Authors: Lyn Chaplin, VIC
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Recovery, Young People and Social Inclusion
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: beyondblue: the national depression initiative has included in their priority areas those with the lived experience of depression, anxiety and related substance-use disorders. The lack of education and the stigma that exists in the community exasperates recovery. beyondblue has been bold and brave facing the issues head on by getting out into the community, conducting forums and workshops, encouraging real life experience to be shared. Those with the lived experience have been encouraged to come forward and participate in driving change at a political level. beyondblue has established a consumer and carer reference group, blueVoices - a national group dedicated to the advocacy, education and support of persons and their families who live with depression, anxiety, related substance-use disorders, postnatal depression, bipolar disorder, and depression in both younger people and in older people. The feedback received from this group has resulted in the development of national website lists of both General Practitioners with more specialised mental health training, and a listing of Clinical Psychologists. Both lists are to assist consumers and carers to access quality primary mental health care. The recently launched National Advertising Campaign includes direct input from the blueVoices reference group, and addresses the importance of the carers role in assisting people to obtain help for mental health issues. This paper will discuss these and other important initiatives in which this reference group is involved.