10 September 2019: Exploring Mental Health & Mental Illness

P&O Cruises – Pacific Aria
10 – 20 September 2019
10-night cruise from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea

The beautiful P&O Pacific Aria is the venue for our Exploring Mental Health & Mental Illness conference, presented while you cruise to the exotic islands of Papua New Guinea. Departing from Brisbane on 10th September 2019, this 10-night cruise on P&O Pacific Aria will visit Alotau, Kitava, Rabaul, Kiriwina and Conflict Islands.

Exploring Mental Health and Mental Illness
Including Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

Exploring Mental Health & Mental Illness is a 20-hour Continuing Professional Development opportunity offering a practical, no-holds-barred approach to embracing contemporary views and principles on one of Australia’s leading health burdens. In this conference you’ll engage in a proactive approach to health care that is person-centred, recovery-oriented best practice to start reducing the prevalence of mental illness and the burden of this disease.

Cruise and Conference Features:

  • Earn up to 20 CPD hours
  • CPD Certificate of Attendance issued
  • 10-night cruise from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea visiting 5 ports
  • Complimentary tote bag, lanyard, pen and notepad
  • Complimentary and exclusive cocktail party
  • Complimentary group photo and farewell dinner (subject to availability)

Exploring Mental Health and Mental Illness
Including Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

The cruise itinerary and conference sessions are shown below*. Click on a session title to reveal more information about the topic. A total of 20 CPD hours may be achieved for attending all sessions of this conference. Your certificate will reflect the sessions you have attended and total CPD hours achieved.

P&O Cruises
Pacific Aria

10-night cruise & conference

Visiting Alotau, Kitava, Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and Conflict Islands

10 – 20 September 2019

PNG Route

10 September 2019 | Tuesday


Embarkation: Welcome Aboard!

Guest Welcome and Conference Registration

16:00 Pacific Aria departs Brisbane

21:00 Social meet ‘n’ mingle for all guests and their cruising companions

At sea

11 September 2019 | Wednesday


Conference Sessions:

09:00 - 10:30 Mental Health & Mental Illness – Debunking the Myths (1.5 CPD hours)

This session will explore common misperceptions about mental health and mental illness particularly values, attitudes and beliefs surrounding prevalent mental illnesses. We’ll also discuss the effects of stigma and discrimination on people with mental illness and their health care journey. Participants will be challenged to embrace the concept of cultural safety and examine their own values, attitudes, opinions and beliefs surrounding mental health and mental illness and consider how the biggest barrier to effective mental health treatment may in fact be in the practice of the health care provider. This session examines:

• Mental health, mental illness, the disease burden and determinants of health.

• Mental distress, we’ve all had it.

• Stigma, discrimination and stereotypes; the baggage we all carry and the possible implications on care provision.

• Contemporary language, ‘person first, disease second’ – changing culture one sentence at a time.

10:30 - 12:00 The Therapeutic Relationship (1.5 CPD hours)

The foundation on which all nursing activities are launched is the therapeutic relationship. We often believe that a professional interaction constitutes a therapeutic engagement, or we forgo attempting to meet the needs of the therapeutic relationship due to multiple factors such as work load, environmental stressors, personal values and are unaware of the potential impact that this has on health outcomes. This session will further challenge you to examine:

• Personal values, beliefs and opinions how these are formed and how to prevent them impacting negatively on your practice

• Practicing the skill of unconditional positive regard when dealing with patients to enhance patient health outcomes and your own job satisfaction.

• Mental resilience, being assertive for better outcomes and the foundations required for promoting positive interactions.

• Toxicity in the workplace, how this may impact on you and the care you provide.

• Practicing professional self-care, growth and reflection.

13:00 - 15:00 Suicide: A Global Health Care Crisis (2 CPD hours)

One death every 40 seconds is accountable directly to suicide. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year old’s globally (WHO 2018). Suicide is a subject that we are at times uncomfortable in discussing and often this is due to our lack of understanding and contemporary knowledge base, this is exemplified when we do not have the skill set to engage in helpful and healthy conversations about suicide. This session will explore:

• Suicidality, current facts in relation to the Australian health care system and population.

• Factors that may contribute to suicide, warning signs, and suicide prevention.

• The difference between self-harm and suicide.

• How to talk about suicide in a way that is healthy and helpful.

• Suicide risk assessment, dynamic and static risk factors, mitigating factors and considerations, vulnerable populations and the interpretation of intent.

Evening: Exclusive cocktail reception, food and beverages provided with our compliments!

At sea

12 September 2019 | Thursday


Conference Sessions:

09:00 - 12:00 Mental State Examination and Risk Assessment (3 CPD hours)

Often one of the biggest challenges health practitioners face after they have identified a mental health concern in a patient, is what to do about it and how to get the patient timely assistance. Often this process is delayed due to communication differences across health departments and specialities. Understanding the components of a Mental State Examination (MSE) and Risk assessment (RAx), how to conduct the interviews and record objective, measurable data will assist you in conveying your message of concern to mental health professionals and engage in the promotion of cross service collaborative care. This interactive session will have you explore:

• The importance of the therapeutic milieu and obtaining a biopsychosocial mental health assessment

• Objective identification of risk and how to demonstrate clinical consideration

• Developing a clinical formulation succinctly to effectively communicate the immediate care needs of the person

13:00 - 15:00 Treatments - Physical and Psychological (2 CPD hours)

Often pharmacological intervention is seen as a first line treatment for mental distress. Whilst pharmacotherapy absolutely has a place in health care treatment, it is not always the necessary or best practice first choice. Exploring treatment options as a collaborative approach with the person requiring intervention is recovery oriented and person-centred. Like all facets of health care, mental health and mental illness care is not a one-size-fits-all approach and treatment options must also be tailored to the individual needs of the person. To do this, health care practitioners must not only be aware of the number of treatment options available but also ensure that they are well informed and do not allow personal opinion to enter into assisting a person seeking appropriate referral. This session will explore:

• Physical treatments available in psychiatry such as Electro Convulsive Therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Psychosurgery

• Psychological therapies such as Dialectal Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and their common indications for use.

• Simple and practical tips on de-escalation

• Treatment in the care of the self using non-pharmacological mindfulness, focused breathing and progressive muscle relaxation


13 September 2019 | Friday


Alotau, Papua New Guinea
Arrive 08:00 / Depart 18:00

Alotau is the capital of Milne Bay Province, in the south-east of Papua New Guinea. It is located on the northern shore of Milne Bay. The town is located within the area in which the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942, before the Kokoda Track battle. A memorial park at the old battle site commemorates the event. Alotau became the provincial capital in 1969, when it was shifted from Samarai.


14 September 2019 | Saturday


Kitava, Trobriand Islands
Arrive 08:00 / Depart 17:00

Located in Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province, Kitava is a small island off the main Trobiand Island of Kiriwina. Here life remains as it was thousands of years ago with very little external influence. The landing site is surrounded by stunning white sand beaches lined with natural shade-trees, just offshore lies the picture perfect sand atoll Nuratu Island. This truly is a slice of heaven.


15 September 2019 | Sunday


Rabaul, Papua/New Guinea
Arrive 08:00 / Depart 17:00

The former capital of New Britain is a town with a colourful history and no stranger to rebuilding itself from the ground up. It has been destroyed by volcano eruptions in 1937 and 1994, as well as suffering an aerial bombardment in World War II. Its kilometers of underground tunnels built by the Japanese during its occupation in World War II are a testament to its wartime past. Since 1994, Rabaul has returned to life and its harbour is still one of the most impressive in the entire Pacific basin.


16 September 2019 | Monday


Kiriwina Island, Trobriand Islands
Arrive 08:00 / Depart 17:00

Located in Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province, Kiriwina is the largest and by far the most populous of the Trobriand Islands, and home to one of the most colourful and fascinating cultures on earth.

Conflict Islands

17 September 2019 | Tuesday


Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea
Arrive 08:00 / Depart 17:00

Don’t be fooled by the name, this is paradise in the Coral Sea! A picturesque group of 21 islands surrounding a bright blue lagoon, the Conflict Islands are home to one of the world’s most bio-diverse reef systems. Guests can make the most of the island paradise taking part in kayaking, snorkeling and stand-up paddle-boarding as well as glass bottom boat and outrigger canoe tours.

At sea

18 September 2019 | Wednesday


Conference Sessions:

09:00 - 10:30 Drugs, the Good the Bad and the Deadly - part 1 (1.5 CPD hours)

When we mention drugs and mental health in the same sentence it is a common misguided assumption that we mean the abuse of drugs or alcohol, illicit substances and addiction. There are several different types of drugs available to treat mental illnesses. Some of the most commonly used are antidepressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, mood stabilizing, and stimulant medications. Some of the drugs we use to treat mental illness have quite debilitating side effects, furthermore the way in which we prepare and administer these drugs have a plethora of harmful consequences for the recipient. This session will explore:

• The current use of well-known drugs in psychiatry, their indications and potential for practitioner misuse or practitioner “non-compliance”.

• Challenges to popular beliefs about psychopharmacological interventions and current practice.

• Over-the-counter treatments: “healing or harmful?”

• Medication administration and techniques, best practice and policy change.

This session is coupled with a hard-copy resource pack and self-paced participant workbook for your extended learning pleasure.

10:30 - 12:00 Drugs, the Good the Bad and the Deadly - part 2 (1.5 CPD hours)

Substance use and abuse and its correlation with mental health and well-being is widely accepted, although frequently this acceptance is misguided and ill-informed. Best practice sees a plethora of differing views on containment and management of intoxication and withdrawal. Practitioners are often confused with current trends of health care provision for people engaged in substance use and abuse in Australia. Effective substance use-and-abuse health care provision requires all health care providers to stay abreast of social, environmental and emotional determinants impacting consumers and services. This includes national address in ICE management, the alarming emergence of “pharma parties” and the increase of “zombies” on our suburban streets. This session will explore:

• Principles of harm minimisation

• Rapid Sedation and the implementation of non-pharmacological de-escalation

• Intoxication management

13:00 - 15:00 Metabolic Monitoring (2 CPD hours)

The poor physical health outcomes of people with severe mental illness is well documented with a recorded reduced life expectancy of around 17 years when compared to the general population. Metabolic syndrome is common in mental health consumer populations and is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. Metabolic screening is a way of recognising consumers who are at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This session explores:

• Metabolic Syndrome prevalence in people who experience mental illness and impact on health outcomes

• Screening for Metabolic Syndrome

• The strong correlation with second generation antipsychotic medications

• Mindful eating and exercise

• Evoking change using Motivational Interviewing

• Implementing health promotion using practical and readily adaptable interventions targeting social and behavioural determinants of health.

At sea

19 September 2019 | Thursday


Conference Sessions:

09:00 - 10:30 Contemporary Practice - Mood Disorders (1.5 CPD hours)

Mood disorders covers an array of diagnosable illnesses such as depression and Bipolar Affective Disorder. Mood disorders are more than swings or shifts in a persons’ mood and are often debilitating, causing extreme disruption to a persons’ functioning and can be life threatening. A diagnosed mood disorder increases the risk factors of completed suicide significantly. Mood disorders are often clinically minimized and physical symptomology is too often written off as somatization without exploration of possible underlying causes or explanation damaging an already potentially fragile therapeutic milieu. With depression being the third highest burden of disease in Australia currently and the third highest globally it is imperative to understand the fundamentals of mood disorders and contemporary practice principles to approach treatment and support recovery. This session explores:

• Depression as much more than just a low mood – sub-types, signs, symptoms and the importance of holistic assessment

• Bipolar disorder and other mood disorders – moving away from reactive treatment towards a proactive open dialogue approach

• Short-term and long term implications of mood imbalance

10:30 - 12:00 Contemporary Practice - Psychosis (1.5 CPD hours)

Psychosis is a serious symptom where a person loses the capacity to tell what is real and what isn’t. Around three percent of Australians currently experience psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. In any given twelve-month period, one in every 200 Australians will experience a psychotic illness. The causes are complex and may include genetics, early childhood development and adverse life events. There are different types of psychosis and different causative factors some of which include physical injury such as traumatic brain injury, illnesses such as HIV, dementia, epilepsy and syphilis and some episodes can be induced by use and abuse of substances. At times navigating potential origins of psychosis can be difficult when dealing with challenging behavior and the stigma and myths that surround psychosis are too often a further barrier to people receiving appropriate and timely treatment. This session explores:

• Types of psychosis: Organic, brief episodes, substance related, psychotic disorders

• Symptoms, delusions and hallucinations

• Rapid tranquilization, post sedation aggression and prolonging recovery

• The impact of relapse

Self-Directed Learning (2 CPD hours)

You will be provided with additional learning activities during the conference that you may complete in your own time during the cruise. These self-directed learning packages will comprise of:

• Capacity and consent

• Restraint and how to use it in health care

Conference conclusion and close

We close the conference with an open discussion and Q&A session. Your certificates will be emailed to you within 24 hours from the end of the cruise. The CPD hours indicated on your certificate will reflect the actual sessions attended during the cruise, with a maximum of 20 CPD hours. The conference should conclude today just prior to lunch time.

Evening: Farewell group dinner for all guests and their travelling companions (subject to availability)


20 September 2019 | Friday


06:00 Arrive Brisbane

We trust you have enjoyed your conference and wish you a safe onward journey home.

*Cruise itinerary, conference schedule, and event times are subject to change due to circumstances outside the control of Cruise Seminars and Ecruising.Travel

Exploring Mental Health and Mental Illness
Including Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

We’re proud to introduce Amanda Smith and Gino Richter as presenters for our conference ‘Exploring Mental Health & Mental Illness’. Their experience, passion and dedication to the field of mental health nursing is reflected in this educational and inspirational 20-hour CPD event.

AMANDA SMITH RN, Cert. IV TAE, Grad. Cert. MH, Grad. Cert Tertiary Education

Amanda is a proud and vocal advocate of comprehensive health care with a passion for mental health nursing. Although initially starting her career in general nursing then working across aged care, cardiac, medical and emergency departments, Amanda’s desire to improve quality outcomes for those suffering with mental distress navigated her career towards mental health nursing and education.

Amanda’s experience spans all facets of mental health nursing from acute triage and assessment, emergency and special service co-response teams, high dependency and case management. For several years, Amanda has also worked as a sessional presenter, teaching undergraduate nursing and paramedic degree students in tertiary institutions.

She is passionate about consumers receiving quality service from first contact through their entire mental health journey. Amanda strives to address the barriers of mental health stigma and discrimination which often prevents people from making that initial contact and receiving both accurate physical and mental health assessment.

Gino Richter


Gino is a passionate and goal-oriented leader. He commenced his career in search & rescue, rural, and remote nursing. Additionally, he has extensive experience working in intensive care and is passionate about access to mental health care and practices. Gino’s philosophy is “there is no wrong door” and the moment a consumer begins their journey with a mental health service it is the services’ responsibility to ensure their needs are met.

Gino has worked extensively in roles of emergency and acute mental health care, police liaison and management and is currently the Director of Nursing for Mental Health Services in Cairns, Far North Queensland.

Exploring Mental Health and Mental Illness
Including Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

Our conference venue:

P&O Cruises

Pacific Aria

Pacific Aria
Our venue for this conference is the beautiful P&O Pacific Aria. Let your worries float away as you cruise to exotic Papua New Guinea. Hang out in the Blue Room with live music, dig in with sixteen dining experiences or catch a movie at the Premium Cinema. Relax by the pool with its retractable roof that allows you to swim or enjoy live music, no matter the weather. In the evening, the resident DJs will help you dance the night away. They know just how to get the party started so make sure you wear the right shoes to burn a hole in the dance floor!


  • Many dining options including Angelo’s, Dragon Lady, Waterfront Restaurant, Salt Grill by Luke Mangan and The Pantry


  • A range of inviting lounges and bars including the Ocean Bar, The Dome and the Blue Room


  • Full production stage shows in the Marquee, fun theme nights, deck parties and game shows


  • Outdoor activities including rock-climbing, abseiling and deck games


  • Multiple pools, hot tubs and spa facilities


  • Rooms feature private facilities (shower, toilet and vanity), TVs, writing desk and twin beds that can convert to a queen. Some rooms can accommodate up to four guests.


Guest Capacity: 1,260

Decks: 9

Length: 219m / 719ft

Tonnage: 55,820 GT

*Some activities and dining options may incur an additional charge.
Please refer to the P&O Cruises website for additional information.
Pacific Aria Pool
Pacific Aria Pantry
Pacific Aria Dining

Exploring Mental Health and Mental Illness
Including Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

We have selected a limited number of rooms on board the ship in various categories. Choose an interior room for the best value, an ocean-view room for panoramic vistas, or indulge in a balcony room and relax in your own private sitting area. Bring your family and friends! Guests who are not participating in the conference only pay the cruise fare component.


Pacific Aria Inside Room
Interior rooms feature two single beds that can convert to a double, a private bathroom, TV and writing desk. Please note: There is no window. DISCLAIMER: Room images are for illustration purposes only. Actual room layout and design may vary.

Interior Room Fares:

Limited availability: Please call our booking partners at Ecruising on 1300369848 (press 1 then ask for Tom Oclzak) for current availability and fares.

BONUS: AUD$100 Onboard Credit Per Room!
(For all new confirmed bookings. Offer Expires 31 July 2019)


Pacific Aria Outside Room
Oceanview rooms feature a large window, two single beds that can convert to a double, bathroom, TV and writing desk. DISCLAIMER: Room images are for illustration purposes only. Actual room layout and design may vary.

Oceanview Room Fares:

Limited availability: Please call our booking partners at Ecruising on 1300369848 (press 1 then ask for Tom Oclzak) for current availability and fares.

BONUS: AUD$100 Onboard Credit Per Room!
(For all new confirmed bookings. Offer Expires 31 July 2019)


Pacific Aria Balcony Room
Balcony rooms feature your own private balcony, two single beds that can convert to a double, bathroom, TV and writing desk. DISCLAIMER: Room images are for illustration purposes only. Actual room layout and design may vary.

Balcony Room Fares:

Limited availability: Please call our booking partners at Ecruising on 1300369848 (press 1 then ask for Tom Oclzak) for current availability and fares.

BONUS: AUD$100 Onboard Credit Per Room!
(For all new confirmed bookings. Offer Expires 31 July 2019)

10 September 2019: Exploring Mental Health & Mental Illness

P&O Cruises – Pacific Aria

10 – 20 September 2019

Please complete as much of the following information as possible. Should you have any issues or queries please contact our booking partners at Ecruising on 1300 369 848 and ask for Tom Olczak or Lia Malone. Please note that the cruise and the event are subject to availability. Fares on this website are not updated in real time and are subject to change. Fields marked with * must be completed.

Please enter details for ALL passengers booking on this cruise (even if not attending conference)


At least one guest in each cabin must attend the conference

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Our travel consultant will advise you if your dining or bedding selection is not applicable for this ship.


Additional Info

Please enter any additional information such as past passenger numbers, allergies or special requirements (accessible room, wheelchair etc).

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Please keep me informed about future conferences

Once we have received your booking a representative from our booking partners at Ecruising will contact you during business hours with information on how to pay your deposit to secure your cruise booking and event registration.

ˆAll prices are quoted in Australian dollars, per person in complete cabin unless otherwise indicated, and inclusive of all taxes. All prices & itineraries are current at time of publishing & subject to change without notice. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required to confirm your seminar registration and a $275 deposit per person is required to confirm the cruise component. A $25 fee per person applies to all cancelled bookings. Deposit must be paid by the due date stated on your invoice to avoid auto-cancellation. Seminar places and cabin availability is limited. The seminar must be booked in conjunction with the advertised cruise and all bookings and payments are to be made exclusively through Ecruising. A surcharge of 1% applies to payments made by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and PayPal. Direct-deposit options also available. Final payment due dates as per invoice. Cancellation penalties apply. Conditions apply.