The theme of this year’s forum was ‘Shaping the landscape of changing mental health services’.

To set the scene we heard from Jaime with an introduction to systemic advocacy and the work Being does. Jaime has been working on a Policy Advocacy Framework and shared this model in her presentation. We wanted to highlight the power of lived experience and showed sections of the 2016 TheMHS videos that resonated with us. They were Robin Youngson’s talk on ‘The heart of healing – a compassionate approach to mental illness’ and Joe Macdonald’s talk on ‘Clarity and complexity: being a non-binary Transgender Person’. We will soon be having a showing of these two videos at our office and a reflection session which will hope lots of you will attend!

One of the highlights of the day was the panel discussion on experiences of local service design and delivery focusing on consumer participation and co-design. Thank you to all our wonderful panel members! Jon Strang, Chris O’Sullivan, Helen Backhouse, Shane Bentley and Tina Kenny.

“What an amazingly rich conversation the panel members generated around what consumer participation and co-deign translates to in their life, service and workplaces! The discussion showcased how central the expertise of people with lived experience was to drive positive change. Services must realise that choosing to partnering with people with lived experience will make or break the innovation and quality of services.” Sage Green – A/CEO Being


In the afternoon we got into four groups to talk about different topics (the NDIS, issues facing young people, human rights and living well in later life) and what people want Being to do to advocate in these areas. We are currently looking through the feedback and great ideas people told us about and will share this at a later date. We finished off the day with some self-care techniques, freshly baked scones and some networking.

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