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Real stories are critical. I can talk about mental illness, but until someone says, "I've got schizophrenia, and I need to borrow a book from your library, don't be scared of me, this is my story,” it’s all abstract.
You’re a mental health educator and a nurse, however what other roles do you play in your life?
Personally, I'm a single mum of a thirteen year old, both my parents who are in their eighties also live with me, so it's a very interesting house. We also have a dog that everybody sort of channels through.
How did your relationship with One Door start?
I ran a workshop at one of their annual conferences about five years ago. But I kept in contact, so they brought me in because I've been involved with training for 25 years in the mental health welfare space. They really wanted some clinical input, because I still work in mental health, I do consulting with the Institute of Psychiatry and Mental Health Coordinating Council, and other organisations. I was brought into this role, I suppose to give a mental health perspective.
What are some of the things that you like about One Door?
I like that they're open to innovation, I feel like I've had free range to be creative and to adapt things, to enter, add ideas and courses. I just feel like it's a place where you don't have to jump through layers of bureaucracy. I felt at liberty to develop stuff, adapt it, make it work for whoever the people are.
What advice do you have for someone with a mental illness or someone who has a loved one with a mental illness?
If I was queen of the mental health world, everybody would have their own medical record chart. They would all have their own medication chart with a full, plain English explanation of both wanted and unwanted effects. I wouldn't call them side effects, I'd call them expected effects that are expected. I love the concept of shared record keeping.
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