Open Dialogue Centre collaboration with Monash University
Open Dialogue Centre visits Monash University, May 2022. Back row, left to right: Paul Denborough, Keith Bryant, Niels Buus, John Grant AM, Elisabeth Shaw FAPS, Sally Green. Front row, left to right: Tessa Jones, Debra Griffiths, Shubhangi Kaushik, Kathryn Greiner AO.

Open Dialogue Centre joins forces with Monash University to translate evidence-based research into practice.

Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Open Dialogue Centre have formed a collaboration that aims to incorporate the voice of those with lived experience into research and mental health services delivered in Australia.

The Open Dialogue approach to mental health originated in Finland and has gained increasing international attention and significant interest across Australia. It is a person-centred approach to mental health that empowers individuals experiencing distress and those that support them.

The partnership will enable direct engagement between researchers, practitioners and educators and leverage collaboration opportunities across academic and clinical partner networks and philanthropy. This opportunity will focus on translating evidence-based research from the Monash School of Nursing and Midwifery into the Open Dialogue approach.

Professor Niels Buus of Monash Nursing and Midwifery has worked alongside Open Dialogue advocates at the Grant Family Charitable Trust and Relationships Australia, NSW, for many years and is leading an international research group exploring Open Dialogue practices, implementation, and adoption. “Open Dialogue is about working with families to mobilise psychosocial recourses when faced by a mental health crisis or adversity. It is a recovery-oriented and trauma-informed approach that acknowledges the voices of lived experience as equal to the professionals’ voice,” says Professor Buus.

The collaboration will also provide opportunities for highly experiential training in Open Dialogue methods for mental health nurses, clinicians and healthcare workers and drive much-needed change in the clinical service delivery of mental health and well-being. Open Dialogue trainees will learn about transformative dialogues by being placed “in” Dialogue through learning processes, fostering a high level of openness to understanding individuals and their family’s needs.

“Building a universal and sustainable national health system that supports mental well-being should be a key priority for all Australian governments and relevant health agencies. The global pandemic has accelerated the scale of this challenge with an urgent need for services to become more recovery-oriented, family inclusive and holistic. Open Dialogue’s innovative approach supports Australians and closes the gap in our mental health system”, says Keith Bryant, Executive Chair of the Open Dialogue Centre.

“Monash University is excited about the partnership with the Open Dialogue Centre as it strengthens our mental health nursing team in developing new educational resources and research. Also, I expect the partnership to bring new energy into dealing with the current mental health workforce crisis concerning recruitment and retention of specialist mental health nurses,” says Professor Debra Griffiths, Head of Monash Nursing and Midwifery.

In collaboration with Monash University, the Open Dialogue Centre is running a half-day introductory training on 16 September 2022 and 21 October 2022. We welcome family members, carers, peers, family therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, general practitioners, and anyone interested in learning more about Open Dialogue – register your interest.

About Open Dialogue Centre

The Open Dialogue Centre is a joint-venture partnership between the Grant Family Charitable Trust and Relationships Australia, NSW. The Centre provides the training, supervision and support needed to integrate Open Dialogue into any setting confidently, resulting in better connections between services, teams, individuals, and their families. The Centre aims to improve mental health services in Australia; involve families and community key partners to help provide care and support for those experiencing distress; and ensure services are responsive, accessible, and adapted to the needs of the individual.

For more information contact or visit

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation. With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia, and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities. As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

For more information contact or visit

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