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Tom Brideson is a Kamilaroi man who was born in Gunnedah, NSW. Since 2007 Tom continues to occupy the role as NSW State-wide Coordinator of the Aboriginal mental health workforce program. He is located at Bloomfield Hospital as part of the Greater Western Area Health Service in Orange, NSW. Previously Tom was an Assistant Director of the Social Health Section within the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Canberra. Tom has a broad interest in areas that require improvements for Aboriginal people including health policy development, social and emotional wellbeing, clinical mental health care, suicide prevention and educational matters across these domains.
Tom has published a number of articles on issues facing the Aboriginal mental health workforce and the NSW Aboriginal mental health workforce program. Tom has a Diploma in Health Science (Mental Health) and a Bachelor of Arts (Welfare Studies), and completed the coursework of the Master of Applied Epidemiology (Indigenous Health) at the Australian National University. Tom continues active involvement with the Djirruwang Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health program and has done so since its inception in 1993. Between 2002 and 2004 Tom was the Project Director of the Djirruwang program. During this time Tom also co-authored the Clinical handbook and course competency document incorporating the National practice standards for mental health workforce 2002 in order to make the Aboriginal mental health clinical work more than simply community door openers. Tom was involved with writing a range of course subjects while overseeing the University review of the 23 course subjects and introducing a student run Aboriginal mental health conference as an annual event.
More recently Tom has accepted a Visiting Fellowship on a part time basis with the NSW Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health as part of Newcastle University. The role is to advise on appropriate input and the development of structures to support the Centre's Aboriginal Mental Health Strategy across all areas of research and education activity. Tom is also currently overseeing the establishment of an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre on the grounds of Bloomfield Hospital within the Greater Western Area Health Service. This is the first such Centre of its kind in Australia on the grounds of Psychiatric Hospital. The Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre will also permanently house the administration of the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program.
Tom has been a Program Leader for the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health since 2005. He sits on a range of local, state and national committee's that are relevant to the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Among many other commitments, most recently Tom was appointed to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrist's Indigenous Sub-Committee and consultant on the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet's Social and Emotional Wellbeing Sub Committee. Since 2007 Tom has been a member of the Management Committee of The Mental Health Services Conference (TheMHS) including being the Convenor of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health, Summer Forum in 2008.