1 June 2023
The Executive Director of Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, Professor Jackie Curtis, delivered the prestigious Margaret Tobin Oration at the annual Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in Perth on June 1, describing her journey of research and advocacy for appropriate physical healthcare for people living with psychosis.
The Margaret Tobin Award was established in 2003 as a tribute to the memory of mental health reformer Dr Margaret Tobin, and honours special achievement in administrative psychiatry.
Professor Curtis described her journey in developing the Keeping the Body in Mind program, to safeguard the physical health of people taking anti-psychotic medications, at a community mental health clinic in Bondi, in eastern Sydney. This small local project later ignited into an international movement that has transformed service delivery, with the development of the Healthy Active Lives (HeAL) Declaration, the International physical health in Youth stream (iphYs) and the national Equally Well campaign.
“Our achievement in physical healthcare in psychosis was accidental in that we stumbled on something critically important,” she told the bi-national audience of psychiatrists. “But it was also intentional; our guiding principle was a deep focus on consumers, and we refused to accept compromised physical health as just an unfortunate by-product of treatment.”
Professor Curtis urged psychiatrists to become involved in quality improvement research, being vigilant about their patients’ outcomes and adjusting their treatments accordingly.
The full text of Professor Curtis’s Margaret Tobin Oration is available on then Croakey Health Media website.