A big part of the change many of us want to see is a more inclusive society. By reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, the potential for recovery and integration is enhanced. I was strategic advisor to the governments development of our national plan to work towards this.
New Zealand is well known for its struggles with suicide, especially amongst indigenous Māori and young people. I was privileged to be the first lived experience member on the Ministry of Health Suicide Prevention Task Force to help develop the first Suicide Prevention Strategy.
"I wouldn't have come if I couldn't bring my cats. Nothing comes between me and my cats." Research Participant.
I was lead researcher for this project exploring the perspectives from residents and staff at different providers.
One of the most encouraging signs of change has been the increase of lived experience roles within health. But we're still figuring out how they can best contribute to a better health system and support the individuals employed and the workforce as a whole.
I led this project to help inpatient and outpatient services at a hospital redesign their advisory roles in consultation with community organisations.