Clare Lincoln and Jody Blythe coordinate the Frankston Transcultural Network, which meets bimonthly at headspace in central Frankston, a bayside suburb on the outskirts of Melbourne.
At a network meeting last month, 13 practitioners who live in and around Frankston listened to a presentation by Catherine Kirby and Anne Jackson from a local service called Kids Like Us. One benefit of MHPN meetings is they are a platform for practitioners to learn about local service providers. Catherine discussed narrative therapies and how to best support young people in appropriate learning environments.
A mixed group of mental health practitioners including social workers, psychologists, youth workers, art therapists and counsellors shared a meal at the beginning of the meeting which gave them a chance to meet each other and network. Following dinner and on the comfort of headspace’s colorful couches, the professional development part of the evening began. A 30-minute question and answer time followed Catherine’s insightful presentation, where she detailed some of the therapies and services that Kids Like Us offer.
At all Frankston network meetings, Clare orders a variety of hot and cold food from a local café for dinner. Snacks, tea and coffee are available in the kitchen for network members to help themselves to at any time during the evening.
“We make an effort, because people make an effort to come after a busy day at work and we are a community of interest coming together. It’s a core membership," said Jody.
Before moving to Frankston, Clare had been a member of two other networks. There wasn’t a MHPN network in Frankston, so she started one. The network has a solid core membership because they organise quality topics and content that interest and engage practitioners from the Frankston community.
“Some of the speakers we’ve had, we’ve spoken about for months afterwards", said Jody.
MHPN networks provide quality professional development for mental health practitioners. Find and join your local MHPN network today.
From left to right: Catherine Kirby (CEO and Director, Kids Like Us) Clare Lincoln, Anne Jackson (Co-Founder and Director of Education, Kids Like Us), Jody Blythe.