S13: Tina’s Life Menu of Hope and Resilience

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By September 5, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Tina Reay, Lee Martinez

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Tina's Life Menu of Hope and Resilience

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Lee Martinez is a Whyalla woman and from a nursing background, who lives and works in country SA providing a lifelong experience and understanding of those residing in rural and remote areas. Lee currently works for the University of SA Department of Rural Health as the Mental Health Academic. Lee’s current research is focused on how the voice of the rural lived experience of mental health consumers and carers can influence practice and services. Their participation in education, service delivery and design can improve the health and well being of people who live with mental health illness.

Tina Reay originally from Scotland, now lives in Port Lincoln is a vibrant, funny and resilient woman. Tina’s experiences span from living with her own mental illness and caring for her children with mental illness, working with health educators to share her life learning's with the passion to enlighten clinicians and students. Tina loves comedy and most recent string to her bow is being a Stand Up for Mental Health Comic!!

Personal stories play a big part in helping other people see and hear the same or similar thing….. if he or she hears a story from another it could put the light on for them, help them to tell their own story. We all have a story in us. In my talk I will share my story around “my brain” and how using the concept of a “menu”, I have worked within myself and with other people to stop going around the bend.
On a good day “The Menu” has helped me to see every day what I did…..in the dark times and how the light went on in my brain.
In my presentation I will share with you the impact of life events, for example being adopted as a child, developing my menu to put life in perspective, how I came up with the idea, what it does for me and how it works…I will touch on the importance of breaking down the barriers to services and what helped me to navigate the system.
I hope you will be enlightened and realise “It’s Time”! We all have our own menu and stand up and move from the “dark times” …
The Dark is like food it eats you up….and then there is DESSERT!!
It’s good for you all to know I still get the dark times but with the help of my doctors, counsellors, friends and The Menu….I can find my way back with DESSERT. I pick one a week and aim to do it.
Participants will leave the presentation with the challenge of choosing an item from their own life menu that they can turn into a “desert”. I look forward to sharing with you this easy to do way of keeping my brain intact and not going around the bend!!

Learning Objectives>/b>

Learning Objective 1: People will take away an understanding of how a person with a lived experience of mental illness can work with a simple tool to break down their story is a safe way, determine their mental health appetite and move away from overthinking. The aim being to simplify the darkness to bring in the light. Furthermore, how the tool can be used to engage in conversation and educate health workers and students.

Learning Objective 2: People will learn how the world of lived experience (LE) can be bought into the community, health education and services to decrease stigma and enable meaningful conversations. The audience will go away with ideas of how clinicians and others can use simple, uncomplicated ways of working with LE to build stories of hope and resilience.

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