Five minutes with Litsa Kyriakou

Litsa Kyriakou
  17 November 2023  NWMPHN   

Litsa “Lits” Kyriakou joined the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) mental health referral and access team in early 2023, after working in similar roles centred on child protection and women’s health.

“I am a social worker by profession and have experience working with clients from all walks of life,” she says.  “My speciality has been working with patients within a hospital setting.”

As well as working at NWMPHN, she is studying for a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health through La Trobe University.

The role appeals to her, she says, because she likes being the first point of contact for clients, and working with them to navigate a pathway to recovery.

Working with the team can be tough sometimes, but through her career Lits has developed coping strategies that limit stress.

Mental health team sitting at a table
Image (L to R): Litsa Kyriakou, Jay Kumar and Paulette Belcastro.

“Resilience has always been a big contributing factor to coping with stressful times,” she explains.

“Debriefing with the team at the end of the day ensures that l don’t take my work with me after hours. I also have a secret weapon to stressful situation and that is listening to meditation music.”

Music aside, her other happy place is in her kitchen. “I enjoy baking,” she says, “My house is never without a cake, cupcakes or cookies.”

On a serious note, Lits says the top of her professional wishlist would be “More resources within the public psychiatric hospital system.”

Being part of the team, she says, is very rewarding and she would have no hesitation in recommending it to others.

“The team is extremely supportive and the way they have set up the hybrid system, it works well,” she says.

“You don’t feel that you’re working alone.  You always feel that your part of the team.  From the first day, l felt supported and respected for my qualifications and work experience.”

GPs and other health and community service professionals can refer anyone experiencing mental ill health to our referral and access team. Our clinicians review referrals and allocate them to the most clinically appropriate service – regardless of who funds or provides it.