Older people's mental health benchmarking lectures

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Lecture Series 2020

Older Persons Mental Health Lecture

HETI Higher Education is partnering with the NSW Health Older People’s Mental Health Policy Unit to deliver an online lecture series to support clinicians, managers, HETI students and other interested health staff supporting the mental health of older people during the COVID19 pandemic.

Due to the cancellation of the June 2020 OPMH benchmarking forum, the Mental Health Branch Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH) Policy Unit and HETI Higher  Education are preparing a series of relevant lectures in its place. Clinicians and managers of public OPMH services, HETI students and other interested health staff are invited to express their interest the following 45 minute online lectures.

7 May 2021 - Trust, Culture and Transformation: Learning from South Australia’s Oakden Report and journey of change

Dr McKellar will discuss how his team in South Australia is learning from the findings of the Oakden Report and changing the culture of their services in response.

Dr McKellar has ensured no information that is not publically available about individuals is included in this lecture, and used pseudonyms when individuals' identities are not in the public domain.

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30 July 2020 - Supporting social integration and reintegration of older people with mental illness post-COVID 19

Time: Jul 30, 2020 12:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Due to the pandemic lockdowns and isolation to ensure the broader safety of the community, older adults who might normally be quite engaged in the community and with families have found themselves essentially on their own. In addition, the stress of COVID-19 in and of itself has meant that older adults have made decisions about not going out of the home, even for key medical support, due to fear of the virus.

In this presentation, Dr Leander Mitchell will highlight some of the key outcomes of such isolation (and associatedly loneliness), as well as offering insights as to “the way out”, particularly for those older adults who now find themselves experiencing anxieties that they had not before.

Registration  is free and open to medical, nursing and allied health staff as well as  students. We are using an automated registration for this lecture. If you would like to register, please use the following link:


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17 June 2020 - Management of Self-Harm in the Very Old

Clinicians may lack knowledge and  confidence regarding self-harm in older adults and hold attitudes that  interfere with delivering effective care. Dr Anne Wand, Old Age Psychiatrist, will speak to the real world implications of her PhD research findings from implementing a 1-hour educational intervention for  hospital-based clinicians and general practitioners.

Wand,  A. P., Draper, B., Brodaty, H., Hunt, G. E., & Peisah, C. (2020).  Evaluation of an Educational Intervention for Clinicians on Self-Harm in Older  Adults. Archives of Suicide Research, 1-21.

22 May 2020 - What do we know about the impact of viral epidemics on  older people’s mental health, and what can we do?

Hong Kong was struck by the community outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. In the same year, the elderly suicide rate in Hong Kong showed a sharp upturn from a previous downward trend. Dr Rod McKay will speak to the findings and implications on this research and the key considerations and lessons learnt in the context of older people’s mental health.

Chan, S. M. S.,  Chiu, F. K. H., Lam, C. W. L., Leung, P. Y. V., & Conwell, Y. (2006).  Elderly suicide and the 2003 SARS epidemic in Hong Kong. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(2), 113-118.

Cheung, Y. T., Chau, P. H., & Yip, P. S. (2008). A revisit on older adults suicides and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in Hong Kong. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.23(12), 1231-1238.

Yip, P. S., Cheung, Y. T., Chau, P. H., & Law, Y. W. (2010). The impact of epidemic outbreak: the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and suicide among older adults in Hong Kong. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 31(2), 86.

To listen to the presentation, please play below.

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