Past Conferences

The ACMHNs Annual International Mental Health Nursing Conference

Each year the ACMHN hosts an International Mental Health Nursing Conference - with the venue and location rotating around the states according to a 'bidding' process similar to the Olympics!

This is the College's major event for the year and encompases the:

  • Oration and Investiture - this is the formal part of the conference where new members and Fellows are invested into the College by the President and in front of the Board of Directors.
  • Welcome drinks where members and non-members, delegates and presenters all come together to celebrate the opening of the premier annual event for the profession in Australia.
  • A range of national and international keynote presenters, local speakers - clinicians, researchers, consumers and others.
  • The Eli-Lilly Partnerships in Wellbeing gala dinner and a range of other social events.
  • Book launches, product launches, promotional events.
  • Research Award, Stan Alchin Award, Poster Award.


Click on the image below to check out all the action from past International Conferences





Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Symposium 2016

A collaboration between the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses & Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia

Click here for a copy of the program.



The Primary Mental Health Care Conference

Each year, the ACMHN hosts a Conference in Canberra focussing on primary mental health care. This two day Conference provides delegates the opportunity to collaborate, learn and network.

Click on the links below to see information from Primary Mental Health Care Conferences.

2016 Canberra 'Envisaging Primary Health Care through Mental Health Nursing'

2015 Canberra 'Primary Mental Health Care in the Digital Age' 

2014 Canberra 'Physical and Mental Health: a two way street for health professionals'

2013 Canberra 'Primary Mental Health Care: Working Together for a Better Future'

2012 Canberra 'Mental Health Nursing in Primary Care: Putting the Pieces Together'



Primary Mental Health Care Conference 2016

Envisaging primary health care through mental health nursing

For too long, the focus of primary health care has been solely on GPs and GP practices. The Commonwealth Government mental health reforms are focusing on building the primary health sector to better respond to mental health needs of the community.

This conference aims to explore the many ways that mental health nurses working in primary care and community settings contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of the nation.

Envisaging primary care through mental health nursing offers us the opportunity to consider new and emerging mental health nursing practice, models of care and the issues that are impacting on our current practice.

The conference will consider the reform agenda and the interface between primary care and the public hospital system and is held in partnership with the ACMHN Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Special Interest Group.

Click here for a copy of the program.


Primary Mental Health Care Conference 2014

Physical and Mental Health: a two way street for health professionals

In 2014, the Primary Mental Health Care Conference will focus on the provision of health care that truly integrates physical and mental health and the ways in which this can be achieved in primary health care. The World Health Organisation tenet, "no health without mental health", recognises the interrelationship between physical and mental health. This is indeed a two-way street.

People living with mental illness have significantly poorer physical health than the general population. Recent research revealed clients of public mental health services die on average 25 years earlier than the general public. The prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, smoking and substance abuse problems are reported as significantly increased in people with severe mental illness.

Chronic physical health conditions increase the risk of mental illness while poor mental health is known to increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. The presence of comorbid physical illness and mental health issues not only influences whether people seek help, diagnosis and treatment, it also impacts upon recovery. On both sides of the street, health professionals are facing the challenge of providing holistic primary health care.

Click here for a copy of the program

Conference photos

Click here to check out photos from the two day event





Primary Mental Health Care Conference 2013

Primary Mental Health Care: Working Together for a Better Future

Collaborative practice in primary care involves the communication, sharing, and problem solving between nurses, doctors and the multi-disciplinary team as peers. This pattern of practice also implies a shared responsibility and accountability for patient care.

Partnership, team work, and cooperation are all essential to ensure effective collaboration. Nurses have long held a role of collaborator and coordinator within the multi-disciplinary team, reforms in primary health care will require us to strengthen and promote good collaborative practice.

At this conference we will be working together to explore the barriers and enablers to effective collaborative practice. There will be presentations that look at therapeutic interventions, case studies of collaborations, primary mental health reforms and the role of the mental health nurse in the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program.

The conference will consider collaborations through many dimensions:

  • With consumers and carers
  • Between primary mental health care services and community services
  • Between health professionals
  • Between primary mental health care and other parts of the health system.

Conference program

Conference photos




Primary Mental Health Care Conference 2012

Mental Health Nursing in Primary Care: Putting the Pieces Together


Rydges Lakeside Canberra, Friday 16 & Saturday 17 March 2012


Mental Health Nursing in Primary Care: putting the pieces together focussed on how nursing services are playing an integral role in primary mental health care by drawing on the traditional strength of nursing care whilst also working in innovative ways. It showcased the ways nurses are delivering holistic and consumer centred services to their communities: through social enterprises and diverse funding arrangements, in partnerships with social and community services, within multidisciplinary teams.

With the advent of primary mental health care programs such as the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program and Medicare rebates for consultations with Nurse Practitioners, mental health nursing services are being delivered in primary care. They are putting together the pieces with consumers, their families, health professionals and other service providers to deliver outcomes for their communities. This conference is a major networking and professional development opportunity for all nurses with an interest in primary mental health care.

At this Conference, presentations explored how mental health nurses are putting the pieces together:

  • within social enterprises and non-health organisations
  • working in partnerships and collaborations to deliver integrated services
  • capitalising on developments in the primary mental health care landscape, and
  • blending traditional nursing approaches with innovative service delivery targeting hard to reach populations.


Conference 2012 Highlights



Download a copy of the conference program



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