Coming off the back of two difficult years, 2022 presented similar challenges with the pandemic and extreme climate events continuing to have a major impact on the world in which we work and live.
A population with rising rates of poor mental health, and a workforce characterised by fatigue, critical staff shortages and unrelenting demand was front of mind for the Mental Health Professionals’ Network program for the duration of the year.
Throughout the year, MHPN was able to tailor support to the meet the changing needs of our networks. Over this time, network meetings largely centred around providing highly valued practitioner peer support.
Despite the ongoing challenges presented to network coordinators and members, the network program continued to recover from when face-to-face networks were most significantly impacted in 2021 by the full force of social restrictions and lockdown limitations. Many networks moved online, but MHPN is encouraged by the resilience of our coordinators and members noted in the slow, yet steady return to face-to-face meetings all over Australia.
It is clear that in this changing world practitioners continue to have an appetite for online professional development, evident in their ongoing engagement with MHPN’s webinar and podcast programs.
All three programs offer alternative ways to access professional development, networking and peer support, catering to a wide range of practitioner preferences and adapting in the face of new and ongoing external challenges.
In the 2021/22 financial year, MHPN supported over 63,000 hours of interdisciplinary networking and professional development for practitioners working in communities across Australia. We applaud the efforts of our many network coordinators, guest speakers, panellists and other expert contributors in this achievement. MHPN is also fortunate to be able to work in collaborative partnerships with a range of stakeholder organisations, bringing their areas of expertise to interdisciplinary practice.
We look forward to what is hopefully a smoother 2023, where we will continue our tailored support of the Australian mental health workforce and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, most excitingly in March 2023 through our second national online conference: All Together Better – Collaborative Mental Health Care in a Changing World
Finally, on behalf of the MHPN team, I wish you all a joyful, safe and restorative holiday season.