"A shove in the right direction, that was enough, I think it was just the fact that someone believed in me more than anything else, just someone saying you can do it" Evaluation Participant.
I led an evaluation of the first attempt at implementing the 'Housing First' approach to homelessness. Included a review of utilisation stats and interviews with clients, staff and stakeholders in Mental Health Homeless Team, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Corrections, Housing NZ and Work and Income.
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.
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.
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.