Our Consumer Place Manifesto
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Personal experience of receiving (or being refused) mental health services provides valuable insights about 'mental illness' for consumers, the sector and the community.
Consumers are more than 'a story of disadvantage and/or prejudice'. There is a growing consumer body of knowledge which is important. It is grounded in collective understandings.
Consumers are experts in their own right and also leaders generating and challenging ideas, research, education and practice including management of the consumer workforce
Consumer expertise should be remunerated.
There are multiple and sometimes conflicting views amongst consumers. This is not inconsistent with the idea of consumer perspective which is an historically 'wary' one.
'Nothing about us without us;' is a fundamental tenet.
There is dignity in risk taking
In order to change the world we need a collective noun (mad, consumer, lived experience) and in order to live good lives we need to be valued as individuals. This is not inconsistent.
Nobody can empower us. People and institutions can, however, stop disempowering us.
We give everyone a chance to speak but do not accept yelling.
WHAT WE DO
We write after listening, speak after hearing, present knowledge tentatively and collaboratively.
We support and resource the consumer community
We contribute to debates
We provide a website which engages with consumers and provides information
We engage the mental health sector with quality material to educate clinicians, workers and families from a consumer perspective.
We liaise with consumer leaders, writers and thinkers internationally
We engage with the idea of community development recognising the small, localised nature of community building.
We run workshops and presentations on topics related to consumer perspective to the community and mental health sector.
HOW WE WORK
We provide written resources, workshops and presentations. We are not a therapeutic resource and we are not a consumer group or consumer political/advocacy resource.
We work with the latest material coming out of the consumer movement, Community Mental Health Sector, general disability debates and medicine.
We support the usage of the Our Community resources by consumer organisations connected with Our Consumer Place
We refer consumers needing advocacy on to other organisations such as the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness and the Indpendent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) organisation.
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