Online event: COVID-19 and the Mental Health of Australians

Event status:

La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society Program has brought together a distinguished panel—Professors Patrick McGorry AO, Michael Kyrios and Jennifer McIntosh AM—to discuss some of the most pressing questions about the coronavirus and the mental health of Australians.

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Date:
Wednesday 21 October 2020 05:00 pm until Wednesday 21 October 2020 06:30 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Lauren Elliott - University Events
events@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Ideas & Society Program
Type of Event:
Alumni; Community Event; Health/wellbeing/lifestyle; Public Lecture; Public
Cost:
Free to register

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During the current COVID-19 crisis, the general public hears on a daily basis from those dealing with the physical health of Australians—the medical specialists, nurses, hospital workers and general practitioners. We hear far less frequently from those concerned with mental health—the psychiatrists and psychologists. For this reason, in our series on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society Program has brought together a distinguished panel—Professors Patrick McGorry AO, Michael Kyrios and Jennifer McIntosh AM—to discuss some of the most pressing questions about the coronavirus and the mental health of Australians.

What do we already know about the impact? What do we not yet understand? In what ways is the pandemic likely to have affected those with serious pre-existing mental health conditions? How far is it likely to have influenced general population levels of anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, loneliness and drug or alcohol dependency? In what ways is it likely that the extended lockdown—of the kind Melbournians have experienced—have added to the mental stresses of the pandemic and indeed to the risks of harming oneself, or others?  Do we have any idea about the impact of the pandemic on the most exposed and vulnerable members of society—the indigenous peoples or asylum seekers with still unresolved status, or the casual workforce?  What of the well-being of our own mental health practitioners, many of whom, even in the best of times, report high rates of depression and anxiety themselves? Looking ahead to COVID normal, what is the mental health advice on recovering from the effects of isolation and restoring well-being? What are the go-to resources, and what additional support from governments and from society are needed?

Speakers:

 Patrick McGorry

Professor Patrick McGorry AO

Professor Patrick McGorry AO is an Irish-born, Australian psychiatrist known world-wide for his work in early intervention and youth mental health, and for mental health innovation, advocacy and reform. He is Executive Director of Orygen and Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, conceived and led the development of headspace, the national youth enhanced primary mental health program, which is now in well over 100 communities nationally, and has played a key advocacy and advisory role to government and health systems. In 2010 Professor McGorry was named Australian of the Year and in 2016 he became the first psychiatrist to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Michael Kyrios

Professor Michael Kyrios

Professor Mike Kyrios is Vice President and Executive Dean at Flinders University in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work and current Director of the Órama Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing. He also maintains honorary positions at various universities (ANU, Melbourne, Swinburne), the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and is a consultant to government bodies and community groups. Mike is a clinical psychologist with expertise focusing on mental health, wellbeing and psychological treatments, including those that are delivered digitally. He has attracted nearly $22 million in research funding and has over 170 publications. Professor Kyrios is also a former President of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and National Chair of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Jennifer McIntosh

Professor Jennifer McIntosh AM

Professor Jennifer McIntosh AM is a clinical psychologist, family therapist, and researcher. Professor McIntosh has specialised in the development of risk assessment methods and interventions to support the relational and mental health of vulnerable families and children. In 2019, she received national recognition for her research, through the award of Member of the Order of Australia, and international recognition as recipient of the AFCC Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award in 2011. Through her work, McIntosh has had a substantial impact on both policy and practice formation in Australian and international Family Law. In 2020, Jennifer joined La Trobe University as the Inaugural Professor of Research at The Bouverie Centre. She is also Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Deakin University, and Fellow of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. This year, Professor McIntosh has conducted original research into the well-being of mental health practitioners with highly vulnerable families working during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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