USHER in FOCUS – Usher Support Session 1

Robin Forbes -Genetic Counsellor, VCGS

Supporting the Whole Family Unit


Associate Professor Helen Bourke-Taylor – Monash University

Healthy Mothers-Healthy Families


Q&A Usher Support with Robin and Helen




Robin Forbes 

Robin Forbes is a Genetic Counsellor at the Victorian Clinical Genetic Service, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Her extensive experience has led to the development of best practise models for multidisciplinary clinics for children with complex genetic conditions. 

Supporting the Whole Family Unit 

Robin Forbes will explore the common themes relating to families with children diagnosed with genetic conditions, including the communication of genetic information with immediate and extended family, as well as the impact on unaffected siblings and fathers when the focus often falls on mothers and the child with the genetic condition. 

Robin will also discuss the consequences telehealth can have on the communication of sensitive information, and how health care providers can work to ensure the best mental health and wellbeing outcomes for the entire family unit. 

Associate Professor Helen Bourke-Taylor 

Helen Bourke-Taylor is an occupational therapist and Associate Professor at Monash University, Melbourne Australia. Helen is a Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Academy and her research has led to the development of Healthy Mothers Healthy Families (HMHF), a research based program designed to support, empower and encourage mothers of a child with a disability to learn about, and create a healthy lifestyle that fosters their own health and well-being, alongside a healthy, happy family life. 

Healthy Mothers Healthy Families 

Associate Professor Helen Bourke-Taylor will discuss the research that identifies mothers of children with a disability as having a higher risk for compromised health and wellbeing, and the catalyst for the development of the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families (HMHF) program. She will address the service changes that provide mothers with information about their own health and need for health enhancing activities, as well as education that empowers mothers to manage and master their child’s disability and needs. 

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