The Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) has successfully undertaken an ambitious project designed to promote interdisciplinary networking. To date, much of its effort has involved rolling out interdisciplinary workshops across the country. It ran almost 1,200 initial workshops (30% in rural areas)from March 2009 to July 2010, yielding 14,993 attendances by 11,930 unique individuals from a range of professional groups. Workshop participants were positive about the delivery and content of the workshops. MHPN has recently moved into its sustainability phase which focuses on generating ongoing networks of interdisciplinary mental health professionals from the workshops. Its efforts have resulted in the early emergence of a substantial number of local networks, with 938 of MHPN’s 1,156 workshops resulting in the formation of 705 ongoing networks (81% of all workshops, 79% of urban workshops, 86% of rural workshops). Further support will be needed for these networks to reach their full potential in terms of improving collaborative care and consumer outcomes. MHPN will need to be clear about the purpose of these networks, and communicate this vision to mental health professionals in general and network members in particular. MHPN will also need to provide guidance about what a sustainable network might look like, bearing in mind that different networking models may be appropriate in different locations or for different mixes of professional groups. In addition, MHPN will need to be clear about the level of support it can and should offer. The initial workshops acted as a catalyst to the formation of networks, and resources like the web portal are proving invaluable. MHPN will definitely need to continue to provide leadership and input, but a careful balance will need to be struck if the emerging networks are to become self-sustaining.
|Place of Publication||Melbourne, Australia|
|Publisher||University of Melbourne|
|Number of pages||119|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2010|