Welcome to the third edition of Allied Health Insights™, a weekly newsletter published by HealthWork Publishing in collaboration with AHP Workforce.
This week, we’ll be looking at the allied health professionals who support mental health. AHPs can support mental health directly or indirectly. Whether they’re paramedics, occupational therapists or physiotherapists, all play a role in recognising and identifying mental health conditions and mental health risk.
Those directly supporting mental health range from niche, small workforces such as drama therapists, music therapists and art therapists, through to occupational therapists, dietitians, and speech and language therapists. Whether it’s psychological therapies that rely on the innate qualities of music, the use of non-verbal or sensory therapies to help those with a limited means of expression, helping people recover their independence through a rehabilitation focus, or interventions through drama and story-making, the methodologies used by AHPs to address and support mental health are as fascinating as they are unique.
On the AHP Workforce blog: Our A to Z of Allied Health this week will focus on Music Therapists, covering their work settings and the range of mental health issues they treat; and Dr Olivia King looks at the mental health skills of community-based AHPs in a post-pandemic world. For some people, contact with their health care provider can be the only regular human contact they have. It’s not surprising then, that throughout the pandemic, users of community-based allied health professionals increasingly raised mental health issues, or exhibited symptoms of one or more common mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, and distress). Dr Olivia King looks at AHPs’ community mental health skills both during the pandemic and post-Covid.
Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours List
We’d like to congratulate a number Australian allied health professionals who were acknowledged for their contributions in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours List—all of whom have a ‘supporting mental health’ flavour. (Apologies if we missed some, and for those of you who don’t identify as allied health, we will claim the honour anyway – so welcome).
Dr Margaret Beverley, Victoria—For significant service to community nutritional health, and to tertiary education. (Dietitian)
Emeritus Professor Linda Worral, Seventeen Mile Rocks QLD. For significant service to speech pathology through aphasia research and advocacy. (Speech pathologist)
Professor Donna Sharon Cross, Western Australia—For service to youth mental health and wellbeing. (Health promotion)
Dr Suzanne Hazel Dean, Victoria—For service to clinical psychology, and to community mental health (Psychologist)
Dr Sarah Louise Maguire, New South Wales—For services to clinical psychology and community health. (Psychologist)
Ms Donna Claire Markham, Victoria—For service to health administration. (Occupational therapist)
Ms Anne-Maree Newbold, Victoria—For service to community mental health, and to the disability sector. (Social work)