After watching so many of her patients burst into tears at appointments, a sense of compassion and advocacy to improve mental health care, prompted GP Dr Monica Moore to train in psychotherapy. The GP Psychotherapist now runs workshops to train other GPs on how to treat anxiety and related issues, and training courses for other mental health professionals. Dr Moore is also the co-coordinator of one of MHPN’s busiest networks. The Sutherland Shire Network meets in Sydney’s south and has strong ties to the community.
“Some of our members that attend are quite isolated in their work, and the meetings are a chance to bring them together. Over time, the network has become a very supportive and collegiate group. It’s a lovely and friendly bunch of people!" said Dr Moore.
The Sutherland Shire Network meets monthly, and attracts up to 25 Sydney clinicians. Their meetings generally involve either guest or member presentations on specific areas of practice, therapeutic specialties or program overviews.
“The meetings are an opportunity. For existing members, the meetings could mean picking up more work, and learning about local resources they may not know about. This network has given me valuable referral information. For new clinicians to the area, it is a chance for them to meet other professionals and plug their new business," she said.
A broad mix of mental health professionals, including a number of GPs, attend this very active, community linked network. The meetings always have high quality professional development content, and the topics are picked by network members to attract the interest of clinicians.
“I really encourage GPs to join a MHPN network to further support the mental health care of their patients. Our GPs find it extremely valuable to meet other clinicians face-to-face, so that they know who they are referring to. Attend a meeting with a topic that you are interested in learning more about. GPs in our network are very time poor and struggle to attend all the meetings, but they usually attend one or two because the meeting content interests them," Dr Moore said.
Dr Moore co-coordinates the Sutherland Shire Network with the full support of a MHPN Project Officer.
“It is not a huge imposition to be a coordinator. Angela (MHPN Project Officer) helps me and she does a wonderful job! I enjoy going to meetings and by involving all the people in the network, I don’t have to do all the organising. Once I have set the meeting dates for the year, I ask other members to choose topics and book the speakers," she said.
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