UOW recognised as a national leader in mental health nursing

An innovative mental health nursing program developed by a team of UOW academics has received national recognition after it received a major award from the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Professor Lorna Moxham, Dr Susan Liersch-Sumskis, Ms Renee Brighton and Mr Chris Patterson were awarded the Major Partnerships in Wellbeing Award for 2013 at the annual Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, held in Perth in October, for their Recovery Camp. This innovative and collaborative program saw undergraduate nursing, psychology and exercise physiology students and people with a lived experience of mental health issues sharing a week together to promote an understanding of individual mental health recovery and facilitating an immersive learning experience for nursing students.

“The Recovery Camp with its strengths-based and person-centred philosophy was a true partnership in well-being,” Professor Moxham said.

“By building strong alliances and partnerships, the Recovery Camp provided all who attended the opportunity to collaborate with one another and engage in a number of therapeutic recreation experiences and activities – from challenging themselves in a range of physical and mentally testing activities such as rock climbing to appreciate each other’s personal journeys and focusing on strengths and solutions, not weaknesses and illness.”

Associate Professor Angela Brown, Head of UOW’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, said the positive feedback about the success of the program had been overwhelming.

“My colleagues are to be congratulated on this fantastic innovation. We have had an extraordinary amount of positive feedback for the Recovery Camp, which clearly demonstrates they have made a significant contribution to the well-being of the participants and that their efforts have been acknowledged by the mental health nursing fraternity.”

Professor Brown said UOW plans to run the Camp again in 2014.


  • Left to right: Professor Lorna Moxham, Ms Renee Brighton, Dr Susan Liersch-Sumskis and Mr Chris Patterson