MHPN’s CEO Chris Gibbs highlighted the initiative’s successes and learnings in the key note presentation
“It was a real pleasure to share MHPN’s experiences with an international mental health practitioner audience. Our view that collaborative care practices improve consumer outcomes, was echoed strongly and loudly throughout the conference,” said Chris. “Like MHPN, the Quebec Mental Health Council also advocates for incorporating a mental health perspective to address issues of comorbidity.”
The conference, organised by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada Collaborative Working Group on Shared Mental Health Care, is in its 14th year and attracted more than 350 delegates.
“While both Canada and Australia face similar challenges, including providing services to a very geographically dispersed population, there were some differences.
In Canada, mental health services are largely the responsibility of the provinces (states), whereas the structure and strength of Australia’s federal system has allowed national platforms and national responses to a number of health issues, including mental health to develop,” he explained. “It is our federal system that has allowed an initiative like MHPN to evolve and develop the necessary scale to see a cost-effective, successful implementation across the country.”
Chris presented about the initiative’s progress through to where it sits today, having delivered over 40,000 hours of practitioner-based discussion, learning and debate about interdisciplinary mental health care practices in 2012/13.
The delegates showed a keen interest in MHPN’s online professional development platform and were eager to explore how it might in the future, form a basis for collaborating internationally.