you knew early or or you discovered along the way?

0:45:39.300 --> 0:45:41.140
Daniel Hermens
Christian, you've talked about life experience.

0:45:42.490 --> 0:45:51.150
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm, so I guess my interest was sparked when I was doing my year eleven base.

0:45:51.160 --> 0:45:52.0
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, I need 12.

0:45:52.10 --> 0:45:54.240
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I had a real interest to psychology.

0:45:54.250 --> 0:45:56.120
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I felt I just gravitated to that.

0:45:56.130 --> 0:46:0.950
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Naturally, I knew I wanna say enter the health industry, but I wasn't sure.

0:46:1.780 --> 0:46:2.270
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:46:2.400 --> 0:46:4.530
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
But I did decide to pursue psychology.

0:46:5.550 --> 0:46:6.350
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:46:6.800 --> 0:46:9.740
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I guess my mom is a psychologist.

0:46:9.750 --> 0:46:17.510
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So she's been another inspiration for me, and she talked about how rewarding the path is.

0:46:18.140 --> 0:46:25.840
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
But just reflecting our mind kind of identity and self, I found my values just around compassion.

0:46:26.670 --> 0:46:27.450
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm.

0:46:28.270 --> 0:46:40.780
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
And um, just wanting to enhance my knowledge, I felt psychology was the best fit for me as opposed to umm, other professions and I felt psychology offers a unique.

0:46:41.740 --> 0:46:43.510
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm, I guess why?

0:46:43.520 --> 0:46:49.230
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
It's a really empower people and equipment with the coping skills to manage their quality of life.

0:46:49.240 --> 0:46:53.140
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So yeah, that's why I pursued symbology, I guess.

0:46:55.490 --> 0:46:57.780
Daniel Hermens
Thank you, Madeleine.

0:47:4.380 --> 0:47:4.670
Daniel Hermens
Yeah.

0:46:58.260 --> 0:47:6.190
Madeleine (Guest)
I was just going to say I didn't really know that OT S work in mental health until I was at Uni and learning all about what OT's do.

0:47:6.200 --> 0:47:7.750
Madeleine (Guest)
Do. Umm.

0:47:8.320 --> 0:47:15.20
Madeleine (Guest)
See, I knew that I wanted to experience what it was about and wanted to learn more about it.

0:47:15.30 --> 0:47:18.780
Madeleine (Guest)
So that's why, yeah, expressed interest and I was glad that I did.

0:47:21.780 --> 0:47:22.330
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:47:22.340 --> 0:47:22.870
Daniel Hermens
I've got some.

0:47:22.880 --> 0:47:29.930
Daniel Hermens
We we're gonna run out of time soon, but I do have some time for the three more additional specific questions coming in from the audience.

0:47:29.940 --> 0:47:31.760
Daniel Hermens
So this is a very specific one.

0:47:31.770 --> 0:47:39.0
Daniel Hermens
Have any of you work with speech pathologists in your work, in your teams, and and very just quick answers on that please.

0:47:39.500 --> 0:47:40.320
Daniel Hermens
Speech pathology.

0:47:41.590 --> 0:47:46.110
Madeleine (Guest)
So we refer to speech pathologists to come up to the ward.

0:47:47.340 --> 0:47:54.600
Madeleine (Guest)
Yes, we do work with speech pathologists as well, E within our multidisciplinary team, but they're not.

0:47:55.100 --> 0:47:57.70
Madeleine (Guest)
I guess it fixed part of our team.

0:47:57.80 --> 0:48:0.80
Madeleine (Guest)
So very helpful to know.

0:48:0.420 --> 0:48:2.410
Madeleine (Guest)
What they can bring to the table as well.

0:48:3.620 --> 0:48:4.70
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:48:4.80 --> 0:48:4.470
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:48:6.730 --> 0:48:7.230
Daniel Hermens
Uh.

0:48:7.250 --> 0:48:9.20
Daniel Hermens
OK, I'll go into the next question.

0:48:9.270 --> 0:48:11.200
Daniel Hermens
This is a interesting one.

0:48:11.210 --> 0:48:13.610
Daniel Hermens
It's a broad question, I guess.

0:48:14.470 --> 0:48:18.690
Daniel Hermens
Umm, how long did it take you to find a job in the mental health sector?

0:48:19.860 --> 0:48:21.970
Daniel Hermens
So, you know, was it protracted?

0:48:21.980 --> 0:48:23.40
Daniel Hermens
Was it fast?

0:48:23.50 --> 0:48:23.700
Daniel Hermens
Yeah.

0:48:23.780 --> 0:48:27.950
Daniel Hermens
Any feedback on that sooner than you expected?

0:48:27.960 --> 0:48:29.220
Daniel Hermens
Easier, harder.

0:48:29.720 --> 0:48:31.290
Daniel Hermens
Anything on that I have? Yeah.

0:48:31.300 --> 0:48:32.840
Daniel Hermens
How long did it take to find your job?

0:48:37.150 --> 0:48:48.60
Louise Melhem
It was quite quick for me because I was doing a placement in where I work now, so they pretty much did offer the opportunity to have an interview in and go for the job, which I won.

0:48:48.730 --> 0:48:52.980
Louise Melhem
There is, I can assure you there is not a shortage of jobs in mental health.

0:48:52.990 --> 0:48:56.300
Louise Melhem
So if you're looking, there are plenty out there.

0:48:56.650 --> 0:49:2.390
Louise Melhem
And yeah, just get experience and have the knowledge and skills behind you.

0:49:2.400 --> 0:49:5.70
Louise Melhem
And I have no doubt that you'll get a job.

0:49:9.660 --> 0:49:10.60
Daniel Hermens
Great.

0:49:10.70 --> 0:49:10.510
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:49:10.520 --> 0:49:11.420
Daniel Hermens
Yes, Christian, please.

0:49:9.250 --> 0:49:16.730
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Umm the like it just it took me a little bit longer to find my first role in mental health.

0:49:18.210 --> 0:49:31.730
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I think that's because with undergraduate psychology, so your first four years when I did the training, I think the curriculum has changed now, but there wasn't any kind of place in component UM.

0:49:31.750 --> 0:49:32.410
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I had to.

0:49:33.930 --> 0:49:37.20
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Outsource my own volunteer experience.

0:49:37.610 --> 0:49:45.70
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
But once I've got, I think 12 months experience and a volunteer role, I applied for a paid position.

0:49:45.100 --> 0:49:45.790
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I got that.

0:49:50.580 --> 0:49:51.910
Daniel Hermens
And thank you, Maddie.

0:49:51.920 --> 0:49:53.490
Daniel Hermens
Any quick response to that one?

0:49:53.500 --> 0:49:54.170
Daniel Hermens
How did it take you?

0:49:54.180 --> 0:49:54.450
Daniel Hermens
Long.

0:49:54.460 --> 0:49:56.830
Daniel Hermens
You still you're going through your placements?

0:49:57.480 --> 0:50:1.230
Madeleine (Guest)
Yeah, I guess mine was a little bit different in that with the rotation program.

0:50:1.240 --> 0:50:3.550
Madeleine (Guest)
I kinda got placed into mental health.

0:50:4.280 --> 0:50:11.420
Madeleine (Guest)
But yeah, as Louise said, there's plenty of jobs available and there seems to always be some and a lot of the hospitals.

0:50:13.320 --> 0:50:13.590
Daniel Hermens
OK.

0:50:13.600 --> 0:50:15.700
Daniel Hermens
The questions are coming thick and fast now.

0:50:14.180 --> 0:50:16.270
Louise Melhem
And ohh.

0:50:15.710 --> 0:50:16.430
Daniel Hermens
I'm sorry.

0:50:16.500 --> 0:50:17.120
Daniel Hermens
Sorry, Louise.

0:50:17.130 --> 0:50:27.360
Daniel Hermens
This one for you anyway, is a master of in mental health nursing a requirement to pursue a career as a mental health nurse after bachelor's degree in nursing.

0:50:27.770 --> 0:50:28.610
Daniel Hermens
Is it a requirement?

0:50:31.310 --> 0:50:32.580
Louise Melhem
I believe it is.

0:50:32.630 --> 0:50:33.930
Louise Melhem
It is a requirement.

0:50:34.490 --> 0:50:42.140
Louise Melhem
Yeah, these days I think you do have to have some sort of mental health certificate at the bare minimum on behind you.

0:50:42.330 --> 0:50:45.960
Louise Melhem
So yeah, if it's not a masters, it could be a certificate or diploma.

0:50:46.230 --> 0:50:55.40
Louise Melhem
I think previously you didn't have to, but yeah, now you do and I would just add to what I was saying before quickly I think yeah, you may not get a job straight away.

0:50:55.730 --> 0:50:59.0
Louise Melhem
However, if you're persistent, I think just persistent.

0:50:59.10 --> 0:51:3.230
Louise Melhem
Eventually you will get one as well, so it doesn't always happen straight away.

0:51:3.720 --> 0:51:6.750
Louise Melhem
But yeah, with the systems, there are plenty out there.

0:51:7.240 --> 0:51:7.890
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

0:51:6.880 --> 0:51:8.620
Louise Melhem
So no worries.

0:51:8.240 --> 0:51:25.820
Daniel Hermens
I'm going to ask one more question and then wrap things up because we're running out of time unfortunately, but this might be for you, Christian, for a masters of clinical psychology, did you look at different universities and if so, umm, do you know if different universities have specific strengths?

0:51:26.60 --> 0:51:30.610
Daniel Hermens
Uh, what would you assess in different programs, you know, along the lines of what they cover?

0:51:30.620 --> 0:51:31.580
Daniel Hermens
Therapeutic approaches.

0:51:31.750 --> 0:51:33.460
Daniel Hermens
I've talked about this with others recently.

0:51:33.470 --> 0:51:40.100
Daniel Hermens
I think different schools, different universities, do differ in the even their makeup of academic and clinical staff.

0:51:40.110 --> 0:51:42.420
Daniel Hermens
So yeah, tell us a little bit about that, if you could.

0:51:44.10 --> 0:51:44.250
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah.

0:51:45.990 --> 0:51:48.760
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
So I guess for.

0:51:51.50 --> 0:51:53.920
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Yeah, the program doing at Swinburne.

0:51:54.550 --> 0:52:5.420
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
What I really like about Swinburne is that there is a family therapy component, umm, and usually this subject isn't covered in other clinical psychology masters.

0:52:7.510 --> 0:52:25.650
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I guess I can't comment on all universities, but mine understanding is that CBT is a core component of the symbology training, so having a foundation understanding and familiar familiarity with CBT.

0:52:25.720 --> 0:52:28.250
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Once you graduate, we'll be expected.

0:52:29.0 --> 0:52:30.830
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I think that was another part of the question.

0:52:32.530 --> 0:52:34.240
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
I'm not sure I've answered that fully.

0:52:35.280 --> 0:52:42.150
Daniel Hermens
I think I'll ask you to stop there, Christian cause we're going to run out of time, but thank you so much.

0:52:41.780 --> 0:52:42.170
CHRISTIAN ALIFERIS
Often.

0:52:42.160 --> 0:52:52.670
Daniel Hermens
And what I will say about the questions is for this one, we can elaborate on this and others that we didn't get to, we can provide a summary for people afterwards, but we are unfortunately running out of time.

0:52:52.680 --> 0:52:54.250
Daniel Hermens
So I have to wrap things up.

0:52:55.40 --> 0:53:1.130
Daniel Hermens
Firstly, thank you to you all for being part of today's careers in mental health webinar.

0:53:1.880 --> 0:53:9.320
Daniel Hermens
We do hope that the insights from today have provided you with valuable knowledge for your journey in this field.

0:53:10.340 --> 0:53:19.380
Daniel Hermens
Uh, I particularly extend my gratitude to our three amazing guest speakers for their time and expertise and insights into their role.

0:53:20.360 --> 0:53:21.710
Daniel Hermens
And I'm sure you would agree.

0:53:21.720 --> 0:53:22.930
Daniel Hermens
We had an excellent discussion.

0:53:23.730 --> 0:53:31.710
Daniel Hermens
UM, you know, by way of summary, you know I you've heard from three different fields, but obviously overlapping mental health nursing.

0:53:32.810 --> 0:53:33.90
Daniel Hermens
Umm.

0:53:33.310 --> 0:53:38.410
Daniel Hermens
Clinical psychology, occupational therapy, and I'm just looking at my notes.

0:53:38.420 --> 0:53:40.760
Daniel Hermens
Here are some of the key themes that have been addressed.

0:53:40.770 --> 0:53:48.70
Daniel Hermens
Yes, the mental health sector is demanding in terms of the, you know, people needing more time, more workforce.

0:53:48.80 --> 0:53:49.200
Daniel Hermens
So I read into that.

0:53:49.210 --> 0:53:56.220
Daniel Hermens
So you sort of comes back to the point I made before at the very beginning about how there's a great need for people to work in the mental health sector.

0:53:57.390 --> 0:54:21.480
Daniel Hermens
There was comments about how it's never too late to go down a certain path, ideally towards mental health and and I think it was Louise touching on the fulfillment in your career and I'm sure everyone would echo that managing self care was really important thing that came up and that's super important for people to know that there can be, as Christian said, and emotional labor or toll from this work.

0:54:21.490 --> 0:54:28.630
Daniel Hermens
But all people in the sector usually typically have great support from their team and colleagues.

0:54:29.0 --> 0:54:34.540
Daniel Hermens
We talked about values, especially values like compassion, umm, tamed approach.

0:54:34.550 --> 0:54:36.600
Daniel Hermens
I mentioned that a number of times is super important.

0:54:36.610 --> 0:54:53.330
Daniel Hermens
I'd hopefully you've all learned from hearing from Madeleine Christian and Louise about multidisciplinary teams and a lot of good, rewarding aspects around positive feedback from clients or patients seeing changes over time over the course of the interventions and therapy.

0:54:53.460 --> 0:54:56.190
Daniel Hermens
And I'm gonna finish on this one, which was a really nice point.

0:54:56.200 --> 0:55:0.690
Daniel Hermens
It's important to get diverse life experience for a career in mental health.

0:55:1.340 --> 0:55:7.670
Daniel Hermens
So as mentioned already, mental health work is a critical to the sustainability of the national mental health system.

0:55:8.100 --> 0:55:13.330
Daniel Hermens
For those choosing a career in this field, please know you'll be entering a rewarding.

0:55:13.930 --> 0:55:14.250
Daniel Hermens
Yeah.

0:55:14.260 --> 0:55:20.850
Daniel Hermens
Challenging profession where you'll be making I think, really big differences to the lives of people every day.

0:55:21.810 --> 0:55:23.980
Daniel Hermens
You have any questions that we haven't covered?

0:55:23.990 --> 0:55:33.300
Daniel Hermens
Like I said, we're going to provide them on the the the government website and we'll provide other web, sorry information and resources there.

0:55:33.530 --> 0:55:38.780
Daniel Hermens
And at this point, I'm gonna wrap it up and thank you all for being here today and have a wonderful day to you all.

0:55:38.790 --> 0:55:39.190
Daniel Hermens
Thank you.

 

About the webinar

In this webinar you will hear from our guest speakers who are experienced mental health workers across Australia. You will get to learn about study pathways and careers options into a diverse and dynamic career in mental health.

Presenters

Host:

Daniel Hermans, Professor of Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology, Thompson Institute

Guest speakers:

  • Louise-Rachele Melhem – Mental Health Nurse 
  • Christian Aliferis – Registered Psychologist 
  • Romina Bahrami – Mental Health Clinician 

Find more information and resources on careers in mental health.

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