S28: LEAD & PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Lived Experience and Connection: On and Off Screen

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By November 28, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Deborah Childs, Martin Wilson, Edith Moore, Ruth Cheeseman, Brooke Starr, Michael McConnachie

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: lived experience, addiction, technology, digital mental health, covid

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Provoking the discussion; a new approach, can a movie shift the dial?
Deborah Childs, Martin Wilson

HelpingMinds invested in the development of Pieces, a 94-minute drama thriller feature film shot in Perth, WA. Working with acclaimed movie director, Martin Wilson the aim was to create a unique and engaging film that starts a conversation to breakdown the stigma, stereotypes, and other misconceptions often attributed to people living with mental ill health. Our oral presentation will demonstrate the film making process and the importance of a visual story to start a conversation from those with lived experience.
HelpingMinds started as ARAFMI in 1976; a support group of mental health carers meeting weekly. At HelpingMinds talking about mental health is part of our organisational DNA, it is still not however part of mainstream conversations in our general community.
This is personal project for Martin as his brother has lived with schizophrenia for 50 years and this has had a profound effect on the Wilson family. In creating Pieces Martin is honouring his brother’s life and respectfully demonstrating the impact mental health challenges can have on families.
“Pieces” releases in Mental Health Week in cinemas across Australia promoting the importance of conversation about mental health. This is the opportunity to hear about the project from the film makers.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Social media as a social good: Embracing technology to reach people with lived experience
Edith Moore, Ruth Cheeseman

DRIVE coordinators Edith Moore and Ruth Cheeseman will describe the major transition that occurred with the network when the pandemic first appeared in March 2019, their learning opportunities, and how DRIVE has built a successful multi-platform lived experience engagement network. DRIVE Consumer Direction Counties Manukau is a network for people with lived experience of mental distress or addiction to alcohol or other drugs – and their whānau – in the Counties Manukau region. Under the umbrella of Ember Korowai Takitini, DRIVE is staffed by three lived experience peers, who bring the hope that recovery is possible - with information and education so people can empower themselves. Covid-19 has had a major impact on the way they connect with their peers. They have developed new strategies to connect, while keeping themselves, and the people they support, safe. The main strategy they implemented was the utilisation of remote methods. They employed multiple platforms including their website, social media, online learning, messenger apps, email, phone, and texting. Join them as they take you on their journey of learning new ways to connect during a pandemic.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Safety, Connection and Authenticity – Paradigm Shifting Distress
Brooke Starr, Michael McConnachie

The human experience can be fraught with uncertainty, riddled with complexity, compounded with despair and unrelenting struggle. It can also be surrounded with joy, gifted with hope, tremendously empowering and glorious. Human experiences require a human response. To be human is to thirst for safety, connection and authenticity like the water we need or the air we breathe.

This presentation discusses the importance of shifting the paradigm from dehumanising experiences back to rehumanising experiences. Peer lead services are becoming a genuine alternative to classical models of treatment for people experiencing instances of emotional and suicidal distress. People of a lived experience share their own insights into the meaning of safety, connection and authentic relating and how this could be the key to transforming the lives of people and the system set up to support them.

The presentation will provide a deeper understanding from a lived experience lens of what it actually means for people to experience safety, connection and authentic relating, and why it is important to assisting people to moving through distress.

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