Mental Health conference underway in Tamworth | Namoi Valley Independent

Thu Oct 24, 2013

PEOPLE with experience of mental illness and some of the country’s foremost mental health experts have arrived in Tamworth to participate in a significant mental health planning conference.

The New England Partners in Recovery (PIR) two-day conference began yesterday at Tamworth Jockey Club and will conclude this afternoon.

It will also encompass the Tamworth Business Chamber monthly breakfast for October, which is Mental Health Month.

The conference is a key plank of the recently announced New England PIR program, a new approach to mental health support coordinated by RichmondPRA in partnership with seven other local mental health and community service providers and public and private support services.

The conference will enable mental health stakeholders to map out how the local PIR program can work most effectively, with an emphasis on support providers and recipients and the community interacting more cohesively to ensure better mental health outcomes.

Keynote speakers and participants include National Mental Health Commissioner Janet Meagher AM, NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley and RichmondPRA CEO Pamela Rutledge.

A series of breakout sessions will enable feedback and input to be collected and included in the broader PIR objective. These will be facilitated by well-known Queensland based mental educator and trainer, Helen Glover.

RichmondPRA CEO Pam Rutledge said the conference was unprecedented in New England and most other parts of regional Australia.

“We are giving locals who live with, work with or who are in some way affected by mental illness a chance to have a say on how recovery journeys can be improved,” Ms Rutledge said.

“With such information we can move towards ensuring that people with a lived experience of mental illness and complex needs get the right intervention and help at the right time.

“We need to minimise people becoming lost in a maze of care and support offerings and maximise opportunities for people to be taken by the hand and guided to the help they need.

>> Read more on attached PDF.