This seminar will discuss the “Suicide Narratives” approach which seeks to understand a person’s unique phenomenological reality and their current experience that life is unsustainable.
About the speaker
Matt Ball is a Nurse Practitioner and Psychotherapist and founder of Humane Clinic, Adelaide.
Matt teaches and consults nationally and internationally on humane approaches to working with a person in distress. Humane Clinic offers an alternative to pathologising and diagnosis-led mental health systems.
Emeritus Professor Andrew Markus AO, Monash University
This seminar will discuss the findings of the Scanlon Foundation social cohesion surveys conducted in May, July and November 2020.
Three thematic areas will be covered: indications of well-being, views of government policy responses, and the extent of discriminatory attitudes within segments of Australian society and their impact on the Chinese-Australian community.
About the speaker
Andrew Markus AO is Emeritus Professor in Monash University’s Faculty of Arts and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. His research specialisation is in the field of racial and ethnic relations, ethnic communities, and immigration policy.
Andrew has extensive experience researching Australian public opinion, beginning in 1988 when he was commissioned to prepare a report on ‘How Australians see each other’ for the Fitzgerald Committee on immigration policy. He has played a leading role in the two national surveys on attitudes within the Jewish community and is the senior researcher for the Scanlon Foundation social cohesion survey, which has conducted annual surveys since 2009.
VTMH seminars are open to individuals, from all disciplines and working in all sectors, who are based in Australia and interested in diversity and mental health.
The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn mainstream attention to systemic racism and injustice in colonised countries across the world. It incited a global call to action, where individuals, organisations and institutions engaged in deeper introspection of whiteness and pledged actions to address racial equity.
In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of colour have long been advocating for change.Racism is a major public health issue – the harmful effects on mental and physical health is well documented. Despite this, mainstream community services often perpetuate racial inequity through racist and prejudicial processes, policies and practices.
This seminar explores one organisations response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and the process of examining organisational whiteness. It details the importance of positionality, co-creating authentic listening spaces that strengthen trust, and the power of language. How do we avoid tokenism and authentically decolonise our systems and practices to contribute to a more just and equitable society?
About the speakers
Jen Tobin is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager at cohealth, a large community health service in the north and west suburbs of Melbourne. Jen has over 13 years’ experience in social services including in community mental health, NDIS and Board Director roles. Supported by an education background including a Master of Counselling, Jen has a strong professional and personal passion for human rights, and social and health equity.
Carolina Valencia Coleman is the Diversity Projects Coordinator at cohealth. Over the past 17 years, she has specialised in inclusive practice, working with a social justice lens to increase accessibility and service equity in migrant and refugee health, youth sector, community health, aged care services and language services. Carolina is dedicated to decolonising and standing in solidarity with the voices and perspectives of First Nations and people of colour.
Dr Charishma Ratnam, Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre, Monash University
Charishma will present findings from a recent project that examined how key stakeholders are using technology to communicate and engage with diverse communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consequence of lockdowns and other restrictions, governments, non-government organisations, community organisations, and community leaders, rapidly transitioned their service delivery and practices to online and digital platforms. For organisations working directly with diverse communities, this transition highlighted that some individuals remained digitally excluded.
The research team interviewed 23 stakeholders who work directly with diverse communities in Victoria and nationally. The interviews uncovered shifts in program and service delivery methods, insights about technologies and digital platforms, and opportunities and challenges that have emerged from the rapid transition to online communication and engagement.
Charishma will discuss key findings from the research and offer relevant, immediately applicable next steps for stakeholders to consider as they continue their active and digital engagement with diverse groups.
About the speaker
Dr Charishma Ratnam is a Research Fellow at the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC), Monash University. Her research spans a number of areas, including refugee experiences, migrant settlement, inclusion, and home-making practices. Charishma is currently working on multiple research projects, including: an analysis of how regional/rural areas have diversified over the last 20 years across Canada, Europe, and Australia; she is also working with Sri Lankan migrants to better understand how they use public spaces in Sydney and Melbourne; and Charishma is also collaborating with colleagues at MMIC to examine how organisations can adopt digital engagement strategies with diverse communities.
Matt Ball (Nurse Practitioner and Psychotherapist and founder of Humane Clinic, Adelaide)
Matt will present on the explanatory framework, Dissociachotic. The framework sees ‘psychosis’ as a functional process: dissociation is created and ‘separating off’ occurs when we experience threats in human relationships. We can support the reduction and evaporation of ‘psychosis’ through human-to-human connection. The session will also consider how the framework applies to other forms of distress and explore the value of human connection.
About the speaker
Matt Ball is a Nurse Practitioner and Psychotherapist and founder of Humane Clinic, Adelaide. Matt teaches and speaks nationally and internationally on humane approaches to working with a person in distress. He offers an alternative to pathologising and diagnosis-led mental health systems. He has developed the Dissociachotic framework as an alternative understanding of extreme states. Matt was awarded Australian Mental Health Nurse of the year in 2017 for his work with voices hearers in the public mental health system in South Australia. In late 2020, he will open a volunteer led community alternative for people in distress and crisis called Just Listening Community.
Dr Shani Tobias, Dr Lola Sundin & Dr Jim Hlavac (Translation & Interpreting Studies, Monash University)
The area of mental health is a growth area of work for interpreters. This is due to increases in (self-)reporting of mental health issues, an ageing population with age-related cognitive issues, and most recently with the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on people’s mental health.
Since the mid-2010s, professional development (PD) has been phased in as a requirement for recently certified interpreters, and from 2019 onwards, it became compulsory for all interpreters to renew certification. This presentation features two parts. The first focuses on the needs and gaps in the provision of PD opportunities for interpreters, and presents data on interpreters’ prioritisation of PD for interpreting in mental health settings. The second part focuses on key sections of the Mental Health Interpreting Guidelines for Interpreters released at the end of 2017 by Monash University, and re-contextualises these in light of areas of reported need for PD in mental health settings for interpreters.
About the speakers
Dr Shani Tobias — is Acting Director of the Master of Interpreting and Translation Studies, Monash University, and is a NAATI-certified translator. Her research focuses on literary and cultural translation between Japanese and English.
Dr Lola Sundin — is a lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies, Monash University, and is a NAATI-certified interpreter and translator in Japanese and English. Her research focuses on how societies are, and can be, represented to new audiences through translation of literary works.
Dr Jim Hlavac — is a senior lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies, Monash University, and is a NAATI-certified and practising interpreter and translator. He has researched in the areas of healthcare interpreting, and interpreting in mental health as well as family violence settings. He has published widely in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies and in related disciplines.
Associate Professor Bianca Brijnath, Director Social Gerontology, National Ageing Research Institute (NARI)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated ageism and racism. Concurrently, physical distancing measures, across Australia and internationally, have left many older people socially isolated, including older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
This presentation will canvas the risks associated with social isolation for older people as well as discuss the specific risks for older CALD people. It will discuss response options from a population-level perspective – focusing on mental health, carer wellbeing, and elder abuse – highlighting key resources and tools that frontline practitioners can use in their daily practice.
About the speaker
Associate Professor Bianca Brijnath is the Divisional Director of Social Gerontology at the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI). Her disciplinary training is in medical anthropology and public health and her research expertise is in cultural diversity, dementia, and mental health. Within these disciplinary and contextual boundaries, she has undertaken several studies exploring mental health and culture, mental health and the life-course, and dementia and cultural diversity. She has authored over 100 publications, including a sole-authored book with Berghahn Books titled Unforgotten: Love and the culture of dementia care in India and is the lead investigator for the Moving Pictures study in Australia and in India. In recognition of her research, she was awarded the Victorian Young Tall Poppy Award in 2018.
Dr. Charles Le Feuvre, Vice President, Psychology for a safe climate
This presentation will look at the tremendous distress caused by the recent bushfires, both by the fires themselves and as signifying climate change in the here and now.
Background issues will be discussed including ways of seeing the natural environment from psychological and other perspectives including transcultural, the current and future climate, and how we process climate change emotionally. We will also discuss the use of denial (including denial of our dependence on nature) and climate change related mental health issues, focussing particularly on ecological grief and eco-anxiety.
How can we respond to climate/ ecological grief and anxiety in ourselves and others? How can we respond as individuals and groups to climate change? These issues will be explored, including the work of Psychology for a Safe Climate (PSC). The need for strong compassionate leadership, urgent political action, and a cultural shift will be emphasised.
About the speaker
Dr Charles Le Feuvre is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and has been involved with Psychology for a Safe Climate (PSC) for ten years. He is currently PSC’s Vice President.
PSC’s purpose is to contribute psychological understanding and support within the community, helping people face the difficult climate reality.
In response to the bushfires, PSC wrote a booklet ‘Staying engaged in the climate and bushfire crisis’.