CES Mental Health Forums
A continuation of our 2009 series of social inclusion forums

Bookmarks for this Page
Forum 4: David Crosbie Kat Szukalska
Forum 5: Prof Ian Webster Deb Wybron


The following articles/sites are offered as an  introduction to the complexities of mental health and mental health issues.


Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health

AeJAMH is a forum for advancing promotion, prevention and early intervention (PPEI) approaches to mental health. It is a peer reviewed, online, open access journal. Volume 8, Issue 1, April 2009 is the current issue. To see the index of downloadable articles from this issue please click here.


Auseinetter is the newsletter of The Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health (Auseinet). This newsletter is distributed three times annually. The site also provides a range of fact sheets on mental health issues. For example "What is mental health promotion for consumers and carers"

Response Ability

Response Ability aims to support the tertiary education of selected professionals, to better prepare them for roles in mental health promotion and suicide prevention, or in raising awareness about these issues. (The name Response Ability derives from the concept of helping people to develop the ability to respond to certain situations they will encounter in their professional roles.)

Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia

As the peak body representing the interests of the alcohol and other drug sector nationally, ADCA has a key role in advocating for adequate infrastructure support and funding for the delivery of evidence-based alcohol and other drug initiatives. Their site has a range of Policy papers. For example - Comorbidity:  (a term that refers to the coexistence of a mental health problem with some form of substance use).



04 September 2009

The Canberra Times reported "The ACT Government has issued a new mental health plan for the territory and set up an expert council to advise Health Minister Katy Gallagher on the topic." The Mental Health Services Plan can be viewed/downloaded here.


ponders on his pollen pillow is a book written by Peter Day shedding some light on the plight of people overwhelmed by mental illness and homelessness. (more info or to buy)

 A dream of Fr Peter Day was achieved on July 1 with the opening by patron and former Governor-General Sir William Deane of HOME in Queanbeyan, a home for 18 men and women with mental illness


Mental Illness affects 7 out of 10 Australians - "Susan's story - Keeping minds well" - Wesley Mission



Not so good news for those with a co-morbid psychiatric and substance disorder - A double whammy that keeps filling jails - SMH




Forum 4:  (CES's 1st forum on Mental Health)

"Access to Mental Health Care: There're people to help you out but not many to stop you falling in."

This forum was held on 30 April 2009


David CrosbieDavid Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Council of Australia


As CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, Mr Crosbie leads a peak national organisation that is driving mental health reform across Australia and actively advocating the interests of a broad range of members and stakeholders including professional groups, consumers, carers and service providers.


Among other appointments, Mr Crosbie is a Member of the National Mental Health Standing Committee and the National Expert Advisory Panel on Drugs. He is a Board Director of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, and Nonprofit Australia.


For the seven years prior to his current appointment, Mr Crosbie was the CEO of Odyssey House Victoria, one of Australia’s leading drug treatment agencies employing over 100 staff. For most of the nineties, David was CEO of ADCA, the peak body for the alcohol and other drugs field. In the last 15 years, Mr Crosbie has written over 100 articles, presented more than 100 papers, and conducted over 500 media interviews. He has a strong commitment to the role of community-based organisations, and is one of Australia’s leading advocates for reform in the way the community responds to alcohol and drug use, mental health and social disadvantage.


During his address, David Crosbie made the following points:

He observed that in the sphere of mental health, Australia is very good at writing policy statements that require no-one anywhere to do anything for anyone.  A copy of some of the slides used by David Crosbie are available to view/download.

 closed door         

Kat Szukalska, Coordinator CYCLOPSACT, Litmus Program of Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn & Youth in the City. Ms Szukalska gave a snapshot of the many difficulties that young carers face in looking after parents and others with mental illness .


Litmus Program:

Litmus supports young carers looking after a parent, parents with a mental illness and other family members. It understands that mental illness can impact all members of a family by offering tailored case management for both individuals and families as a whole. (more information)


Canberra Times 'Litany of failings' in mental health system By Danielle Cronin, Health Reporter.



Due to technical difficulties, the CES was unable to record the address given by David Crosbie or Kat Szukalska. Consequently no downloads are available. The CES wishes to apologies to both David and Kat as well as our members and site visitors.


Forum 5:  (our 2nd forum on Mental Health)

"Mental disorder plus addiction: I can't fit in anywhere"

(dual diagnosis, the co-existence of a mental health problem with some form of substance use)

This forum was held on 3 June 2009


Prof Ian WebsterProfessor Ian Webster AO, is a physician and Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine of the University of New South Wales and Patron of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia. He has held senior appointments in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales and appointments at Monash, Sheffield and Sydney Universities.
He is Chair of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention, the NSW Expert Advisory Group on Drugs and Alcohol, Chair of the Governing Council of the Ted Noffs Foundation, a member of the Australian National Council on Drugs, and Chair of the Centres for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of New South Wales.
He has held appointments as physician at Liverpool Hospital, St George and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals, as Director of Population Health in the South Western Sydney Area Health Service and as a Board Director of the Illawarra, Southern Sydney and South Western Sydney Area Health Services. He was a member of the Review of Health Services in NSW in 1999–2000.
Since 1976 he has been honorary visiting physician to St Vincent de Paul Society’s Matthew Talbot Hostel for the Homeless in Woolloomooloo. He is also a Consultant Physician in the South Western Sydney and Shoalhaven areas.. He has researched and published in medicine, community and public health, alcohol and other drug problems, mental health and social issues



Deb Wybron, Convenor, ACT Women and Prison Group  


From a very young age Deb Wybron used alcohol and drugs to numb her pain, which led her to be institutionalized as one of the 'Forgotten Australians'. Years on, an ACT women's service and many other women within the Community Sector of ACT supported Deb through her mental health, drug and alcohol issues. In this time Deb has achieved an Advanced Diploma in Community Development, a Diploma in Alcohol and Other Drugs and moved on to finalize a Bachelors Degree in Social Work.



The audio recordings for this forum are now available from our download page.