Older Persons' Mental Health Service: Team


Older Persons' Mental Health Community Service: (02) 9382 3759 
Older Persons' Mental Health Inpatient Unit: (02) 9382 3796

Clinical Manager
Daniella Kanareck

A/Nurse Unit Manager - Euroa Ward
Michelle Leahy

Administrative Staff:
Michele DePermentier:  (02) 9382 3748
Alana Birtles: (02) 9382 3759

Fax:  (02) 9382 3762 

Email:  SESLHD-POW-OlderPersonsMentalHealth@health.nsw.gov.au

An Old Age Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised in psychiatry then further sub-specialised in old age psychiatry.

The Old Age Psychiatrists provide administrative and professional leadership of the service, and integrate the medical, psychiatric, psychological and social aspects of the patient's assessment and management. Their roles are important in all aspects of the service in-patient, community, outpatient and consultation-liaison. They also head the research department and undertake a wide range of teaching and academic activities, advice on policy at state and national levels, and provide leadership to the profession.

Adj.Assoc Prof Chanaka Wijeratne (Clinical Lead)

Dr Katherine Mullin

Dr Alison Crawford

Dr Lauren Taylor

Professor (Conjoint) Brian Draper


The Nurse Unit Manager is  the registered nurse in charge of the ward and is responsible for the coordination of patient services and unit management.

Michelle Leahy

The Assertive Outreach Clinician provide consultancy, clinical coordination, advice and assessment to clients experiencing acute or complex mental health concerns.

Karen Lazarus

Registered and Enrolled Nurses

The mental health nurse's primary focus is to work alongside consumers and their families to overcome the symptoms of their illness and continue their personal recovery. 

Community Mental Health Nurses

The community nursing service assists older people to stay in their homes for as long as possible. They help to prevent admissions, enable earlier discharges of patients from hospital and reduce re-admissions rates.

Helen McIntosh (CNC)

Sean Concannon (CNC)

Michelle Leahy (CNS)

Joanne Ashby (RN)

Noreen Myers (RN)



The Diversional Therapist encourages participation in recreational activities, which builds on lifelong interests, and provides new challenges and intellectual/physical stimulation. Activities are carried out with individual consumers and in groups in the Euroa ward. 

The aims of Diversional Therapy include:

  • Providing person centred care
  • Proving diversion and enjoyment
  • Providing a medium for social interaction
  • Assist in maintaining skills
  • Promoting self-esteem
  • Promoting a positive environment
  • Promoting physical activity

Julie Sleeman 

The Occupational Therapist (OT) provides a range of individualised services depending on the patient's diagnosis and needs. Patient skills are assessed across a range of functional tasks including basic self care, home management, and community living skills, such as shopping and mobility.

Strategies and/or equipment to help the patient to live in the community may be recommended. Families and caregivers are provided with information, recommendations, and support with practical aspects of implementing advice and strategies to compensate for memory and other cognitive impairments.

In-patients may be followed up after discharge to assist with the transition from hospital to home and to help ensure that goals set in hospital can be met.

Natalie Narunsky

Linda Lu


The Psychologists provide appropriate psychological assessment, formulation, and intervention for inpatients, outpatients and residents of Residential Aged Care Facilities. 

A psychologist is assigned to the BASIS position (Behavioural Assessment and Intervention Service). The aim of the service is to assist in the management of complex cases of challenging behaviour.

Dr Arielle Taylor

Dr Emily Connaughton

Alexander Svenson

Samantha Joplin


The Social Workers provide the following services for inpatients and community consumers; and their families/carers:

  • Psychosocial assessments and discharge planning
  • Psychosocial support, education and counselling.
  • Assistance with My Aged Care applications for services and residential care
  • Support for families and carers, including education about mental illness; treatments and community services
  • Liaison with community aged care services
  • Formulating case management plans
  • Crisis intervention
  • Writing reports for the Guardianship Tribunal and as required in accordance with the Mental Health Act
  • Assessment and support for patients and their families attending the Memory Disorders Clinic

Daniella Kanareck

Gina Solomon

Tanya Jochelson


The Welfare Officer provides the following services for in-patients and community patients and their families:

  • Support and practical assistance to patients and their carers
  • A vital link between the hospital and the broader community in order to facilitate the patients highest possible level of independence and where possible, to enable patients to live independently in their own homes
  • Advising patients and carers of appropriate resources and entitlements within the community and linking them with services and facilities
  • Assistance with My Aged Care applications for services and residential care
  • Where appropriate, arranging respite care or admissions to hostels and nursing homes

Peace Mukorera