Dr Susan Sumskis - Lecturer - Health and Social Wellbeing at NTI

Dr Susan Sumskis

PhD (University of Wollongong), BN (Hons) (UOW), BN (Dist) (UOW)

Lecturer - Health and Social Wellbeing, NTI

 

Biographical details

Dr Sumskis focuses on student well-being within learning through the use of contemplative pedagogy. Sue has extensive professional experience in a variety of mental health settings and within tertiary education.
 
Sue's PhD investigated resilience and mental health, with a finding that challenge and support are essential components of developing resilience, grit and growth.  
 
Within teaching, Sue employs contemplative methods to focus attention, deepen concentration and open awareness with the aim of facilitating embodied and personal learning. Sue is a credentialed health professional and is registered with AHPRA. 

Roles

  • Lecturer Health and Social Wellbeing Program, Nan Tien Institute
  • Consultant Lecturer NSW Police Force Safe Custody Program
  • Lecturer in Mental Health, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, School of Nursing, University of Wollongong
  • Credentialed Mental Health Nurse, Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, Illawarra NSW
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist & Registered Nurse, Greater Southern Local Health District


Grants and Awards

  • 2016  University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research
  • 2016 University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
  • 2016 TheMHS Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Award for Education, Training or Workforce Development: Recovery Camp
  • 2016 University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor’s Nomination for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL)
  • 2016 Mental Health Commission, Mental Health Matters Awards Commendation
  • 2015 Mental Health Commission, Mental Health Matters Awards Commendation
  • 2015 Australian College of Educators Outstanding Achievement in Education Award
  • 2013 Commendation for PhD thesis
  • 2013 National Partnerships in Wellbeing Award: Recovery Camp
  • 2012 University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor’s Nomination for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL)
  • 2007 Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study ‘less restrictive practices in acute mental health care in the US and Canada’


Grants Received

  • 2016 UOW Community Engagement Grant to Establish the tertiary learning needs of students of the Illawarra Recovery Learning College                                                                                                              
  • 2015 UOW Global Challenges Grant: Value of Retirees Knowledge     
  • 2013 HETI ICTN Grant: The Recovery Camp                                                    
  • 2015 UOW Small Grant: Factors contributing to postoperative delirium in people who have dementia
     
Selected Papers and Publications


Journal Articles

  1. Sumskis, S, & Moxham, L 2017, ‘Use of van Kaam's psychophenomenological method to interpret the meaning of resilience within the lived experience of schizophrenia’, Nurse Researcher, 25, no. 3. pp. 8-13.
  2. Sumskis, S, Moxham, L & Caputi, P 2017, ‘The meaning of resilience as described by people who experience schizophrenia’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26, no. 3, pp. 273-284.
  3. Perlman, D, Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Taylor, E & Sumskis, S 2018, ‘Stigmatisation and self-determination of pre-registration nurses: A path analysis’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27, no. 1, pp. 422-428.
  4. Alford, S, Perlman, D, Sumskis, S, Moxham, L, Patterson, C & Brighton, R 2017, ‘What can leisure offer those with a mental illness; diversion, experience or something much richer’, World Leisure Journal, 59, pp. 218-226.
  5. Perlman, D, Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Brighton, R, Sumskis, S & Heffernan, T 2017, 'Understanding the influence of resilience for people with a lived experience of mental illness: A self-determination theory perspective', Journal of Community Psychology, 4, no. 8, pp. 1026-1032.
  6. Taylor, E, Perlman, D, Moxham, L, Pegg, S, Patterson, C, Brighton, R, Sumskis, S 2017, ‘Recovery Camp: Assisting consumers toward enhanced self-determination’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26, no. 3, p. 301-308.
  7. Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Patterson, C, Perlman, D, Brighton, R, Heffernan, T & Sumskis, S 2017, ‘Goal setting among people living with mental illness: A qualitative analysis of recovery camp’, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38, no. 5, pp. 420-424.
  8. Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Perlman, D, Brighton, R, & Sumskis, S 2017, ‘Effect of immersive workplace experience on undergraduate nurses’ mental health clinical confidence’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26, no. 6, pp. 620-628.
  9. Moxham, L, Patterson, C, Taylor, E, Perlman, D, Sumskis, S & Brighton, R 2017, ‘A multidisciplinary learning experience contributing to mental health rehabilitation’, Disability and Rehabilitation, 39, no. 1, pp. 98-103.
  10. Perlman, D, Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Brighton, R, Sumskis, S & Heffernan, T 2017, ‘Preparing nursing students for mental health care: The impact of a recovery-oriented clinical placement’, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38, no. 8, pp. 663-668.
  11. Otani, V, Otani, T, Freirias, A, Calfat, E, Aoki, P, Cordeiro Q, Kanaan, R, Cross, S, Liersch-Sumskis, S & Uchida, RR, ‘Misidentification of mental health symptoms in presence of organic diseases and delirium during psychiatric liaison consulting’, International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 21, no. 3, pp. 215-220.
  12. Perlman, D, Taylor, E, Moxham, L, Patterson, C, Brighton, R, Heffernan, T, Sumskis, S, 2017, ‘Innovative mental health clinical placement: Developing nurses’ relationship skills’, Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 55, no. 2, pp.36-43.
  13. Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Taylor, E, Moxham, L, Perlman, D, Sumskis, S & Heffernan, T 2016, ‘The effect of respite services on carers of individuals with severe mental illness’, Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 54, no. 12, pp. 33-38.
  14. Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Patterson, C, Perlman, D, Brighton, R, Sumskis, S, Keough, E, Heffernan, T 2016, ‘Can a clinical placement influence stigma? An analysis of measures of social distance’, Nurse Education Today, 44, pp. 170-174.
  15. Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Brighton, R, Taylor, E, Sumskis, S, Perlman, D, Heffernan, T, Hadfield, L 2016, ‘Nursing students’ reflections on the learning experience of a unique mental health clinical placement, Nurse Education Today, 46, pp. 94-98.
  16. Moxham, L, Patterson, C, Sumskis, S, Brighton, R, Taylor, E, & Perlman, D 2016, ‘A multidisciplinary learning experience contributing to mental health rehabilitation’, Disability and Rehabilitation’ 39, no. 1, pp. 98-103.
  17. Cowley, T, Sumskis, S, Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Brighton, R, Patterson, C, & Halcomb, E 2016, ‘Evaluation of undergraduate nursing students’ clinical confidence following a mental health recovery camp’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 33-41.
  18. Taylor, E, Moxham, L, Perlman, D, Patterson, C, Brighton, R & Sumskis, S 2016, ‘Self-determination in the context of mental health recovery’, Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal, 23, no. 10, p. 41
  19. Patterson, C, Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Sumskis, S, Perlman, D, Brighton, Heffernan, T & Keough, E 2016, ‘Perceived Control among People with Severe Mental Illness: A Comparative Study’, Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 30, no. 5, pp. 563-567.
  20. Moxham, L, Patterson, P, Taylor E, Perlman, D, Sumskis, S & Brighton, R 2016, ‘A multidisciplinary learning experience contributing to mental health rehabilitation’, Disability and Rehabilitation, published online 12 Mar 2016, pp. 98-103.
  21. Moxham, L, Sumskis, S, Perlman, D, Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Taylor, E 2015, Building clinical confidence and skills: a placement with a difference, Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal, 22, no. 8, p. 35.
  22. Moxham, L, Liersch-Sumskis, S, Taylor, E, Patterson, C, & Brighton, R 2015, Preliminary outcomes of a pilot therapeutic recreation camp for people with a mental illness: Links to recovery, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 61-75.
  23. Liersch-Sumskis, S 2015, Choosing to use compared to taking medication: the meaning of medication as described by people who experience schizophrenia’, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 51, no. 2, pp. 114-120.
  24. Liersch, S, Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Moxham, L & Froggatt, T 2013, ’Consumers collaborate to bridge the theory-practice gap for nursing students in an innovative ‘bush camp’ clinical placement’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 22, S1, p. 16.
  25. Moxham, L, Liersch, S, Brighton, R, Johnston, E, Douglas, A, Gorman, E & Hayes, G 2014, ‘Contributing to recovery from a multidisciplinary lens: a case study from a therapeutic recreation initiative, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 3, S1, p. 28.
  26. Liersch, S, Moxham, L, Patterson, C & Brighton, R 2013, ‘Consumers educate nursing students’, The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. news, Sep-Nov 2013.
  27. Patterson, C, Liersch, S, Brighton, R, Moxham, L & Butler, I 2013, ‘‘I did things I wouldn’t even dream about’: A showcase of the ‘recovery camp’’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22, S1, p. 16.
  28. Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Liersch, S, Moxham, L, Froggatt, T & Butler, I 2013, ‘Reflections from academic mental health RNs: collaborating with people experiencing mental illness’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 22, s.1, p. 2.
  29. Moxham, L, Brighton, R, Froggatt, T, Liersch, S & Andersen, P 2012, Stimulating an interest in mental health nursing, Australian Nursing Journal, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 35.
  30. Moxham, L, Brighton, R, Froggatt, T, Liersch, S & Andersen, P2012, Mental health nursing simulation: A valuable aspect of learning’s tapestry. 38th International Mental Health Nursing Conference
  31. Liersch, S, Moxham, L, Caputi, P & Curtis, J 2012, Schizophrenia and resilience: what does it mean? Australian Nursing Journal, vol. 20, no. 2, p. 41.
  32. Brighton, R, Brown, A, Froggatt, T & Liersch, S 2011, ‘A strong commitment to mental health nursing’, Australian Nursing Journal, vol. 19 no. 4, pp. 40-41.
  33. Liersch, S, Curtis, J & Caputi, P 2011, 'People with schizophrenia can become resilient while recovering', Journal of Human Development, Disability and Social Change, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 85-94.
  34. Liersch, S 2010, 'What is an 'independent mental health nurse' and how do we operate: a clinician's perspective', Mental Health Matters, Mental Health Association NSW
  35. Liersch, S, Curtis, J & Caputi, P 2008, 'Do the concept of resilience and the experience of schizophrenia go together’? International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 17, s.1, p. 18.
  36. Liersch, S 2008, 'Findings from travels under a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to investigate less restrictive practices in acute mental health care’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 17, s.1, p. 18.
  37. Liersch, S 2008, 'Less restrictive mental health practices', Mental Health Matters, Mental Health Association NSW.

Book Chapters

  1. Sumskis, S & Howard-Gillis, E 2018, Disorders of personality, in Contemporary Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Partnerships in care, 4th edn, Ed L Moxham, M Hazelton, E Muir-Cochrane, T Heffernan, C Kneisl, E Trigoboff, Pearson, Sydney, Australia, pp. 390-412.
  2. Froggatt, T, & Liersch-Sumskis, S, 2017, Assessment of Mental Health and Mental Health Conditions, in Mental Health: A Person-Centred Approach, 2017, Eds, N Proctor, H, Hamer, D McGarry, R Wilson & T Froggatt, Cambridge Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 94-120.
  3. Froggatt, T, & Liersch-Sumskis, S, 2013, Assessment of Mental Health and Mental Health Conditions, in Mental Health: A Person-Centred Approach, 2013, Eds, N Proctor, H, Hamer, R Wilson, D McGarry & T Froggatt, Cambridge Press, Melbourne.

Conference Presentations

  1. Sumskis, S 2018, ‘New frontiers: Taking contemplative pedagogy online’. Paper presented at Contemplative practices for 21st century higher education, 9-10 March, University of North Carolina, USA.
  2. Sumskis, S, Moxham, L, Heffernan, T, Brighton, R, Perlman, D, Taylor, E, & Patterson, C 2016, ‘Yes I can! Recovery camp’s contribution to physical and emotional wellbeing for people with lived experience of mental illness. Paper presented at 17th International Mental Health Conference, 10-12 August 2016, Auckland, NZ.
  3. Moxham, L, Taylor, E, Sumskis, S, Patterson, C, Brighton, R, Perlman, D & Heffernan, T 2016, ‘Do clinical placements influence attitudes toward consumers’? Results of a comparative study examining stigma. Paper presented at the 42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference, “Striving to tackle disparities in health care”, 25-27 October, Adelaide, Australia.
  4. Cregan, A, Perlman, D, Moxham, L, Patterson, C, Taylor, E, Sumskis, S, Heffernan, T & Brighton, R 2016, ‘Student’s intention to work in mental health: analysing their motivations’. Poster presented at the 42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference, “Striving to tackle disparities in health care”. 25-27 Oct, Adelaide, Australia.
  5. Picton, C, Moxham, L, Patterson, C, Perlman, D, Taylor, E, Heffernan, T, Sumskis, S & Brighton, R 2016, ‘Using therapeutic recreation as a means of increasing physical activity and reducing social isolation’. Poster presented at the 42nd International Mental Health Nursing Conference, “Striving to tackle disparities in health care”. 25-27 Oct, Adelaide, Australia.
  6. Sumskis, S 2015, ‘A phenomenological examination of the meaning of resilience as described by people who experience schizophrenia’. Paper presented at Pathways to Resilience III, Dalhousie University, 15-19 June, Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada.
  7. Moxham, L, Sumskis, S, Brighton, R, Patterson, C & Taylor, E 2015, ‘Interdisciplinary capstone course: Synthesising theory and practice through an innovative mental health clinical placement’. Paper presented at: 3rd Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference, 29-30 June, Singapore.
  8. Pegg, S, Moxham, L, Perlman, D, Sumskis, S, Patterson, C, Brighton, R & Taylor, E 2015, ‘Using recreation to create a therapeutic milieu that works for mental health consumers’, ANZALS 12th Biennial Conference, Leisure as a Human Right, University of South Australia, Australia.
  9. Liersch, S, Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Moxham, L & Froggatt, T 2013, ‘Consumers collaborate to bridge the theory-practice gap for nursing students in an innovative ‘bush camp’ clinical placement’. Paper presented at, 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Collaboration and Partnerships in Mental Health Nursing, 22-24 October, Perth, Australia.
  10. Moxham, L, Liersch, S, Patterson, C, Brighton, R, Froggatt, T & Butler, I 2013, ‘An immersive work integrated learning experience- showcasing an innovative, experiential clinical placement’. Paper presented at The National Nursing Forum: Success through Synergy. 20-21 Oct, National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia.
  11. Patterson, C, Liersch, S, Brighton, R, Moxham, L & Butler, I 2013, ‘I did things I wouldn’t even dream about’: reflections of the ‘recovery camp’. Poster presented at 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Collaboration and partnerships in Mental Health Nursing, 22-24 Oct, Perth, Australia. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22 (Supp1) Oct 2013.
  12. Moxham, L, Brighton, R, Sumskis, S, Johnston, E, Hayes, G, & Patterson, C 2014, ‘Look at me! The dignity of risk’. Poster presented at, 40th International Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Conference: Honouring the Past, Shaping the Future, 7-9 Oct, Melbourne, Australia.
  13. Brighton, R, Patterson, C, Liersch, S, Moxham, L, Froggatt, T & Butler, I 2013, ‘Reflections from academic mental health RNs: Collaborating with people experiencing mental illness’. Poster presented at, 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference: Collaboration and partnerships in Mental Health Nursing, 22-24 Oct, Perth, Australia. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 22 (Supp1) Oct 2013.
  14. Liersch, S, 2011, ‘People with schizophrenia can become resilient while recovering’, International Congress on Resilience, 27-28 April, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  15. Liersch, S 2010, 'Is resilience an appropriate concept to attach to schizophrenia?' Coping, Resilience and Hope Building, Asia Pacific Regional Conference, 9-11 July, Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice, Brisbane, Australia.
  16. Liersch S 2007, 'Resilience and lifetime risk in schizophrenia', 13th Annual Hunter Mental Health Conference, 14 May, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, Newcastle, NSW.

Other Publications

  1. Liersch, S 2007, 'Investigating less restrictive practices for managing clients in an acute inpatient mental health setting', Churchill Fellowship Report, http://www.churchilltrust.com.au/media/fellows/LIERSCH_Susan_2007.pdf
 
Memberships

 

  • Member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education
  • Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN)
  • Vice President of Psychs on Bikes (POB) Registered Mental Health Charity
  • Member of the Mental Health Professionals’ Network (MHPN)
  • Member of the Mental Health Association of NSW (MHA)
  • Member of the Schizophrenia Research Fellowship
  • Member of the Mental Health & the Ageing Brain Panel Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute (IHMRI).


Contact

email: s.sumskis@nantien.edu.au

office phone: +61 (2) 4258 0751