SESLHD Older Persons Mental Health Working Group

Terms of Reference

To advocate for improved service options for people over 65 with a mental illness (excluding people with a primary diagnosis of dementia) by focusing on:

  • Advocating for older people with mental illness at local and policy level.

  • Developing and improving partnerships between community aged care and mental health services.

  • Creating opportunities for community awareness about older person's mental health within a recovery framework.

Contact details

SESLHD Older Persons Mental Health Working Group



A joint initiative of the SESLHD Older Persons Mental Health Working Group and Randwick City Council. 

The forum explored relationships, legal issues, abuse of older persons, domestic violence, managing stress and self-care.

Staff from Aged care Psychiatry (POW) and Randwick council with the OWN Theatre Group2.jpg


Older Women's Network Theatre Group (OWN) performance of Don't Knock Your Granny
Christine Mattey (Senior Consultant, Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit)
Abuse of Older People
Nalika Padmasena (Solicitor, Seniors Rights Service) 
Planning ahead and financial pitfalls
Vicki Johnston (Manager, The Deli Women & Children's Centre)
Domestic Violence in late life
Leonie Puckeridge (Carer Support Service)
Challenges of caring for our partners and ourselves as we age


Staff from Older Persons' Mental Health Service (Prince of Wales Hospital) and Randwick City Council with performers from the OWN Theatre Group



Enis Jusufspahic (HACC Development Officer Eastern Sydney Inner Sydney Regional Council),

Daniella Kanareck (Social Worker Aged Care Psychiatry Service/Memory Disorders Clinic, POW) and

NSW Minister for Mental Health, Pru Goward, at NSW Parliament House on 1st October 2015.

As cross-sector collaboration between a number of organisations, The Older Persons Mental Health Working Group (OPHMWG) has commendably promoted equitable and accessible levels of service and care coordination for older people with a mental illness. Since 2011, OPHMWG has informed government policy, encouraged local service partnerships between aged care and mental health services, developed an easily-accessible directory of local community services and organised a range of educational forums focusing on the mental health needs of older people. Overall, OPHMWG has provided greater attention and awareness around older people?s mental health, better meeting the needs of a uniquely vulnerable sector of the Australian population.

Recognising and responding to the mental health needs of older people living in the community.
A forum for aged care and mental health community workers and anyone caring for an older person with mental health concerns

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Dr Ann Hodge (Service Director, Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Services), Judy Nicholas, Dr Lisa Pont,
Enis Jusufspahic, Cathy Ebert and A/Professor Janine Stevenson

Opening Address by Dr Ann Hodge, Service Director, Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Services
Guest presentation
- Judy Nicholas (re.mind, Mental Health Training) shared her lived experience of mental illness
Identifying and developing strategies to reduce depression and anxiety in the older person presented by Cathy Ebert, Clinical Psychologist, Aged Care Psychiatry Services   Click here to view presentation
Understanding and identifying risks of polypharmacy for the older person with a mental illness presented by Dr Lisa Pont, Pharmacist/Senior Research Fellow, Macquarie University   Click here to view presentation
Managing the challenges of providing care to older persons with personality disorders in order to sustain care presented by A/Professor Janine Stevenson, Geriatric Psychiatrist, University of Sydney    Click here to view presentation
Social isolation and its impact on mental health and wellbeing of older people presented by Enis Jusufspahic, HACC Development Officer, Eastern Sydney Inner Sydney Regional Council   Click here to view presentation

Forming service partnerships to promote healthy outcomes for older people

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Prof Brian Draper (Director Aged Care Psychiatry Services) , Karen Lazarus (Social Worker ACPS),
Dr Ann Hodge (Service Manager ESMHS), Suzanne Williams (beyond maturityblues),
Helen McIntosh (CNC Aged Care Psychiatry Services), Linda McAuley (Welfare Officer Aged Care Psychiatry Services),
Daniella Kanareck (Social Worker ACPS) and Eliza Baume (Occupational Therapist ACPS)

Older People with Mental Illness presented by Professor Brian Draper, Director, Aged Care Psychiatry Service, POWH   Click here to view presentation
Beyond maturityblues presented by Suzanne Williams, Volunteer Development Officer, COTA NSW   Click here to view presentation
Aged Care Psychiatry Service presented by Helen McIntosh, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Aged Care Psychiatry Service, and POWH  Click here to view presentation

Mental Health and Aged Care Forum - THUMBNAIL and photo 1-2 copy.jpg

Prof Ian Hickie, Prof Henry Brodaty, A/Prof Beth Kotze (Director Mental Health Services SESLHD),
The Hon. Kevin Humphries (NSW Minister for Mental Health), Prof Brian Draper, Dr Kate Jackson (Manager MHDAO) and Terry Clout (CE SESLHD)

Channel 10 News coverage >>> view

The Mental Health Blueprint:  Relevance for Older People with Mental Illness presented by Professor Ian Hickie, Executive Director, Brain and Mind Research Institute   Click here to view presentation
Profile of Older People with Mental Illness: Myths and Perceptions presented by Professor Brian Draper, Aged Care Psychiatry Services, POWH   Click here to view presentation
NSW Older People's Mental Health Policy and Program Context presented by Dr Kate Jackson, Manager, Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office Older People's Mental Health Policy Unit, NSW Health   Click here to view presentation
On Their Terms: Recovery Focused Care for Older People presented by Wies Schuiringa, Personal Helpers and Mentors, Benevolent Society
The Need for Flexible Models of Care for Older People with Mental Illness presented by Sheryl Plunkett , Manager, Anglican Retirement Village  Click here to view presentation
Further details on