Melinda holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and has extensive clinical experience having worked as an OT for 23 years and in mental health for 15 of these years. She has worked with complex patient groups, the majority having trauma and comorbidity backgrounds and has focused her work in the area of forensic mental health. Melinda was involved in the implementation of a forensic step down unit in South Australia and managed this service until moving to Newcastle. This innovative service demonstrated the effectiveness of stepped care when supporting forensic patients reintegrate into the community.
Melinda’s passion for driving change and supporting evidence-based approaches in mental health attracted her to the position of Project Lead in the Suicide Prevention team.
“I share the vision of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health where fewer people are impacted by mental health and suicide and more people live well. I feel very privileged to work with such a committed team and aim to use my clinical and service development experience can support the Institute in achieve this vision”.
Melinda is currently leading the Life in Mind project which will provide a national communications strategy to ensure a consistent and coherent messaging about suicide prevention in Australia. This will support the sector, community and professionals access the most relevant and up-to-date information to ensure we are all communicating about suicide prevention.