Book of Proceedings: Together, We Can Flourish

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By April 15, 2020 No Comments

Authors: Judy Nicholas

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 9780994570260

Abstract: Paper from the 2019 TheMHS Conference by Judy Nicholas. Published as part of the 2019 Book of Proceedings.


Judy Nicholas has been advocating in the mental health system for over twenty years using the lived experience of her family members including her own.

Thirty years as a trained nurse in the aged care sector has enabled her to use her wealth of knowledge, awareness, empathy, intuition, and most importantly how advocacy can be adapted to strengthen all areas of the health system.

The aim of this presentation is to make known to health professionals the lived experience of two sisters with mental health issues whose most difficult challenges came in the form of side effects to the medication designed to overcome their disorders. The audience will learn about how the methods used by psychiatrists in 1999 to treat mental illness caused excessive mental and physical pain. Today, attitudes and practices have changed so much so that their mother and primary carer would say “if only” we knew then. The author will share how together as a family, resilience grew out of hardship in the way of set-backs, severe physical ailments, increasing mental torment, lengthy hospitalisations, near death experience, symptoms of institutionalisation to herald the recovery journey through acceptance, advocacy, sharing. Finally in 2019 relief is experienced through the NDIS by way of care and social encouragement in the local community.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: To raise awareness of the severity of physical side effects to medication prescribed by psychiatrists and how wisdom is now prevailing twenty years on to put in place practices prior to the medication response and maybe even form a replacement.
Learning Objective 2: The audience will respond to the lived experience of a family in crisis with an improved outlook of understanding to increase their empathy towards the mentally disordered person and to change attitudes from the past which may have been negative and less constructive

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