See More

> Events > All Events > Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health (WA)

Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health (WA)

Event Details
Date: 27 February 2020
Time: 9.00 am - 4.00 pm
Venue: City West Lotteries House, WA
State: Western Australia
CPD hrs: 6

Registrations (limit 30 places)

Early Bird Pricing till Sunday 9th February 2020

Members- $155.00 (inc GST)

Non Members- $190.00 (inc GST)

Student Members- $155.00 (inc GST)

Standard Pricing from Monday 10th Feb 2020

Members- $180.00 (inc GST)

Non Members $240.00 (inc GST)

Student Members- $165.00 (inc GST)

Organiser: AASW WA Branch
Further information

WA Branch Manager

PH: (08) 9420 7240


  • Event date has passed
  • Registrations are closed

Ambiguous loss is a specific kind of loss that lacks clarity, defies resolution and rarely acknowledged or supported by the wider community.Research on stress and trauma has found that no other form of loss is as unmanageable and traumatising as the stress of ambiguous loss (Boss 2006, Perera 2016).

Ambiguous loss is characterised by a lack of clarification and closure. It often occurs in the context of mental ill health, as symptoms, diagnosis, intervention, and the responses of others can be unclear and fluctuating.

Ambiguous loss theory and practice has been applied in various situations and populations. It has been researched and found to be relevant for working therapeutically in mental health services, child protection, children with autism spectrum disorder, out-of-home care of children with severe or profound disabilities, older age people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and trans and gender diverse people to name a few. This workshop is based on the findings of the doctoral research of the presenter, completed in 2016. The findings have been converted to a self-help book with 21 activities that meet many of the focused psychological strategies criteria for accredited mental health workers as defined by Medicare Australia.

A copy of the book Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health is included in the price of this evidence based, interactive workshop.

Who should attend?:

Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Psychiatrists

Learning outcomes for participants:

By the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of ambiguous loss
  • Understand how ambiguous loss relates to stress and trauma
  • Develop a theoretical framework for understanding the impact of ambiguous loss on a person and his/her family when mental distress joins the family circle
  • Identify specific skills of working with people experiencing the trauma and stress of ambiguous loss
  • Identify how their own self-awareness will impact on their work with people experiencing ambiguous loss.

Introducing Dr Kanthi Perera

Dr Kanthi Perera is a social worker working for the mental health service of WA. In 2005 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study innovative programs that address loss and grief in the context of mental illness in order to minimise the distress and trauma experienced by both the person with the diagnosis and his/her family. She visited several centres in Canada and the USA. She was also the recipient of the 2001 Australian Association of Social Workers Award of Excellence in the category of Innovation and Pioneering; the 2004 ARAFMI Service Provider Award; the 2010 Rotary Allied Health Officer of the Year Award, and a 2013 Convocation Research travel Award from the University of WA. Along with three friends of the late Dr K.B. McManus, she set up the Dr K.B. McManus Memorial Fund (2006-2014) to assist people with mental ill health to access the arts.

In 2019, Kanthi was sponsored by the Canberra Mental Health Service to train 20 of their health professionals in the theory and practice of ambiguous loss associated with mental ill health and the use of the book Hopeful Voyager: Navigating your way through the ambiguous losses of mental ill health

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers