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Mental Health Program

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The Mental Health Program enacts The Bouverie Centre’s mission by equipping and supporting mental health services to constructively involve families in treatment and care. This involvement spans from developing a sensitivity to families’ needs to the routine inclusion of families in mental health care right through to the use of specific evidence-based family approaches.

Our current focus is on implementing of a range of values and evidence-based family practices and achieving sustainable practice change in Victorian mental health services. This occurs through the following:

  • We are strongly committed to working with services to install family based practice models in specific programs or across an organisation. This is done by adopting an implementation approach which typically involves working at multiple levels and over time with services to achieve real and measurable practice change. The Mental Health Beacon Project is the latest in a series of multi-sited implementation projects undertaken by Bouverie to improve the health and welfare sector’s responsiveness to families. Read more about the project, including the implementation support activities undertaken by participants.
  • We assist the Department in administering and overseeing the statewide Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness (FaPMI) strategy.
  • The Carer Academic (mental health) position sits at The Bouverie Centre and promotes increased awareness of the needs of family carers through research and related activities. 
  • Our workshops regularly feature in free training offered through the three mental health training clusters and VICSERV’s professional development calendar.
  • We host a one-day Annual Mini Conference that brings together consumers, family members and practitioners in a unique three way conversation called a ‘trialogue’. We also run quarterly two-hour Family Sensitive Practice Forums for practitioners, consumers and family members to report on the latest developments in the field both at Bouverie and in the wider mental health sector.
  • We offer one day courses in developing areas of practice as part of The Bouverie Centre’s Professsional Development Program. These workshops seek to increase practitioner awareness of emerging issues affecting families and of new approaches in the field.
  • We regularly run a workshop series for families living with or supporting someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: Fostering Realistic Hope. Fostering Realistic Hope Facilitator Training is now available also.
  • We offer free one–off secondary consultations over the phone and at The Bouverie Centre to practitioners in publicly funded mental health services (clinical and community managed) in relation to their work with individual families. We also consult with service managers and supervisors (on a fee for service basis) about how families can be included in individual client care.
  • We seek to improve the capacity of Victorian mental health services to constructively include families in care indirectly through our research and evaluation activities.  The Mental Health Program’s key research activity currently includes:
    • A four year research collaboration, funded by the Mental Illness Research Fund, exploring the impact of a recovery model for parents with major mental health problems on children’s wellbeing, family functioning, parenting and recovery
    • Evaluation of the Mental Health Beacon service development strategy
  • We actively contribute to service reform and policy development in mental health at a state and national level.

Staff

The Mental Health Program at The Bouverie Centre is managed by Dr. Brendan O’Hanlon. Brendan coordinates a team of experienced workers who are responsible for various aspects of the program. They are:

  • Rose Cuff, State-wide FaPMI (Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness) Co-ordinator; Trainer
  • Hannah Jewell, Family Therapist; Trainer
  • Dr. Peter McKenzie, Family Therapist; Carer Academic; Trainer
  • Sarah Jones, Family Therapist; Trainer

News

Mental health research gets $10 million boost

Pro Bono News - NEWS March 28, 2013. The Victorian Coalition Government has awarded $10 million to five innovative research projects that will deliver better outcomes for Victorians affected by mental illness. The Bouverie Centre, in collaboration with Monash University (lead agency),

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