Early Intervention in Psychosis Forum

Join us on 11 December

ONETalk Forums are a partnership initiative between Western Sydney University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Team and Parramatta Mission, lead agency for headspace Mt Druitt, Parramatta, Penrith, and Castle Hill. The Forums aim to support conversations, networking and learning on important community mental health and wellbeing issues.

The first Forum in this series is Early intervention in Psychosis; Past and Present.

What is the Early Intervention in Psychosis Forum about?

Psychosis is a term used to explain a range of symptoms that can affect a young person’s thinking, beliefs, feelings and behaviours. People with psychosis have problems interpreting the world around them which can lead to confusion and high levels of distress for the person and their family.

A first episode of psychosis is most likely to occur in late adolescence or early adulthood. As a result, Psychosis can impact on the person’s study, vocational goals, relationships and normal trajectory. Psychosis can be treated, and most people make a full recovery. Getting help and support early is important to minimise the disruption that psychosis can create in one’s life.

The forum aims to increase awareness and understanding of psychosis in our community. What it is, and how it impacts the lives of our young people. By bringing together expert professionals, young people with a lived experience, and frontline service providers, both from Western Sydney University and our local service providers, together we aim to build the capacity within our community to support young people and students reach their potential.

In addition to supporting mental health literacy and normalising conversations on wellbeing in our community, the Forum aims to further reduce the stigma associated with help seeking by supporting mental health service literacy.

We are excited to be able to bring this opportunity to our students, staff and community members, hoping that the event will both educate and increase awareness of psychosis as a mental disorder; providing attendees with the necessary tools to be advocates for themselves and their peers.

Early Intervention in Psychosis Forum at Western

The Program for the afternoon will include a 45-minute presentation by our key speaker, Dr Beth Spencer. Dr Beth Spencer is a consultant psychiatrist working for hYEPP at Parramatta. In her senior registrar year, Dr Spencer worked for the first early intervention in psychosis service in NSW.  She completed her dissertation for the FRANZCP on the setting up and evaluation of the service. Following that, she spent 2 ½ years as a career medical officer in Birmingham, UK, working with Professor Max Birchwood, a pioneer in the field of first episode psychosis. She returned to Australia to take over the directorship of the Liverpool Hospital Early Psychosis Service and then returned to Birmingham. She greatly enjoyed the next nine years there, working as a consultant psychiatrist with young people with first episode psychosis and with homeless people with mental illness. For the last six years Dr Spencer has been back in Australia, working within the headspace platform at a number of sites, seeing young people with a variety of serious mental health issues including first episode psychosis.

Following the key speakers address, our three guest speakers, including a young person with a lived experience of psychosis, will discuss the impacts of psychosis, the importance of early intervention and support and provide information on the support and services available at Western and in our local communities.

Post the Forum, networking opportunities will be supported with afternoon tea and stalls from Western Sydney University Student Services, headspace Parramatta, and other mental health service headspace consortium partners.

Places are strictly limited. Please consider peers and only register if you can attend.

Forum Details

Location:           Western Sydney University -  Parramatta South Campus.

Building:            Female Orphan School

Date:                  11th of December 2018

Time:                  2:00pm to 4:00pm (registrations open at 1.30pm)

Register Now:    https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/onetalk-forum-early-intervention-in-psychosis-past-present-tickets-52805374296

Please use the password MHWB to register.

Live stream:         https://bit.ly/2DPGWkv


  • For more information on Parramatta Mission please visit, Parramatta Mission Services
  • For more information on headspace, and services relating to psychosis, please visit headspace
  • To learn more about Free, confidential counselling available to all students, please visit the Counselling Service webpage or call 1300 668 370 to make an appointment
  • To learn more about the Employee Assistance Program, please visit EAP
  • For more information on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Month activations at Western, please contact Rowena Saheb, Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Coordinator or Andrea Earl, Mental Health and Wellbeing Student Assistant.
  • For more information on student facing health promotion initiatives on campus please join our students Facebook page: Western Sydney U – Mental Health and Wellbeing