Monday, November 14, 2011

250 Delegates from over 100 regional and rural towns meet in Ballarat for mental health symposium

Through an impressive line up of key note speakers, the topics covered will analyse what is being done, and what needs to be done to better meet the mental health needs of rural and remote populations. Speakers attending the symposium include Prof Patrick McGorry AO Australian of the Year 2010, Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne as well as local and Dr Norm Barling.

Monday 14 November

250 Delegates from Australia and New Zealand are attending the 2011 Rural Mental Health Symposium this week in Ballarat.  The symposium will examine how mental health professionals prepare themselves, their clients and their communities, to deal more effectively with future negative occurrences in rural and remote areas.  The debate as to whether resources of government, mental health professionals and emergency services could be better utilised will also be tackled.

Dr Norm Barling is a Private Practitioner based in Queensland and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society Colleges of Clinical and Forensic Psychologists.

Dr Barling was a university educator in Psychology for over 36 years, initially at the University of Ballarat, and later as an Associate Professor at Bond University. He continues to pursue his interests in education and professional development by contributing his expertise to the annual International Mental Health Conference. His interest in Rural and Remote Mental Health issues developed during the 23 years he spent at the University of Ballarat and his involvement in their Institute of Regional and Rural Research.

Chair of Ballarat Regional Tourism Stuart Benjamin commented on the importance of Ballarat hosting this event, “with an anticipated 50% of attendees travelling from surrounding areas, interstate and internationally it’s a great opportunity to highlight and build Ballarat’s reputation not only as a conference and event hub but as a quality tourism destination both nationally and abroad.”