I am a person who lives with psychosocial diverse ability (Bipolar and CPTSD as defined by Psychiatry), and am sibling caregiver to my younger brother and sister who live with enduring psychosocial diverse abilities. I lost my mother to suicide at the age of 9, and consequently my grandparents due to stigma not long after. My experiences of distress and service use drive my passion for global social change in mental health. I am a global mental health activist and have trained as a social worker. More importantly, I have trained in peer work in Australia and the US. I am currently a Lived Experience/ Service User Academic within the Department of Social Work at Victoria University after having another period off work due to mental health and workplace discrimination.
A few of the international advocacy roles I hold (mostly voluntary) include:
Western Pacific Region Representative on the Global Mental Health Peer Network
I am drawn to this work as I believe in alternatives to Psychiatry with a focus on trauma and peer interventions. I believe the system is grossly unjust, and requires a reattentioning of power to socio-cultural-structural knowledge bases and interventions which include Certified Personal Medicine as a way of partnering with others in distress.
My proudest moment is advocating for lived experience inclusion within high level spaces at WHO, reminding one dimensional Psychiatrists and bureacrats who hold power that lived experience should centre decision making in global spaces and be culturally informed by context. Shock horror!