Authors: Evan Bichara
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Hope Resilience & the right mix of supports through easy to reach community channels clearly builds wellness in people and definitely thrives in creating more healthier communities for those with Mental Health issues, as well as those without Mental Health issues in the long run.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Evan has worked in Mental Health Consumer Advocacy for three decades, at Local, State, and Federal levels, serving Mainstream and Multicultural Communities. He has worked largely within the Victorian Transcultural Mental Health Service for 18 years, running 2 major State Wide Mental Health Support & Advocacy groups, and engaging the wider community. As a Guest Speaker he has presented on meaningful ways to explore how people receive recovery, and spoken at multiple conferences. Evan has also worked with the College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) on multiple Committees - promoting community engagement within their wider programs.
Through this paper I wish to build on the title by exploring my many Community engagements / my overwhelming Spiritual / Emotional ties with my Religious Faith on how I / many others vastly improved the quality of life shifting closer to our upbringing ways and discovering a goldmine of supports ready to be discovered, explored and acted to; of existing talents, knowledge, a wide connection of people as we as free Spiritual guidance / counselling which was / has proven to me to be effective over the years, in conjunction with the Clinical guidance. This in itself had fostered personal resilience and allowed me with many others on similar paths to enjoy a healthier life in the Community at large, regardless of the Mental Illness burden, which did not discredit going forward with other diverse Community engagements for my Recovery. Though it was the Church engagement and its added pillars of great intense support, coupled obviously with the ongoing Clinical support that gave me potential abilities to reach to other Community engagements that accelerated my Recovery. In the wide Sporting field, my Football Soccer talents creatively expanded towards Coaching and performing School Soccer Clinics teaching young kids how to master the game. In later years this career advanced to a Soccer Referee for Soccer Australia. I also affiliated my talents in doing paid / unpaid work for many Non Profit / Profit organizations. As a Community Educator spoke to numerous Community based services about my living journey of recovery of Mental Illness and it was possible in getting better.
As a Consumer Advocate for 2 to 3 decades advocated strongly for better services programs / projects throughout Australia.
The capacity to drive one's own life, strengthen it and overwhelming self / collective enthusiasm in helping others along the way has ultimately once again has driven me in writing this paper , hoping it cultivates good energies/discussion in improving services and the quality of life for many.
Learning Objective 1: The audience will listen to my Personal Story of Mental illness and realize that it is possible for people carrying this condition at many times can easily assimilate into their Community if they are empowered encouraged / visualize its effects to produce a much higher quality of life learning along the way their own unique coping strategies and utilizing them to go forward.
Learning Objective 2: Important for ALL Staff of MH Services to listen to Personal Stories of Recovery, from having a mental illness and not moving forward to getting engaged with the communities at any level and bridging into recovery. Authentically and most genuinely coming on board of all the overriding issues that mental illness at many times brings and strengthen people towards a healthy state of mind.