Alongside Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference

The Alongside Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference explores transformative approaches to providing support and care to anyone experiencing mental ill health, and raises awareness of the assistance available in the community. This conference will not only benefit mental health professionals, but also friends, family members, colleagues, support workers, teachers and teacher assistants, pastors and church-goers, carers, and anyone acquainted with someone experiencing a mental health challenge.  

You will gain confidence in how to engage with those experiencing mental ill health, or a mental health crisis, and be equipped with skills and strategies to walk the journey with them.

This two day conference brings together evidence based content from thought leaders in mental health including: Dr Angelo Diedricks, Psychiatrist and Wendy French, Master Instructor for Mental Health First Aid. 

"Mental health problems are diverse, can be complex and navigating treatment options can often be intimidating. " Dr Angelo Diedricks.

“Discover the power of recognising the signs that someone may be struggling with a mental health issue and providing support to those in need.”  Wendy French. 

Register now. Early Bird Registration closes 13 October 2023. 

This conference is supported by Olive Road.

Alongside Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference


Keynote Speaker - Dr Angelo Diedricks Consultant Psychiatrist, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital & Health Service.

Angelo has worked in the field of psychiatry for 30 years. He trained and started his career in South Africa and has also worked as a Psychiatrist in England, and for the last 19 years in Cairns, Australia. Angelo holds specialist qualifications in Psychiatry in South Africa and Australia. 

Angelo's special interest areas are Psychiatry for Older Adults, Ethics and Pastoral Care and in addition to his clinical work in these areas, he has provided education for trainee psychiatrists, nurses, allied health professionals and people without a clinical background. In addition to his work as a Psychiatrist, Angelo chairs a Human Research Ethics Committee, is a member of a Clinical Ethics Forum and an ordained Minister of Religion.

Guest Speaker - Wendy French, Managing Consultant, Talking about … Training.

Wendy is a Master Instructor of Mental Health First Aid and has presented Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Suicide Bereavement training in various communities around Australia and has spoken and presented at various National and International conferences and forums.  

Wendy was involved in community consultations for the Tasmanian Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies (2015); and the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Workforce Development Plan (2015). 

“Discover the power of recognising the signs that someone may be struggling with a mental health issue and providing support to those in need.” Wendy French, Talking About ... Training.

Speaker - Stephen Hill, Operations Manager, Emergency Relief and Housing City Mission Launceston.

Stephen has worked at City Mission for over 18 years in Emergency Relief and Housing and Drug and Alcohol support services. Stephen looks for the potential in others, however slight that may appear and explore ways to cultivate it. Small steps are still steps. Value the individual whether they are a person on a team, a person seeking support or a person from another service or department we work alongside. 

"I think about what’s happening right now and tend to not get caught up in what may happen in the future. Keeping things simple and straight forward where everyone has an opportunity to contribute. 

Stephen tries to notice the little details, even in the midst of a busy moment. A destination is a good place to get to, but it can be even more so if the journey has delights that can be discovered. "I enjoy the company of people, although I prefer to listen to others’ experiences than tell my own.

Speaker - Kate Oliver Training and Development Coordinator, Inside Out 4 Kids. 

Kate has been with City Mission Children’s Services since 2017 and is passionate about the power of early wellbeing programs. Kate holds a B.Ed Hons from UTAS and a Master of Arts from Sydney College of Divinity. She is a firm believer in the potential of safe adults to provide emotional support for children within our own communities. 

Kate experiences on a weekly basis the transformative power of simple, non-clinical interventions that can help children navigate big life challenges. 


Day One 

  • Session 1: Keynote Speaker - Mental Illness - Taming the Monster

Mental health problems are diverse, can be complex and navigating treatment options can often be intimidating. This broad overview of some of the major mental illnesses, symptoms and implications for treatment will attempt to demystify some of this broad subject, to discuss some of the principles of treatment for mental illness and to debunk some of the myths. 

  • Session 2: Seeing the Signs

Discover the power of recognising the signs that someone may be struggling with a mental health issue and providing support to those in need.

  • Session 3: The Impact of Crisis/Homelessness on Mental Health

Living in crisis, with a place to call home or not, impacts people and influences their behaviour. This session will focus on developing an awareness and understanding of the actions we can take to help or further harm the health and well-being of a person experiencing desperate and challenging times. 

  • Session 4: Keynote Speaker - Mental Health, Wellbeing and Self-Care

Attaining optimal mental health is not based entirely on medications and specialised therapies. Choices we make about relationships, lifestyle and activities all have some degree of influence on mental health. Aiming for good quality mental health starts here. This session will explore some of these elements as well as other treatment strategies.

Day Two 

  • Session 1:  Keynote Speaker - Ageing and Mental Health

Mental health issues shift over the lifespan and other (non-mental health) health issues can have an influence on mental illness and its treatment. There are also key elements in lifestyle which influence the risk of mental health and cognitive problems in later years. Addressing these well before we reach our later years is an important aspect of mental health care. We will explore mental health, cognitive issues and useful strategies for healthy ageing.

  • Session 2: Having the Conversation

Learn about the easy to remember A.L.L. tool, a simple and effective way to have caring conversations and address the risk of suicide to ensure people receive the right support, creating a safer more supportive community.

  • Session 3: The Impact of Family Breakdown on Mental Health

Exploring how family divorce and separation presents as a grief event and can result in continuous change and ongoing challenge. Offering encouragement as to how adults in caring roles can support this grief journey and make a difference to young people utilising non-clinical interventions.

  • Session 4: Keynote Speaker - Supporting Those with Mental Health Problems

Working with people who are dealing with mental health challenges can be complex and overwhelming. How we approach supporting them to provide good quality input, stay fresh in the process and take care of our own mental and physical health while doing so are all important elements to attend to. We will explore some practical strategies which can be helpful to those working with people with mental health challenges both in providing support and crucial self-care.

Conference Registration

Ticket Type                                            Rate

Early Bird                                                  $195  (Closes 13 October 2023)

General admission                                  $295

Students / Concession / Volunteers     $  85

The discounted price of $85 for students, volunteers and concession card holders is applied at checkout. Please email with proof of eligibility and you will receive a promo code to use through Eventbrite. Tickets at this price are limited, so please register soon.

The conference price includes morning teas, fresh lunches and beverages on both days. 

A barrista coffee van will be on site.

Please note all prices are shown in Australian dollars

Register Here

Evening Events

Most of us know someone who has experienced or is experiencing mental ill health or has been diagnosed with a mental illness. How should the church respond to a mental health diagnosis and how does the church remain relevant in a culture with increasing mental health challenges? How can we best love and support those in our communities with mental illness?

Please join us for two evenings of worship, challenge and inspiration as Pastor Angelo Diedricks shares from the Word of God on the topic of: The Church’s Response to Mental Health.

When: Thursday and Friday, 7pm to 9pm

Please book here: Evening Events Link

Tickets are FREE and a ticket is required for each night event.

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