10th Trans-Tasman Conference in Community Psychology

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20 April – 23 April 2006

Key media opportunities

How do changes to the mental health system affect mental health service consumers? Do Australian-Muslim adolescents feel like they belong? How can we assist our children in coping with the transition from primary school to high school?

These are some of the topics that will feature at the 10th Trans-Tasman Conference in Community Psychology this week from 20 – 23 April in Sydney.

Themed Less talkin’ more walkin’: Community psychology in practice, the key stories include:

  • Living with mental illness in Australia
    The movement of large numbers of people from psychiatric hospitals in the 1960s changed the face of mental health services in Australia. Forty years on, what are the issues facing people living with mental illness today? How do changes in policy and practice affect their lives?
  • Sex, drugs and rock and roll
    Exploring the rocky road through high school.
  • How important is prevention in the process of recovery from mental illness
    With a growing focus on the need for prevention to be included in mental health strategy, this paper reports on the views of the consumers and carers who were part of a national consultation on the role of relapse prevention in the recovery process for people who have experienced mental illness.
  • Responding to media representations of working class men
    New Zealand media tends to negatively portray working class men as unintelligent, violent and irresponsible. How does this group respond?Do we view Aussie blokes in a similar way?
  • Australian-Muslim adolescents’ identity
    Research by psychologists shows Australian-Muslim identity is a multidimensional concept.
  • Exploring the ‘sense of community’ and well being in urban versus rural Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities
    Carers NSW joined forces with the Epilepsy Association to trial a model of service delivery on epilepsy and seizure management that is culturally appropriate for Aboriginal communities. Involving health and community workers, people with epilepsy, their families and carers, the partnership allowed a unique opportunity for health workers to gain insights into aspects of Aboriginal culture.

Keynote presentations include:

Journeys with young adult mental health consumers: A narrative research project

Hilary Lapsley, Mental Health Commission, New Zealand; Heather Barnett, NZ Mental Health Commission; Shona Clarke, National Youth Consumer Advisor Project, Werry Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Workforce Development, NZ.

Knowing where you are walking: The benefits and hazards of using theoretical roadmaps to guide practice

Grace Pretty, Associate Professor, University of Southern Queensland

For further information on any of the outlined stories, please contact Heather Gridley on 0419 113 731 or Meg Smith on 0411 030 256.

About Community psychologists

Community psychologists have specific training and experience in understanding and supporting the needs of people in their communities. They focus less on ‘problems’ and more on the strengths and competencies of community members. They value human differences and are committed to core principles of flexibility, equity and respect for cultural diversity in meeting the needs of different communities.

Community psychologists work in partnership with people, groups and organisations to achieve the goals and aspirations of their community or social groups and to prevent or reduce individual and community problems.