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Tina Smith, Principal Advisor – Sector and Workforce Development, MHCC
MHCC is the peak body for community mental health organisations in NSW. Since 1983 MHCC has worked to build the capacity of community organisations to support people on their recovery journeys. Tina has worked in the community services and health industry for more than 30 years. Her work has focused on recovery, psychosocial rehabilitation and community inclusion issues for people at risk for, living with or recovering from complex and diverse health and social problems and their families. She has worked to explore issues related to NDIS implementation for people living with mental health conditions in the context of the mental health reform environment since 2011.
Joseph Lonn - Manager, Training Services Development, ACON Pride Training
ACON is NSW’s leading organisation for community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders. Joe’s work at ACON relates to increasing capacity of service providers in Australia on sexual and gender diverse people and people living with HIV. This helps decrease barriers to accessing and using mainstream services. Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance states that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are six times more likely to experience depression than the general population. For trans and gender diverse people, they are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% having attempted suicide in their lifetime. Joe is a non-mental health specific Community Worker who attended the CEEP Project trial because he wanted to better understand the NDIS and ILC environment, but also how his work can be more trauma informed and inclusive of those whom experience mental health distress.
Julia Nunes - Chair of Bridge Housing East Tenants Advisory Group
Julia is a person living with a physical health disability. She has undertaken voluntary community work over many years. She became involved with the Bridge Housing Tenant Advisory Group (TAG) eight years ago. Her goal with this work is for Bridge Housing and their tenants to better understand and learn from one another. This is so services and other supporters can provide better help to tenants living with complicated problems. Bridge Housing supplies long-term accommodation for people on low to moderate incomes across Sydney. TAGs exist as voluntary groups to ensure that there is a strong, independent resident voice. A key activity of the TAGs is Building Bridges. Building Bridges is about Bridge and tenants working together to deliver a plan of action for community capacity building and tenant participation activities. Julia, who is originally from Portugal, and is a non-mental health specific volunteer attended the CEEP Project trial because: “I wanted to learn more about mental health issues because we have lots of tenants who are living with them. I also wanted to learn more about caring for both me and others.”
Susan (Sue) Allen, Peer Worker and Lived Experience Representative
Sue is a person living with a mental health condition. She has a lived with Bipolar Disorder including numerous psychiatric hospitalisations over a long period of time. Sue attended an early CEEP Project Co-design Working Group and later became a lived experience representative on the project Advisory Group. Sue has contributed to the project learning videos. She was previously a qualified Occupational Therapist and is now a Peer Worker. Sue is keen to share her message of hope: “This gets better, you are not just a diagnosis. You have a life around this. You have setbacks and then continue and move forward”. Sue says she attended the CEEP Project trial because: “I have a strong belief in the importance of community engagement in recovery, because I support the use of co-design in resource development and have a keen interest in mental health research”.
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