Hi! My name is Phoebe Kingston, I’m a person with a lived experience of emotional distress & ‘psychiatric diagnosis’ which led me to working as a peer support worker in the public mental health system. Soon, my inner conflicts derived from working in a broken mental health system left me curious & questioning the dominant mental health care model of bio-psychiatry. It led me to some unique study, I graduated from the Lived Experience Educator (LEE) Unit through Curtin University, Western Australia (WA) & I left with some alternative perspectives & messages to share. This critical education broadened my confidence in my public speaking career, as an international speaker & key-note, I now also enjoy guest lecturing for three other universities in WA. However, Curtin University feels like my home, as a LEE for their School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work & Speech Pathology, I hold a sessional academic contract which enables me lecture, assess, tutor, and contribute to curriculum development through co-producing materials and entire units of study for the School. This incredible opportunity has taught & privileged me a great deal & through my work at Curtin University, I’m now authoring several papers for medical journals. Something I never thought I’d be doing!
I’m the owner & founder of Thru the Rabbit Hole, an emerging lived experience speaking, training, & consultancy group with a mission & vision for mental health ‘consumer’ activism & social change. As a passionate person I hold multiple roles in the sector including; executive ‘consumer’ representative, Deputy Chair of the Mental Health Community Advisory Council for the WA Department of Health, & a Project Lead & subcommittees Chair under the Council. I partake in various other committee roles & task groups including an Open Dialogue working group formed between WA & Queensland. Apparently, I work as a ‘Subject Matter Expert’ Advisor! (*choke) Who knew! I’ve contributed to some expert panels including some State & national panels including the WA Recovery College Panels & the National Media Reporting Guidelines Panel. As a Board Director for Consumers of Mental Health WA, I’m continually learning about the challenges that Not For Profit organisations face in the path to their vision, it can be both rewarding & frustrating. I’m also a national Peer Ambassador for Sane Australia, with a special interest area in advocacy for alternative understandings of mental & emotional distress.