September Commonwealth Grant program update

07 September 2022
From Alex Sweetman

Thank you to everyone that has contacted me about the ASA Commonwealth grant program over the past month – it has been wonderful to meet a lot of new people throughout the ASA. 

A special thank you to the ASA GP education subcommittee for bringing me up to speed on GP education initiatives, the Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders subcommittee for your constant enthusiasm and dedication to psychologist education, and all of the ASA nurses that got back to me with your availability to meet and discuss nurse education opportunities.

If you’re interested in the program, or have questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you ([email protected]).

Progress report
Here’s a brief snapshot of activities in the last month.

  • The GP Insomnia and OSA Guideline, developed by the National Centre of Sleep Health Services Research in collaboration with the ASA is now a RACGP accepted clinical resource.
  • Reviewed Education resources and Clinical Guidelines for the RACGP to increase information about sleep health/sleep disorders.
  • The Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders Education subcommittee wrote a feature article on CBT-I in InPsych (Australian Psychological Society magazine).
  • Met with the Department of Health to discuss the different sleep health programs in Australia.
  • Organised a focussed issue on sleep disorders in the RACGP’s Australian Journal of General Practice.
  • Prepared post-workshop surveys and four online Q&A sessions with BMSD education subcommittee for people attending Michael Perlis and Donn Posner’s CBT-I workshops in Brisbane and Melbourne (November 2022).
  • Organised to meet with ASA nurses, to understand education priorities, previous education activities, collaboration with other organisations, and future aims.
  • Met with the ASA GP Education subcommittee to understand ongoing projects, priorities, and how the Commonwealth program can help.
  • Advocacy work included providing comments on health and safety standards for rail work, an ACCC consultation on infant sleep products, and a major milestone in the progress of the application for Medicare funding for paediatric home sleep studies. 
  • There was also work with the Sleep Health Foundation on a policy proposal and briefing document for upcoming politician visits. 

Looking directly ahead, here are some upcoming highlights. 

  • In partnership with the Sleep Health Foundation, the CEO and President will be visiting politicians and others in Canberra next week to raise awareness of sleep health and seek support for a policy proposal to improve the health and wellbeing of shiftworkers in healthcare and aged care settings. 
  • This month we will be focusing on an ‘Activity Work Plan’ document for the grant program, forecasting the next activities and deliverables of the program. 
  • Meet with Australian Psychological Society to plan on-demand CBT-I module, supported by Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders education subcommittee. 
  • Organise study to evaluate GP acceptability and usability of online GP insomnia and OSA Guideline.

Future plans for the remainder of the year include:

  • Work with ASA nurses to contact nursing societies to find out how we can work together to improve sleep education opportunities for nurses.
  • Present a webinar on insomnia management to GPs, organised by RACGP Psychological Medicine specific interest group (October, 2022). 
  • Professor Nick Zwar and Dr Alexander Sweetman will launch the new GP Insomnia and OSA Guideline at RACGP GP22 conference (November, 2022). 
  • Organise CBT-I workshops and post-workshop Q&A sessions with Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders subcommittee members in November-December, 2022.

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