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.
It's well known that people often struggle the most when traditional mental health services are closed for anything except crisis situations. Evenings and weekends are when a simple chat can help if people are feeling unsettled and prevent things getting worse. I was privileged to put together the first professional Warmline as a peer support helpline service.
Every time we hear about suicide in the TV, radio or social media it has a huge impact on us and our communities. I led academic research into this which informed government guidelines on media reporting, this part was published in the peer-reviewed journal Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention.