Older Persons’ Mental Health Forum

Older Persons' Mental Health Forum EVENTBRITE

Join us for this older persons’ mental health forum as we discuss topics such as the demographics of the ageing population, mental health status in the older population and services available for older persons’ mental health.

The half day forum will bring together delegates from the primary, acute and not-for-profit sector and aims to;

  • Provide information about the current and projected population health profile of the older people in the north;
  • Enable attendees to learn about older persons mental health issues and better understand the complexities facing the sector;
  • Increase awareness of appropriate health promotion activities and early intervention services for older people with mental illness;
  • Educate attendees about the available services and referral pathways across the care continuum.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Duncan McKeller | Consultant Psychogeriatrician | NAHLN

Dr Duncan McKellar is currently Head of Unit for Older Persons' Mental Health Services in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network. Prior to this, he worked as a consultant old age psychiatrist in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, both at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and in the Eastern Older Persons' Community Mental Health Team.

In 2017, prior to taking up his current position, Duncan was a member of the Oakden Review panel, with the Dr Aaron Groves, SA chief psychiatrist. In this capacity he assisted with the development of the Oakden Report which has prompted to a new era of inquiry and reform across the aged care sector.

In 2014, Duncan was awarded the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age, Scholarly Project prize for his research looking at the experiences of old age psychiatrists working with older people approaching the end-of-life.

He is passionate about improving the mental health and well being of older South Australians and contributing to improved quality and resourcing of services across the aged care sector, particularly relating to older people living with enduring mental illness and with complex presentations of dementia.

Special Guests: Mr Glenn Docherty | Mayor of City of Playford

Presentations by:

Mr Chris BurnsMr Chris Burns | SA Mental Health Commissioner

Chris Burns became the South Australian Mental Health Commissioner in July 2016. An experienced advocate and strategic planner, Commissioner Burns is a former military officer and consultant in defence and international relations. Most recently, he was the CEO of South Australia’s defence industry association successfully campaigning for the Australian Navy’s next fleet of submarines and surface ships to be built in Australia. He has a passion for improving services and ensuring people with lived experience of mental illness, their families and carers are central to the Commission’s work and ongoing mental health reform. Commission Burns is taking a whole-of-person, whole-of-life, whole-of-community and whole-of-government approach to the development of South Australia’s Mental Health Strategic Plan. In leading this key task of the Commission, his focus is firmly on strengthening the mental wellbeing of South Australians.


Professor Reunka VisnathanProfessor Renuka Visvanathan | Director at Aged & Extended Care Services, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A graduate of the University of Adelaide, Professor Visvanathan is a geriatrician and is Director of the Aged & Extended Care Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The clinical team from this service provides for geriatric medicine healthcare in Central Adelaide Local Health Network. The team also provides monthly outreach services to Port Lincoln and Whyalla.

Renuka is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Adelaide where she is the Project Lead for the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Aging, a global network focused on developing new models of care to treat as well as prevent frailty. Additionally, Professor Visvanathan is also the Director of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care Centre (GTRAC).

In 2016, she was a recipient of the Distinguished Member Award from the Australian Association of Gerontology.

Mrs Doris GioffreMrs Doris Gioffre | Manager, Abuse Prevention Program | Aged Rights Advocacy Service

Doris Gioffre is the Manager of the Abuse Prevention Program for Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS), South Australia.  Doris is pro-active and passionate in raising the awareness of issues concerning older people and how they might protect their rights and safeguard their future.  She chairs the Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (APEA) consisting of agencies of “last resort” who are key stakeholders in responding to the abuse and exploitation of older people.  With a background in Social Science, she has worked in the sector for 15 years and sits on many committees and steering groups to ensure that the voice of older people is heard.


GPs, Nurses, Medical Students, University Researchers, Council Members, Social Workers, Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Older Persons’ Health Officers and Community Members

Please contact Sonder on (08) 8209 0700 if you have any questions about this event.


Click to download event flyer

Would you like to exhibit at this event? Complete our stall holder application form

This event is proudly sponsored by the City of Playford & Calvary Central Districts Hospital