Michelle Hookham, Credentialed Mental Health Nurse.

Bridging the gap between primary healthcare and inpatient mental health services

Experienced mental health clinician in Windsor Recovery-focused and Trauma-informed.

Specialising in:

  • Mental health triage and assessment
  • Therapeutic support for medically managed consumers
  • Care coordination
  • Relapse prevention
  • Supporting young people and adults in crisis
  • Stengths-based intervention
  • Integrated healthcare, collaboration and communication
  • Carers in need of support and education

Referral Pathways:

Private: self-funded, fee for service

NDIS: for consumers who are plan-managed or self-managed

Medicare: GP must have claimed GP Management Plan (item 721 or review item 732) and Team Care Arrangement (item 723 or review item 732) in past 2 years.

Medicare Provider Number: 5401301H (Mental Health Worker).

Mental Health Qualifications

Masters Mental Health Nursing – 2018, University of Sydney.
Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (CMHN): Certificate No. 2171
AHPRA registration number: NMW0001291798
Member Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN).


1. Holistic Healthcare my Ultimate Goal
My long-term goal is to provide holistic health services for people living with mental/emotional dis-ease. This goal has distilled from over twenty years of specialising in mental health nursing in the public health service and over a decade of experience as a registered homeopath. Now in private practice in Windsor, I am acutely aware of the lack of mental health services in the Hawkesbury/Nepean area. My secondary goal is to find the gaps in service provision by connecting with major stakeholders and support consumers towards their recovery.

2. Pioneering Mental Health Reform
These goals sit within the broader context of Federal mental health reform, with a key priority towards the development of long-term community-based care and ‘real alternatives’ to acute hospital admissions (Hickie et al., 2014) . It is my intention to be part of this reform, pioneering services towards effective community mental
healthcare including early intervention, relapse prevention, care coordination, psychotherapeutic intervention and education.

3. Validation for Mental Health Nursing
Stepping into primary healthcare has highlighted the lack of recognition for mental health nurses as validated providers of therapeutic support. A tertiary long-term goal is to assist the ACMHN towards professional recognition, which will enable mental health nurses (MHNs) to provide services for consumers who can’t pay a fee-for-service and be effectively remunerated as per other Allied Health providers.

Clinical Experience

a) Public Sector
I have broad experience in mental health nursing spanning over 25 years, including specialty areas of: adult acute, PECC, EPIS, child and adolescent and community mental health rehabilitation (WRS) as a care coordinator. I have filled the CNC role in Hornsby Hospital’s Emergency Department on many occasions, undertaking assessments and care planning for people with a diverse range of clinical presentations. I am adept at assessing alterations in mental/emotional states, referring on appropriately and liaising with the health service when inpatient, community or additional care is required.

Prior to specialising in mental health nursing, I focused on expanding my expertise across a diverse range of general nursing specialities. These included elective surgery, urology, gynaecology, haematology, oncology, ICU, HIV/AIDS and intensive care nursing. Previous experience in general nursing informs my practice to deliver holistic care planning and intervention.

b) Private Practice
In conjunction with mental health nursing, I have an established private practice in Windsor where I consult with people for mental health and homeopathy. Experience in both professions enhances the practice of the other, with the evolution of a unique skill set that is both flexible and holistic. Private practice has expanded my scope of
practice to providing contact supervision and liaison with the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), supervising and providing therapeutic intervention for consumers Under Section 32 of the Mental Health Act within the justice system, facilitating the Surviving Suicide group on behalf of Western Sydney Suicide Prevention and Support Network and liaising with major stakeholders in mental health services in the Hawkesbury/Nepean.

Demonstrated clinical expertise in community mental health nursing, in person centred consultancy.

Community mental health nursing experience has been in three main arenas:

1. Early Psychosis Intervention Service (EPIS) as a case manager. Here I worked within a multidisciplinary team (MDT) with a case load. Responsibilities included working one-to-one with clients for assessment, detection of early warning signs of relapse, psychotherapeutic intervention and psychoeducation. Care was delivered on site, but also included home visits when needed. Engagement with family and primary carers was integral with this role because of the age group (18-35) and newness of psychiatric symptomatology. Liaising with GPs, inpatient units and drug and alcohol services was essential.

2. Wahroonga Rehabilitation Service (WRS) as a care coordinator. Here I had a case load of adult clients who were in the recovery phase of their chronic mental illness. Whilst working within a MDT, my role was autonomous in conjunction with clients to establishing care goals, engaging therapeutically, monitoring and reviewing care, and liaising with the client’s GP, psychiatrist, Department of Housing and relevant NGO providers such as Ability Options, Centrelink, gender centre etc. This role also included facilitating the weekly Be Active group, physical wellness and metabolic monitoring.

3. Private Practice, providing individualised mental health assessment, psychotherapeutic intervention, education, monitoring and care coordination. I have also had the opportunity to work with children and families with complex trauma, living in out of home care and have provided education and training for carers managing these young people.

Working Collaboratively
In all roles, a least restrictive approach is the first option. Managing care at home in liaison with family, primary carers and stakeholders, best supports consumers to maintain independence and engagement with their community supports in a strengths-based manner. I am used to working collaboratively to support people who
are distressed and may be at risk. I understand referral pathways and a diverse range of options that can be utilised to support consumers and their families.