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C.A.R.E key to mental health care nursing

Mental Health Nursing Symposium

December 2020

C.A.R.E key to mental health care nursing

C.A.R.E key to mental health care nursing

Lance Takiari is guided by one word.

"The word C.A.R.E stands for our values of camaraderie, acceptance, resilience and empathy. They shape the approach our mental health nurses take to consumer care," he said.

As the Director of Nursing for Sydney Local Health District's Mental Health Service, Lance oversees 550 mental health nurses in hospital and community-based settings.

"Our nurses are key members of our multidisciplinary teams who share the journey with people who need mental health care," he said.

The District has held its first Mental Health Nursing Symposium to recognise and celebrate the work of mental health care nurses and their commitment and care for the community.

A national mental health and wellbeing survey estimates almost half (45 per cent) of Australia's population aged between 16-85 years old will experience a mental health disorder at some stage during their life.

And, that one-in-five people had experienced a common mental health disorder in the 12-months before the survey, with many others, like family members, friends or colleagues, indirectly affected.

The District's mental health services are provided by multidisciplinary teams of consultant psychiatrists, psychiatric registrars, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, exercise physiologists and dieticians.

There are hospital-based services at The Centre for Mental Health at Concord Hospital, the Professor Marie Bashir Centre at RPA and child and adolescent care is provided by The Rivendell Unit, in the grounds of the Walker Estate at Concord.

Community-based mental health services operate in the Camperdown, Canterbury, Croydon, Marrickville, and Redfern areas.

"Mental health nurses play an instrumental role in caring for our community. This year has shown how important it is to provide excellent care to people with mental health conditions," Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District's Chief Executive, said.

"To care for those most vulnerable or marginalised in our community - and not only to care for them - but to advocate for them and their care," she said.

During the Symposium, the winners of the inaugural Mental Health Nursing Awards were named:

  • The Stan Alchin Award for Transforming Practice and Education - Larissa Strong, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Concord Centre for Mental Health
  • The Helen Blum Award for Sharing the Journey with Consumers - Sina Lolomanaia, Acting Nursing Unit Manager, Manning and Manning East Units, Concord Centre for Mental Health
  • The Douglas Grant Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Healthcare - Irina Bursill Registered Nurse, Camperdown Core Team
  • The Leadership Award - Gwyneth Gillespie, Nurse Manager, Mental Health Demand Management Team
  • Mental Health Nurse of the Year - Christine Mouawad, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Croydon CORE Team.

For Lance, the focus remains solidly on C.A.R.E.

"Our dedicated mental health nurses will continue to work together to deliver compassionate, high quality mental health care to help our consumers recover and lead fulfilling lives," he said.

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