How do we help people who do not engage with mental health services because of barriers like cost, geographic distance or even shame? And what about people who want to do things themselves and choose not to engage?
I was Principal Investigator on this research into over 600 people's experiences doing online CBT and self help and over 40 staff's perspectives on referring and delivering this service.
We often sit in our Mental Health world and wonder why more people don't make use of our services. A lot of the time it's because people don't even know we exist!
I was Principal Investigator on this research with over 100 staff in community services about how they currently support people who may be experiencing anxiety or depression and how this can be improved.
How do we best bring lived experience into university research? I was the first 'Consumer/Service User Researcher' at the University of Auckland and sat on the Medical and Health Sciences Faculty Advisory Committee where I provided strategic and operational guidance. I also helped established and keynoted the first Service Users Academic Symposium.
For me DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) takes all the best bits of the better-known CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and adds useful tools from Eastern traditions like acceptance and mindfulness. I felt privileged to be able to help the country's only residential DBT service with strategic and operational planing to improve accessibility and continue to deliver services.