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“Stigma comes from ignorance, and therefore people need to get informed and understand mental illness. The best way to do that is to talk to people who have a mental illness.”
What roles do you have within One Door?
I'm the General Manager of Strategy and Innovation, I've been here for 16 years. Before that I was a volunteer since 1993. I was a volunteer setting up Pioneer Clubhouse, in Manly.
What are the things you like about One Door?
The commitment to community development is at the heart of what I do. It's the ability to change, to try and make a significant change in people, and help people make a significant change in their lives. Mental illness is always neglected because of the stigma, so a lot of the work is around trying to change that. One Door is a very responsive organisation, it's willing to partner with and work with people and communities all over the state, which is not easy.
What advice do you have for someone with mental illness or someone who has a loved one with mental illness?
I think the important thing is to be connected, and to stay connected, with services and with other people in similar situations. Not to let yourself get isolated, and to demand your rights. Absolutely demand your rights. There are so many situations where doctors don't give people due attention and write them off because they've got a mental illness.
It's about working out at how to be a self-advocate, do one of our advocacy courses, working out how to be a good advocate for your own needs, and your family’s needs, because you have to do that. That gives you confidence and skills.
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