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TheMHS 2018 Summer Forum

Trauma Matters

Values, Evidence and Responses to Trauma in Mental Health Services

22 - 23 February 2018 

The Mercure Hotel

Sydney, Australia

People using mental health services have very high incidence of trauma including interpersonal abuse and further betrayal by systems and services. Services are increasingly aware of the incidence and effects of trauma.

Even if trauma occurred many years ago – it matters. It matters for the person, their family and the services and institutions they contact.

Trauma leaves an indelible impression in the lives of survivors. Trauma is associated with the development in a person’s life of mental health problems and substance use, as well as major impacts on social, emotional and physical health.

When trauma is unacknowledged and unrecognised, the effects can be magnified.

One of the many lessons from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is the powerful role that institutions and systems can have in recognising, responding and resisting the re-traumatisation of survivors.

TheMHS Summer Forum 2018 explores how mental health services can recognise and respond to trauma and shows the way forward with trauma-informed care and effective, evidence-based responses that promote healing and recovery.

TheMHS Summer Forum will feature examples of good practice and explore the questions:

  • What is the prevalence of trauma amongst people using mental health services?
  • How is the experience of trauma related to the development and exacerbation of mental health problems?
  • How can services recognise the effects of trauma and provide environments that facilitate safe disclosure and establish trauma-informed responses that are accountable to trauma survivors?
  • Can mental health services go beyond being trauma-informed to provide effective, evidence-based treatments?
  • What is the best available evidence to avoid traumatising and re-traumatising all people who have contact with mental health services?

Guest speakers:

Helen Milroy

Helen is currently a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  She is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Winthrop Professor at the University of Western Australia

Indigo Daya

Indigo is a Senior Consumer Advisor at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, an Adjunct Research Fellow at Swinburne University, and author of a popular online blog about trauma, madness and recovery. She has worked in leadership roles across the mental health sector for more than a decade, with a particular focus on trauma-informed practice.