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Medicines in Mental Health for all Nurses 2017

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000

A 2 Day Seminar: Practical, Mental Health, Treatments



This seminar offers nurses a rare opportunity to develop crucial insights into the appropriate use of medicines for the treatment and management of people with mental health disorders.

It will focus on how they work, their use for a range of disorders including symptom control, and their relative benefits and risks. The program is conducted by specialist pharmacists and is guaranteed to enhance your knowledge and skills of these psychotropic medicines.


Need for Program

Psychotropic medicines are commonly used to treat people with mental health disorders. However, these medicines can have profound side effects and are particularly potent to certain vulnerable groups of the population such as the elderly and young. The number of people with mental health disorders is rising, and these medicines are used increasingly across most health environments in Australia. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses fully understand the nature and the types of medicines used to treat these conditions.

Purpose of Program

The aim of this seminar is to offer nurses a forum to discuss the appropriate use of medicines in the treatment and management of people with mental health disorders.

Your Learning Outcomes
  • Differentiate between different classes of psychotropic medicines and their appropriate use
  • Describe common side effects and adverse reactions associated with the use of psychotropic medicines
  • Explain the physiological reasons why some psychotropic medicines are potentiated in different groups of people
  • Explain in detail the reason why compliance is vitally important for people taking these medicines
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    The Development of Mental Health Medicines

    This fascinating session will look at the history of the development of treatment of mental health disorders using medicines.

    • What happened in the 1950s that altered the approach to treating mental health disorders forever?
    • What are the controversies surrounding the use of medicines in mental health disorders?
    • The impact of brain imaging etc.
    • The role of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)


    Classification of Medicines Used in Psycho-pharmacology

    This session looks at the classifications and types of medicines broadly used in the modern treatment of people with mental health disorders. It will assist you to understand the range available and how they are selected for each individual.

    • What are the broad classifications?
    • Why would certain medicines be used instead of others?
    • How is the form of delivery decided?

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Psychotropic Medicines - Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacodynamics

    The safety and therapeutic benefit of medicines relies on the knowledge of a chain of professionals involved in the process of delivery. This includes nurses who are often at the forefront of administering powerful psychotropic medicines. This session will inform you of fundamental behaviours of psychotropic medicines that you need to know.

    • What are the principles of treatment?
    • How do the medicines act on the brain?
    • How are these medicines absorbed and excreted?
    • What is a half-life and why is this particularly important?
    • What is a therapeutic level and why is this so important for this type of medicines?

    12:15pm - Quiz – Test Your Learning

    12:45pm - Lunch Break


    Medicines Used in Mental Health Disorders: Depression - Session 1

    Antidepressants are commonly prescribed medicines used in modern healthcare. This session will look in more detail at the:

    • Clinical features of depression
    • Pharmacological management, including switching, withdrawal, serotonin syndrome
    • How depression is treated in special populations
    • Treatment resistant depression
    Case Scenario

    2:45pm - Afternoon Tea


    Anxiety Disorders - Session 2

    Anxiety disorders are now recognised as one of the most common problems encountered in Australia today. In this short session we will look at:

    • Classification of anxiety disorders
    • Pharmacological management
    • Problems of benzodiazepine dependence


    Nurses Tool Box

    The use of analgesia in people with anxiety and/or depressive disorder


    Quick Quiz – Test Your Learning

    4:00pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Common Side Effects & Adverse Events

    Some medicines used to treat people with mental health disorders can have profound and devastating effects, e.g. tardive dyskinesia, constipation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease. Includes:

    • What is the difference between a side effect and an adverse event and why does this matter?
    • What common interactions are associated with these medicines?
    • What role does food play?
    • Can a side effect occur when a person has been taking a medicine for a protracted period?
    • Can you just ‘stop’ a medicine?


    Nurses Toolbox Session
    • How to find information about side effects and adverse events
    • Generic versus brand name – is there a problem?

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Medicines for Mental Health Disorders in Special Groups

    Due to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects on different people consideration needs to be given to special groups such as:

    • Older people
    • Children and adolescents
    • Pregnancy and lactation


    Medicines Used in Mental Health Disorders: Psychosis - Session 3

    Antipsychotics are prescribed medicines for people suffering from psychotic disorders. There are special considerations that nurses need to be aware of when working with people taking these medicines. Topics include:

    • Symptoms of schizophrenia and challenges of psychosis
    • What medicines are commonly prescribed?
    • What is the range of delivery mechanisms?
    • Consequences of non-compliance


    Bipolar Disorder - Session 4

    Happy or sad – this disorder can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. Modern medicines can significantly improve outcomes. This session looks at current best-practice use of medicines.

    • How bipolar disorders are classified
    • Role of mood stabilisers (including lithium)
    • Important drug interactions and side effects

    12:45pm - Lunch Break and Networking



    Delirium is a commonly seen acute condition across all areas of health care. It has a relatively high morbidity if not treated. This session looks at the pharmacological causes and treatments of delirium.


    Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

    People with certain mental health disorders are more likely than other individuals to develop metabolic syndrome. In this session we will look at:

    • What is metabolic syndrome?
    • What is the relationship between the use of anti-psychotic medicines and diabetes mellitus?
    • What is the medication management of a person who has diabetes and a mental health disorder?


    Nurses Toolbox Session

    Management of constipation – connection to delirium and anticholinergic effects of antipsychotics and antidepressants

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    ‘Meth’ and its Dangerous Family

    A look at these increasingly commonly abused substances and why they impact on the mental health of a person.

    4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha

    Anne Leversha is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her experience includes Director of Pharmacy at Latrobe Regional Hospital, Traralgon, where she has been a practising clinical pharmacist. She was a member of the Victorian Medicines Advisory Committee and is a Fellow of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and a trained shpaclinCAT (clinical competency assessment) evaluator. She is also the chair of the Australian Clinical Education Preparation Program Management Team, which developed and provides an online program. Anne has presented and conducted seminars and workshops in national and international conferences and forums. She has published on topics including: improving medication safety, with articles on high risk medicines alerts, drug allergy documentation and clinical pharmacist interventions; the rural pharmacy workforce; pharmacists’ contribution to medical education and rural issues in pharmacy education.

    Lyn Billington

    Lyn Billington

    Lyn Billington's extensive career as a pharmacist has included many years working with Gippsland Psychiatric Services and continued with Latrobe Regional Hospital following amalgamation. Currently, Lyn is a consultant pharmacist providing Home Medication Reviews and Residential Medication Management Reviews. She also tutors intern pharmacists at Monash University Parkville, moderates in the Monash Mental Health postgraduate course and lectures on psychopharmacology to fourth year students at the Gippsland Medical School. Lyn has co-authored presentations for conferences presentations Australia.

    Medicines in Mental Health for all Nurses 2017
    Speciality Classification
    Provider Type
    10 hours 30 mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    10 hours 30 mins
    Price Details
    Brisbane City QLD 4000
    Hotel Ibis Brisbane, 27 - 35 Turbot Street
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