Mind The Gap: Professional Development

A course for health professionals addressing mental health and psychological distress for people living with advanced chronic and terminal illnesses in the last year of life

AmaranthThis Professional Development course will support and enhance the skills and knowledge required by health care professionals
across a variety of health care settings, to effectively acknowledge and respond to the complex mental health needs and psychological issues of people living with an advanced chronic and terminal illness,  and that of their family and caregivers as they approach the last year of life.

Health care professionals, especially allied health workers and Social Workers, encounter people living with the impacts of advanced chronic and terminal illness or their families and loved ones. Knowing how to screen and assess for psychological distress or mental health issues and then having access to evidence based therapeutic skills and knowledge to respond appropriately and in a timely, patient centered manner can impact positively on the individual’s quality of life and that of their loved ones.

Responding to the complex mental health and psychological needs of people living with an advanced chronic and terminal illness and that of their family and caregivers, requires specialist skills and knowledge. Evidence shows that traditional mental health responses alone are generally not effective at this stage of life and many clinicians indicate that they feel ill equipped to respond in an effective and appropriate way.

This course helps you develop the competency and confidence to:

  • work with people over all life stages, including children, young people and the elderly,  with advanced chronic and terminal illness to develop effective responses to meet their mental health concerns  and issues;
  • understand the impact disease trajectories have on mental health and therefore understand individual responses and behaviours;
  • screen and assess psychological and mental health problems; plan appropriate evidence based therapeutic  responses and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions; and
  • practice in a collaborative integrative, transdisciplinary environment.

Learning Objectives
At the completion of this course, you will:

  • Appreciate the impact the “treatment gap” has on the lives of people with advanced chronic and terminal illness, and that of their loved ones;
  • Understand the meaning people with advanced chronic and terminal illness ascribe to their symptoms, the psychological issues they face and the impact this has on their quality of life;
  • Be able to demonstrate a level of competency required to plan and facilitate the delivery of mental health interventions that are timely, appropriate and effective, and that address the deeper existential level of the patient’s life and that of their family members and loved ones;
  • Recognize the benefits and challenges of being part of a transdisciplinary team delivering patient-centred person-focused care to the Unit of Care.

Dates & Locations
Activity will be presented in more than one location, on a monthly basis, commencing  August 2016.

15 Hours.

Cost to Participants
No cost to participants – this course is funded under the Chronic Disease and Palliative Care Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Health for the next 12 months.

Registration Details
You can register for this course by first registering on this website by clicking on the button below. Other information will also be  advertised nationally through professional groups.

Interested health care professionals can ring 1800 701 022 for registration or email: julianne.whyte@amaranth.org.au

Register   See Courses Available 


559376_3275173156638_1971817996_nJulianne Whyte

Julianne Whyte is the CEO and founder of the Amaranth Foundation – a Foundation, based in Corowa, that was established in 2009 to provide psychological interventions and psychosocial support to people, their family and carers living with a life limiting or serious advanced illness. Amaranth also provides therapy and support for people living with the effects of grief, loss and trauma utilising a social work life course and narrative approach.

Julianne has worked extensively in both Melbourne and in the Riverina as a Social Worker and Nurse for the past 35 years. She is now an accredited Mental Health Social Worker and Research Fellow with Charles Sturt University for the Listen Acknowledge Respond Project. She also holds a casual lecturing and supervisory position with both CSU and UNE, and is working towards completing her PhD.

Some of Julianne’s roles in the health sector, both public and private have been in chronic disease management; policy design and implementation; action research initiatives with a focus on palliative and end of life care, lecturing and supervision of Social Work students. Since starting the Foundation, Amaranth has been successful in obtaining many Commonwealth, State and Philanthropic grants and funding to continue researching and promoting models of care addressing the psychosocial and psychological needs in End of Life and Palliative Care.  Julianne provided evidence to the Senate Inquiry into Palliative Care in Australia and the work of the Foundation is referenced in the final Senate document.

Julianne is passionate about the way health care professionals (HCP) respond to the psychological needs of people living with an advanced chronic illness, who may be living their last year (or 400 days)  of life and the concerns of their family member, loved ones and care givers.

This 2 day course brings together many years of knowledge and experience with the intent to ensure that HCP’s across care settings and across the life course can have greater confidence in responding competently to psychological distress and mental health concerns of this target group.


Listen, Acknowledge, Respond project is supported by the Commonwealth Department of Health