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NCAHA Forum - Trauma Informed Care

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Event description

Trauma-informed care: A Workshop for Allied Health Professionals 

Meet our expert speakers and join in the panel discussions. Engage with colleagues to explore the issues and challenges of trauma and learn effective responses for trauma-impacted clients. 

Many of our clients have underlying trauma-related issues, in addition to the condition they have originally sought our help for.  This is particularly the case in the North Coast NSW region where a number of natural disasters over the past few years have placed significant additional pressures on individuals, their families, and in fact whole communities.  Our speakers will explore the themes of trauma in terms of its causes and how it manifests, but will also focus on advice and strategies for allied health professionals to apply in responding to their trauma-impacted clients whilst at the same time striving to achieve their therapeutic goals for these people.  In addition, the forum will acknowledge the challenges for AHPs in dealing with their own challenges arising from working in a context of trauma, and will offer guidance and information on health practitioner self-care.   

Alexandra Howard: Clinical Psychologist with Phoenix Australia, National Centre of Excellence in Post-traumatic Mental Health

Alexandra has more than ten years’ experience working in the field of post-traumatic mental health - as a clinical psychologist, educator and specialist in policy and service development. She has worked with disaster-impacted communities, emergency service and military personnel, and traumatic injury patients, as well the professionals who support them. Alexandra’s particular interests lie in understanding and improving psychosocial outcomes for those impacted by disasters and public health emergencies, with a particular focus on marginalised populations. She has published in the field of post-traumatic mental health, and has presented her work at national and international conferences. Alexandra is employed at Phoenix Australia. For over 25 years Phoenix has been acknowledged as Australia’s National Centre of Excellence in Post-traumatic Mental Health and is an internationally recognised leader in the field, with a mission to understand trauma and renew lives.  

Alexandra will present on the range of impacts of trauma, including disaster, as well as how this might present in clients you are working with. She will include practical information on how you can incorporate trauma-informed principles into your work, including how you can manage trauma disclosure and when to refer on for more specialist trauma support. There will an opportunity for questions, and information on further resources will be provided.

Simone Fitzgerald: Director and Senior Speech Therapist at the Complex Care Collaborative, Port Macquarie 

Simone is a senior speech pathologist who has extensive experience working with families and children from trauma backgrounds. She has worked in paediatric disability and in out-of-home care. She is the owner and director of Complex Care Collaborative, a multidisciplinary practice in Port Macquarie supporting children and families who have experienced trauma. In 2021, in collaboration with other speech pathologists working across Australia in the same area, Simone presented a poster at the Speech Pathology Australia conference outlining the key considerations for therapists working with children in out-of-home care. 

Simone will be presenting on the practical considerations when working with children who have experienced trauma and their families. Topics to be covered include: 

  • Building safety and connection, 
  • Navigating the child protection system, 
  • Goal setting and therapeutic planning.

Dr Melissa Black: Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Research Lead at the Black Dog Institute 

Melissa is the Clinical Research Lead and Clinical Psychologist at Black Dog Institute. She works across clinical research projects focusing on new models of care for specific populations such as healthcare workers and emergency service workers, as well as transdiagnostic treatments for common mental health problems (including depression, anxiety, trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder). She is interested in how to better integrate digital tools with person-to-person therapy. She also works collaboratively with patients in Black Dog Institute Clinical Services, embracing her role as a scientist-practitioner. 

In her presentation, Melissa will cover some of the signs and causes of health professional burnout and stress, as well as strategies to manage them both as an individual and an employee or manager (including the free ‘Navigating Burnout’ program produced by the Black Dog Institute). She will then bring these to life in a discussion of case examples and individual experiences. 

Nicole Edwards - Social Worker & Senior Health Clinician, Joint Child Protection Response Program

Nicole has thirty years experience working as a Social Worker for NSW Health. Her current role is as a Senior Health Clinician in the Joint Child Protection Response Program, a tri-agency team of workers from Health, Police and DCJ who respond to child protection matters with a criminal element. Nicole has also recently held the role of Team Leader, Violence Abuse and Neglect Services, which encompasses sexual assault and child protection counselling. Nicole was a founding member of the MNCLHD Vicarious Trauma Working Party and is a trained facilitator of NSW Health’s Trauma Informed Care Training. Nicole has extensive experience working with clients of all ages who have experienced complex trauma.

Nicole will speak about the foundations of a trauma informed approach, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and their impacts across the lifespan, and strategies for working with clients who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect.

This event is proudly sponsored by the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health



WHEN:  Friday 23 June 9.30am-3pm
WHERE:  Shared Health Research and Education Centre (SHREC) - 
20 Highfields Circuit, Port Macquarie
TICKETS:  $40 NCAHA Members, $60 non-members, Free for students, $20 on-line participation - 
light lunch included


Please note: You may be photographed or filmed for marketing purposes while attending this event. Please advise the organiser if you have questions, concerns, or do not wish this to happen. As an attendee you will be added to the NCAHA mailing list for event correspondence, follow up and upcoming event information.  The option to unsubscribe is available at any time.

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