Out and About with the Chief Psychiatrist – Pilbara

Recently the Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Nathan Gibson and Ms Cate Wray, Consultant, Statutory Authorisations and Approvals  visited the Pilbara Region. Dr Gibson and Ms Wray were accompanied by Dr Roland Main, Director of Psychiatry, WA Country Health Service, and Mr Liam Avery, A/Regional Manager Mental Health.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss the role of the Chief Psychiatrist, the activities being conducted within the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, and to provide the opportunity for staff to raise any issues related to standards of care.

The visit to South Hedland and Karratha Mental Health Services was extremely valuable in terms of seeing and hearing from clinicians and staff what is happening and the challenges of working in regional services.  The Chief Psychiatrist also met with Aboriginal Elders and local Non-Government Organisations in South Hedland, Child Adolescent Mental Health Services and Aboriginal Health Services in Roebourne.

Further visits to regional areas are being planned.

RANZCP New Professional Practice Guidelines for the administering electroconvulsive therapy.

The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has recently published professional practice guidelines that provide practical guidance for psychiatrists prescribing and administering electroconvulsive therapy.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment with a strong evidence base for a number of major depressive disorders and other psychiatric disorders. The purpose of the RANZCP guidelines is to encourage ECT practice that minimised adverse effects and improved outcomes for patients.

Please note that under the Mental Health Act 2014 ECT services and clinicians in Western Australia must have regard to the Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines for the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Western Australia when prescribing and administering ECT. The Chief Psychiatrist Guidelines for the Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy in WA  are currently being updated in line with evidence from research and best practice and ECT Guidelines from other Australian and international jurisdictions and professional bodies, including the RANZCP guidelines.

Practical Guide for Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness

The 2.4 million people who care for those with a mental illness, and those who work with these carers, have been, to a large extent, the unsung heroes in mental health in this country. They will remain the bedrock of the system.This Guide recognises carers are a crucial component of any partnership approach to service delivery. It has been developed to assist staff across service settings in Australia in recognition and support of carers, to enable them to continue in their role as partners in recovery.

To view the Practical Guide click here

A pilot project of the implementation of the Practical Guide for Workings with  Carers of People with a Mental Illness in inpatient and community services  was conducted. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of using the Practical Guide as a tool to make improvements in staff communication with carers of people with mental health issues. Further strategies are suggested that would assist the services to continue to build carer engagement.

To  view the Evaluation Report  click here

Western Australia Branch Symposium 2018 Mental Health Nursing

Joining the Dots. Integration through Collaboration and Coproduction.

When: Friday 27 July 2018

Where: Bentley Technology Park, Bentley

WA Registrations are Open

The Western Australia Branch of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses are hosting a one day Symposium on Friday 27 July 2018. The event will give members and other attendees the opportunity to share and showcase some of the innovative practices and research occurring in Western Australia.

For more information Click here


Dr Nathan Gibson, Chief Psychiatrist, cordially invites all WA psychiatrists, psychiatric registrars and mental health medical officers to the Chief Psychiatrist’s Forum.

The Forum is an opportunity to bring together a group of peers to network and discuss matters of clinical importance to psychiatrists, psychiatric registrars and medical officers working across the breadth of mental health.

Clinical leadership, role and pressure will be key discussion points.

Date:          Thursday 18 October 2018

Time:          09:00 am – 11:00 am


If you are unable to attend, the Chief Psychiatrist will offer  a videoconference discussion forum on Thursday 25 October 2018 from 10.00 am – 12.00 pm

RSVP               11 October 2018

Email:              Reception@ocp.wa.gov.au or Tel: 08 6553 0000

Presentations Hosted by the Chief Psychiatrist

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Presenter: Dr Helen Milroy, Psychiatrist and Commissioner

This presentation provides an overview of the findings of the Royal Commission and an opportunity to have a dialogue with one of the Commissioners.

Date:    Thursday 3 May 2018
Time:    1.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Venue:  WorkZone, Level 1, 1 Nash Street Perth

To book a place for this presentation e-mail training@ocp.wa.gov.au

Mental illness and smoking; can we break the relationship?

Presenter: Francis Mitrou, Program Head – Mental Health and Youth at Telethon Kids Institute; and Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Life Course Centre.

The Telethon Kids Institute are at the international forefront in the understanding of this issue. Join us for a fascinating insight into and discussion around the epidemiology of the critically important and wicked problem of smoking and mental illness.

Date:     Monday 7 May 2018
Time:     10.00 to 12.00pm
Venue:   WorkZone, Level 1, 1 Nash Street Perth

To book a place in this session email training@ocp.wa.gov.au