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Mind your mental health
Free mental health & wellbeing mini conference

 

Wednesday 18 October 2023 Deniliquin RSL Club

Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Group invites you to learn from local experts at this free mini conference, with sessions focusing on wellbeing and mental health education.

Attend one or many sessions throughout the day and evening.​

Program

The conference program is divided into two streams: Wellbeing and Education.

The evening program includes repeated sessions for those unable to attend during the day.

Presenters and sessions

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Alison Thorne

Alison Thorne is a Registered Nurse who has worked in mental health drug and alcohol services since 2002. She has post graduate qualifications in Advanced Nursing and Mental Health and since 2012 she has had operational responsibility for Community Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol services across Murrumbidgee Local Health District.  She lives locally in Deniliquin and has been involved with the Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Group for many years. Alison understands the unique mental health needs of people who live rurally and is passionate about ensuring that services meet these needs.

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Lourene Liebenberg

Lourene Liebenberg has practiced in the mental health space for the last 30 years. As an Occupational therapist, she brings a wide range of skills to the table.

 

Having worked in the NGO space in Deni for 6 years and then venturing into solo private practice for the following 15 years, Lourene understands the mental health needs of our community. She is an experienced Mental Health First Aid Facilitator and has a passion for increasing awareness of all thing’s mental health.

 

Lourene is currently part of the Deni MHAG team co-ordinating and delivering multiple projects and initiatives across the region.

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Elizabeth Martin

Elizabeth Martin is a Registered Nurse and accredited Nurse Practitioner. She works in a District position for Murrumbidgee LHD Mental Health & Drug & Alcohol  and arrived in Deni about the same time as COVID 19 She has worked in the MHDA field for longer than she is willing to discuss.

 

She has worked in 2 countries and 5 different  health districts. She has worked mainly in public health organisations but has experience working in Forensics, Primary Health, Clinical Service Delivery, Academia and Strategic Management.

Managing stress

Presented by Elizabeth Martin

11.30am - 12.15pm  and  7.45pm - 8.30pm

The need for self-care has become a strong message for people across workplaces, social media and other communications. What does it really mean? This session looks at how to identify and strengthen strategies for self-care and how to develop a resilience tool kit.

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Andrea McCarthy

Andrea McCarthy has worked across the aged space for many years, most recently as Older Person’s Mental Health Clinician in Deniliquin.

 

Andrea has experience as a direct service provider, case management in aged and general homelessness, intake worker in community health and education in corrections and youth justice settings. Andrea has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. She is studying Master’s Social Work through Deakin University and will graduate at the end of 2024. Andrea is passionate about working alongside older people using anti-ageist principles and practice where access to services and being able to make choices is forefront to her work.

Depression and dementia are not a normal part of growing old

Presented by Andrea McCarthy

11.30am - 12.15pm

We all experience times in our lives where we feel down- there is often a good reason for feeling this way that we can identify, helping us to explain and understand what is happening, and make changes that help us to feel better. Depression is not a normal part of ageing and there are times where something else is happening. Support is available to understand changes in our mood- sometimes this can be early signs of dementia or delirium. Accessing support is the first step to improving health outcomes and quality of life. Support is always there to assist you on your journey.

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Karen Bradford

Karen Bradford is a Registered Nurse and also Meditation Therapist, Mindfulness Educator and Clinical Hypnotherapist who specialises in stress, overwhelm and anxiety management.

 

Karen has recently moved back to Deniliquin from Melbourne where she had a Meditation and Yoga studio/clinic for the past 16 years.

She has joined the MHAG group this year in hopes of contributing to the mental health wellbeing in the community. Karen is passionate about empowering people to acquire skills to reduce stress and suffering, improve life experience and finding joy in everyday moments.

Intro to Self Compassion and Mindfulness

Presented by Karen Bradford

1pm - 2pm  and  7.45pm - 8.30pm
Life can be very overwhelming and chaotic at times and we can begin to experience stress, anxiety, low moods and sleep problems. When we are mindful of our struggles, and respond to ourselves with compassion, kindness, and support in times of difficulty, things can start to change.
In this session we will briefly explore what self-compassion mindfulness is and its relationship to the nervous system and most importantly how we can simply and effectively calm the mind and nervous system.

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Judith McGill

Judith McGill is an Accredited Social Worker, DBT therapist and Clinical Leader for the local counselling service, MyStep to Mental Wellbeing.

 

Judith has a passion for supporting children and young people and over the past 17 years, she has worked with ACON Health, Relationships Australia, Intereach and Community Mental Health providing therapy and case management services.

 

Judith has extensive experience in various therapeutic approaches, supervision and leadership and her work is trauma-informed and person-centred.

Empowering Youth: When to seek help

Presented by Judith McGill

1pm - 2pm  and  7.45pm - 8.30pm

This session will explore typical teen development and will identify when to seek professional support. We will look at useful strategies for managing stress, anxiety and depression and explore the various services and supports available locally.

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Ellie McGrath

Ellie McGrath has been a yoga teacher since 2021 and has been practicing yoga for over a decade. Having battled depression and anxiety for most of her life, Ellie has found that a regular yoga practice has been instrumental in helping her to maintain and improve her mental health on a daily basis. 

 

Ellie now teaches yoga in the hope that others may experience the positive impacts a regular practice can have on their mind, body and life.

 An introduction to the benefits of a regular yoga practice
Presented by Ellie McGrath

2pm - 2.45pm

When we get out of our minds and into our bodies, we gain a greater sense of the emotions flowing within us and how those emotions affect our thought patterns and nervous system.  By mindfully connecting with our bodies and breath we start to become more self-aware and grounded and less reactive to what may happen around us.

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Amy Salmon

Amy Salmon has worked in the Mental Health, substance use and homelessness sectors for 20 years. As a social worker Amy brings an holistic view to her work, recognising the impact of social factors on the lives of individuals. Amy is passionate about improving the lives of those living with mental illness and addiction through increased community understanding and high quality service development. Amy is currently the Team Manager of both the Deniliquin Community Mental Health Service and the MyStep to Mental Wellbeing Program.

Spencer McGill

Spencer McGill

Spencer is a trained Intentional Peer Support worker, using his lived experience of mental ill-health to foster hope, recovery and de-stigmatise living with mental illness. 

Having worked across a variety of roles in the not for profit and public sectors, he has the unique privilege of understanding mental health from both a consumer and provider perspective.

As a Senior Peer Worker with the Murrumbidgee Local Health MyStep to Mental Wellbeing program, he empowers others to make their own decisions for their recovery journey.

Not Just Nervous or Sad

Presented by Amy Salmon and Spencer McGill

2pm - 2.45pm

Anxiety and Depression are the most common mental health issues in our communities. This presentation will focus on how you can spot the signs of these conditions, how you can support yourself and those you care about who are struggling, and when (and how) to access supports.

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Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith is a Weilwan man, living and working on Yorta Yorta Country. Nigel has worked in the fields of Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol for over 20 years, 13 of which have been with Murrumbidgee LHD.

During that time, he has worked in clinical, operational and strategic roles and his current role is Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Services Coordinator for Aboriginal Peoples.

He is passionate about empowering First Nations people to lead a path forward for all people to have a balanced and contemporary understanding of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

First Nations Mental Health and Wellbeing: Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and Clinical Approaches

Presented by Nigel Smith

3pm - 3.45pm

In this presentation, we explore the delicate balance between Western clinical approaches and traditional Aboriginal practices in the context of mental health and wellbeing. Discover the profound connections between culture, spirituality, and healing, and learn how harmonizing these worlds can empower and uplift First Nations communities toward holistic mental wellness.

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Anika Ahmad

Anika is a registered Mental Health Counsellor based in Deniliquin, NSW. In her current capacity, Anika is proud to be associated with MyStep to Mental Wellbeing – a service that extends free therapeutic support to individuals within the MLHD. Beyond her clinical role, Anika finds meaningful expression in voluntary work with the Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Group and is passionate about deconstructing the stigma encompassing mental health. 

Beyond her professional qualifications, Anika’s multicultural background grants her a unique vantage point in building rapport and fostering connections. Having lived across four countries, she has cultivated an adaptability that enriches her interactions and commitment to creating an inclusive and culturally sensitive space for her clients.

Navigating Life's Toughest Moments: Adapting After Loss

Presented by Anika Ahmad

3pm - 3.45pm

In this informative session on grief and loss, we will explore the nature of grief, the various losses we may encounter throughout our lives, helpful strategies for coping with loss, recognising when to access professional support, and where to find the support you need. Join me, in gaining valuable insights into navigating the challenging journey of grief and adjusting to life after a loss.

Partner events

These events are supported as part of the conference, but need to be booked seperately.

Business Breakfast

Deniliquin Business Chamber is hosting a mental health breakfast. 

Mental health is everyone’s business and this breakfast is an opportunity for local business owners to learn simple ways they can reduce stigma and promote awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Wednesday 18 October 7am - 8.30pm

Deniliquin RSL Club - Gallery Room

Cost: Free for chamber members, everyone else $22 per person

Suicide Prevention Training (QPR)

Wellways is running a free 2.5-hour suicide prevention training session the day after the conference. The training encourages conversation, highlights warning signs to look out for and intends to install confidence in anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they may need to utilise these skills.

Thursday 19 October 10am-12.30pm

Deniliquin RSL Club

Cost: free

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Supporters and partners

Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Groups thanks everyone who has helped us present the Mind your mental health Free mental health & wellbeing mini conference.

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