Equally Well had a strong presence at The Mental Health Services Conference (TheMHS) in Adelaide with seven presentations. It was also great to see so many others from across Australia presenting on improving the physical health of people living with mental illness.

A lively, and well-received panel looked at what is happening in Equally Well from the perspective of:
State Mental Health – Dr John Allan, Director of Mental Health Services, Qld
National – Maureen Lewis, Acting CEO of National Mental Health Commission
Lived Experience – Lyn English, Co-Chair of National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
Professions – Kim Ryan, CEO of Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
Community Managed Organisations – Arthur Papakotsias, CE of Neami National

They each brought their unique contribution and examples of exciting new projects. Maureen Lewis introduced the session and summarised the actions from The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
John Allan included the great work in smoking cessation and the Qld incentive payments scheme as well as their new initiatives in metabolic monitoring and interventions. Kim Ryan presented the Mental Health Practice Standards for Nurses in Australian General Practice and their nurse physical health checklist for all nurse working with people living with mental illness.

Arthur Papakotsias introduced the Neami Health Prompt and the new Health Prompt App. He also outlined their Peer Coaching for better health, and an exciting collaboration to address the oral health of people living with mental illness. Lyn English spoke powerfully from the perspective of those with a lived experience of mental illness, and their continuing experiences of stigma and discrimination when attempting to access quality physical health care.

In separate presentations Dr Kate Jackson presented on the latest research and initiatives to improve the physical health of older people living with mental illness.

It was also exciting for Russell Roberts and Elida Meadows to co-present with Tanya Ewart on behalf our New Zealand friends on Equally Well NZ and Equally Well Au presenting highlights from both countries, and how the collective impact approach can make a difference to the lives of people living with mental illness.

Each of the Equally Well sessions was well-received and well supported and strengthen the importance of seeing access of quality health care in Australia as a basic human right.

If you would like copies of these presentations or further details contact us.