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“We have a real problem in the way the system is at the moment, because it's not working.”
What are the things you like about One Door?
They've been around a long time. There's a desperate need for organisations like One Door in terms of providing support and services, because it's a sector that's been chronically underfunded by various governments over many years. As the government withdraws from providing services, there's a gap that One Door is able to fill.
What's your vision for the future of mental health care in Australia?
My vision is that we get funding certainty for mental health care. We're still in crisis-reactive mode and this needs to change. We have a real problem in the way the system is at the moment, because it's not working. I have a little mantra that I use to review services, it's about communication, coordination, cooperation, and consistency.
What message would you like to get out about mental health? Or what would you like people to understand or know?
As a society, as human beings, we still have this idea of, "Different equals fear. Different equals risk." A myth that people with mental illness are dangerous and violent, but people with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves than someone else. They're more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence. I think the fact the diagnosis itself is not about a hopeless future. There is hope and there are things we can do.
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