TheMHS Learning Network Management Committee and staff would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Barbara Hocking. Barbara was a great champion in the mental health field and a good friend to TheMHS.
Since 1995, Barbara Hocking has been Executive Director of SANE Australia – a national charity working for a better life for all people affected by mental illness through education and support, applied research and campaigning for improved services and attitudes.
Amongst other responsibilities, Barbara is a member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, the National Media and Mental Health Working Group, and serves on the Boards of SANE Australia and RUOK? Limited.
Barbara was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and educated at Queen’s University where she gained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, before going on to study Education and Health Education.
Previously SANE’s Education Officer, Barbara has also worked in Health Promotion and Education in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Papua New Guinea.
She retired from her position as Executive Director of SANE Australia on 15 July 2012.
SANE works in partnership with a wide range of community, professional, academic, philanthropic and corporate groups and has won a number of awards for its applied research, education, campaigning and community awareness work.
SANE operates the SANE Helpline, a national 1800 Freecall telephone and online Helpline service, providing information and advice on all mental illnesses and referral to local services and through which the community’s concerns on a wide range of mental health issues are monitored. Reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, suicide prevention and improving the overall health of people with chronic illness (improved physical health for people with mental illness and improved mental health for people with other chronic conditions), are important campaign areas for SANE. (More can be learned about this work at www.sane.org.)
This award is in recognition of extraordinary leadership and dedication to the understanding of mental health issues within Australia and internationally; For a powerful positive influence in the area of stigma and discrimination reduction; For participation with wisdom and creativity in domains ranging from mental health policy development to groundbreaking TV programs. The results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.