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ACT Multicultural Mental Health Network
Aims to promote the mental health and well-being needs of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and communities in the ACT and surrounding region.

Copeland Centre for Wellness and Recovery
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) is a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. WRAP® is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to: 1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviours; 2) increase personal empowerment; 3) improve quality of life; and 4) achieve their own life goals and dreams. Working with a WRAP® can help individuals to monitor uncomfortable and distressing feelings and behaviours and, through planned responses, reduce, modify, or eliminate those feelings. A WRAP® also includes plans for responses from others when an individual cannot make decisions, take care of him/herself, and/or keep him/herself safe.

Psychiatric Survivors Movement
The psychiatric survivors movement (more broadly Peer/Consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement) is a diverse association of individuals who either currently access mental health services (known as consumers or service users), or who are survivors of interventions by psychiatry, or who are ex-patients of mental health services.


Borderlands Cooperative
Independent network for holistic community activism, sustainability and action research.
Borderlands provides a meeting place for any people wanting to transform the current personal, professional and organisational practices which are ultimately destructive to our social life and our planet's sustainability.

Boston Empowerment and Wellness Centre
For those who seek less stress, personal growth and improved health in their lives

CAN Mental Health
CAN Mental Health is a not-for-profit organisation championing recovery for mental health consumers. With strong peer input and leadership, CAN provides an insightful approach to the provision of mental health services. Funded by supporters and through fundraising, CAN services are free to consumers.
CAN Mental Health is working toward accreditation under National Disability Service Standards and the National Mental Health Service Standards.
Address: 6A/15 Orchard Rd, Brookvale NSW 2100
Phone: (02) 9114 8150 - Sydney Callers
Phone: 1300 135 846 - Intra & Interstate Callers
Fax: (02) 9938 3886

Community Music Victoria
Singing is a wonderful way to boost your sense of wellbeing. This site will link you to range of singing groups and teachers. You may even like to explore some of the music and song-writing therapy groups

David Oaks website
David W. Oaks, former Executive Director of MindFreedom International, has been a psychiatric survivor human rights activist since 1976. David is also on the Board of Directors of the United States International Council on Disability.

The Dax Centre
A gallery and education resources promoting mental health and wellbeing by fostering a greater understanding of the mind, mental illness and trauma through art and creativity.

House with no steps
Information about mental illness, disability and the NDIS.
As one of Australia's leading providers of disability services, we are dedicated to ensuring people with a disability have greater choice, control and freedom - we work hard to make sure everyone we support gets a fair go.

Lifestyle Solutions
Having trouble making sense of your Victorian disability services funding and support? At Lifestyle Solutions we provide an extensive range of disability services and supports, whether you're in a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial site or not.

Like Minds, Like Mine N.Z.
A public awareness programme to increase social inclusion and end discrimination towards people with experience of mental illness or distress. We do this through public awareness campaigns, community projects and research.

Mental Health Coordinating Council
The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) is the peak body for community mental health organisations in New South Wales.
MHCC has been supporting community-based organisations to deliver services to people with mental health issues, their families and carers since 1983. We strive to raise the profile of mental health through our projects, submissions and by promoting partnership development. MHCC is currently accredited under Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).

Links to learning opportunities
Ground Floor Broughton Hall (Bldg 125)
Corner Church and Glover Sts. Lilyfield NSW
General Enquiries
PO Box 668 Rozelle NSW 2039
Phone: 02 9555 8388 Fax: 02: 9810 8145 Email:
MHCC Learning & Development
Phone: 02 9555 8388 ext 106 Fax: 02 9810 8145

Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria)
The Mental Health Foundation believes that mental illness should be no more difficult to talk about than diabetes or heart disease, nor should individuals with a mental illness be treated with any less respect. If we can remove the stigma, people will be able to ask for help without the fear of prejudice. In most cases, with prompt treatment and the right care, individuals can learn to manage their mental illness and be guided towards recovery.
The way people think about mental illness has already changed over the last 30 years. With a focused and informed effort, it's possible to change it still further. Our organisation works to deepen understanding of the importance of mental wellbeing. Educating the community about available treatment options for mental illness is a large part of our brief, but our primary emphasis is on promoting good mental health and the means to maintain it.

Mind Freedom International
MindFreedom International is a nonprofit organization that unites 100 sponsor and affiliate grassroots groups with thousands of individual members to win human rights and alternatives for people labelled with psychiatric disabilities.

Mind U.K.
Provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

A vibrant on-line community that showcases the work and views of people with lived experience of mental illness, developed as a partnership between the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia and the Media Resource Centre.

National Empowerment Centre U.S.
NEC staff and consultants bring unique experience in organizing and developing consumer-run organizations, and helping individuals and groups develop the knowledge and ability to transform the mental health service system toward a more recovery-oriented and consumer-and-family-driven approach. Each has experience running organizations, nurturing the process of recovery in individuals and groups, and strong skills as educators. This team is available to individuals, organizations, service systems and family members looking for a speaker or for technical assistance, training and consultation.

An imaginative three page flyer about Peerzone and how it works. pdf_ready_peerzone.pdf

The Blog that shouldn't be written
I was mad for years. I was supposed to be psychotic, unemployed and heavily medicated for the rest of my life. But the psychiatrists were wrong. I healed in spite of the mental health system. And my recovery was not about addressing a supposed chemical imbalance in my brain, or about getting rid of symptoms.
Instead, it was about making sense of my life, addressing the impacts of childhood trauma and finding my own power, truth and new ways to live with my madness. Today I have an extraordinary life that I cherish. I'm a well-paid and respected professional consumer advocate, speaker, writer and trainer. I'm sought out for my lived experience of madness, trauma and recovery.
And yes, some days I am still quite mad. Thank goodness.

WNUSP (World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry)
is an international organization of users and survivors of psychiatry that advocates for the human rights of users and survivors; it speaks internationally for users and survivors, promotes the user/survivor movement in every nation around the globe, links user/survivor organizations and individuals throughout the world.


Asylum Magazine for Democratic Society
Asylum magazine is a forum for free debate, open to anyone with an interest in psychiatry or mental health. We especially welcome contributions from service users or ex-users (or survivors), carers, and frontline psychiatric or mental health workers (anonymously, if you wish). The magazine is not-for-profit and run by a collective of unpaid volunteers. Asylum Collective is open to anyone who wants to help produce and develop the magazine, working in a spirit of equality.

Health Issues
Issue 107 (Winter 2011)
Thomacos, Nikos; Roussy, Veronique; Rudd, Annette

People with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use issues also commonly experience co-occurring mental health issues (Lubman, Allen, Rogers, Cementon and Bonomo 2007). The co-occurrence of drug and mental health concerns (dual diagnosis) has again been consistently confirmed. Recent Australian data suggests that, overall, recent users of illicit drugs (i.e. past 12 months) were more likely to have been diagnosed or treated for a mental illness than those who had not used during the last 12 months. This association was evident for a range of individual substances: cannabis, ecstasy, meth/amphetamines and cocaine (AIHW 2010). Recent data from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) found that 63% of Victorian participants who self-reported illicit drug use also self-reported mental health problems. This is obviously troubling. Furthermore, of those with self-identified co-occurring illicit drug use and mental health problems, 90% reported having sought assistance from mental health services. These Victorian figures were the highest in Australia (Stafford and Burns 2010).;dn=446795313224264;res=IELHEA

Mutiny of the Soul, Charles Eisenstein
He questions why we get ill - asking if the life we are faced with is worth living. Eisenstein challenges us to think differently - to ask how we can retreat and enter life again in new ways that hold deep meaning for us.

NSW Consumer Advisory Group - Mental Health Inc (2010)
Literature review on the mental health peer workforce conducted in Australia. Consumer Workers' Forum Project. Literature review on the mental health consumer workforce. (September). Sydney, Australia. Accessed 27/11/2012. cwf_literature_review_final.pdf

A review of the literature on peer support in mental health services
Julie Repper and Tim Carter Although mutual support and self-help groups based on shared experience play a large part in recovery, the employment of peer support workers (PSWs) in mental health services is a recent development. However, peer support has been implemented outside the UK and is showing great promise in facilitating recovery. This article aims to review the literature on PSWs employed in mental health services to provide a description of the development, impact and challenges presented by the employment of PSWs and to inform implementation in the UK.
Journal of Mental Health, August 2011; 20(4): 392-411

Becoming more Peer Focussed - Flick Grey (Our Consumer Place)
A booklet outlining the case for being peer-focussed.

Here's How Negative Thinking Is Changing Your Brain
By Kathleen Toohill /
If you've ever found yourself trapped in a seemingly endless loop of negative thinking, or wondered why you fixate on a stray rude comment but easily forget compliments, you may have a culprit to blame: evolution.
According to Rick Hanson, PhD, a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and New York Times best-selling author, humans are evolutionarily wired with a negativity bias. Our minds naturally focus on the bad and discard the good. It was much more important for our ancestors to avoid threats than to collect rewards: An individual who successfully avoided a threat would wake up the next morning and have another opportunity to collect a reward, but an individual who didn't avoid the threat would have no such opportunity.

Just World Hypothesis and the Perpetuation of Victim-Blaming (article)
Suffer from mental health problems? Maybe you're just selfish. To use the intersectionalist term, there are many 'axes of oppression'. The demonisation of immigrants and the poor are important issues and they rightly receive a lot of attention, but the impact of victim-blaming on the mentally ill - and indeed the role it plays in causing mental illness - is discussed far less often, despite the fact that mental health issues affect around a quarter of people in what Oliver James calls 'Selfish Capitalist' nations.

Meditation - Better Health Channel
Article outlines the benefits and risks of Meditation

Mental Health in Multicultural Australia
The MHiMA Project provides a national focus for advice and support to providers and governments on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This involves representation and support for CALD communities' interests in the mental health sector and raising awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention in CALD communities.

PATHFINDERS - Consumer Participation in mental health and other services: Evidence-based strategies for the ways ahead.
ByAllan Pinches
, Consumer Consultant for Mental Health BA in Community Development (Victoria University of Technology) This research project aims to make a substantial contribution to the evidence base and help inform discussion about the experiences, achievements, the challenges, problem solving processes, future strategies and key areas of potential for consumer participation programs in public mental health services in Victoria. The report has a particular focus on the dedicated work and major contributions of the Consumer Consultants employed within Victoria's 22 clinical Area Mental Health Services and some related disability support, health and community services.

7 Ways to Support Friends When They're Mentally Unwell
By Meg John Barker /
Most of us will experience a mental health difficulty like depression, anxiety or addiction during our lives and at some point, most of us will have a friend or family member who is mentally unwell.
Our culture tends to view people with mental health problems in one of two ways; either they have brought it on themselves and need to 'pull their socks up', or they have a 'disorder' and need help because they're incapable of helping themselves. When faced with a friend who is suffering it is tempting either to blame them for their problems and try to shake them out of it, or to leap into 'rescuer' mode and try to fix them.
Neither extreme is a good solution. We can end up angry and resentful if we hold them responsible for their problems, or burnt out from all our attempts to help. They can end up more defeated and self-critical than ever if they feel culpable, or kept in a guilty and powerless state if they can't respond to our efforts.

The empirical evidence about mental health and recovery: how likely, how long, what helps?'
This report commissioned by MI Fellowship considers the question of permanent impairment in mental health. In this report, internationally renowned academics in the field of recovery, Professor Mike Slade and Dr Eleanor Longden, respond to notions of permanence and challenge recent research to reveal what the evidence tells us about permanency and recovery. They review empirical scientific knowledge relating to recovery and identify seven evidence-based messages that may challenge prevailing assumptions:

Thich Nhat Hanh on The Practice of Mindfulness
"Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in." It is such a simple practice, but it can transform your life. The great meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches five mindfulness exercises to help you live with happiness and joy.

Thinking About Suicide
David Webb is the first person who has attempted suicide to have written a PhD about it; this is a fascinating and insightful website and Webb's writing is revolutionary.


A Mind of Your Own: The Truth about Depression and Natural Treatment for Whole Body Wellness
By Deniz Yalim
Struggling with depression? Learn about depression symptoms, warning signs, and causes, plus what you can do to feel better. Exercise, mind-body therapies, and herbal supplements all have the power to treat depression. Find out if it's right for you

Boy. Am I Mad?
by Heather Taylor
Heather, who was Head of Department of a service for children, suffered a massive blow when she was falsely accused of slapping a pupil. She suffered severe reactive depression and anxiety as a result of the allegation. This book tells her story.
Publisher: Freado 2011
ISBN/ASIN: 1445257092

Count All This
by P. C. Fergusson
Publisher: Four Sisters Publishing 2008
ISBN/ASIN: 0615200877 ISBN-13: 9780615200873 Number of pages: 276
Edd's struggle with schizophrenia begins in a men's bathroom at a local junior college and carries him to the deepest recesses of the human mind. In the midst of his descent, Jo is diagnosed with breast cancer. Count All This is a story of love, madness, death, family loyalty and the primal bond between mothers and sons. Set in the frightening landscape of mental illness and physical disease, Count All This is a story of survival.

Demystifying Depression
- Wikibooks , 2012

Clinical depression can be an incapacitating illness, affecting your ability to perform tasks that require concentration and rendering you unable to work. We hope to provide you with the knowledge everyone should have about their mental well-being.

Forget you Must Remember

by Nathan Douglas Hansen
Publisher: Smashwords 2013 ISBN/ASIN: B0055T3YAE
Nathan Douglas Hansen takes you, the reader and patient, on a journey not so unlike many of his own, hospitalized several times for a debilitating disease - Schizo-Affective Bi-Polar Disorder. Here, in his debut novella, Hansen hopes to bring light to the taboo subject of mental illness among our veterans.

Hypericum and Depression
by H. H. Bloomfield, M. Nordfors, P. McWilliams
Publisher: Robinson Publishing 1996
ISBN/ASIN: 1854875949 ISBN-13: 9781854875945
Number of pages: 204
This book provides information about the plant hypericum, "Nature's Prozac", also known as St John's Wort, which has been medically proven to be the natural way to treat depression. Studies have shown hypericum to be as effective as prescription antidepressants and to have fewer side effects.

Invisible Wounds of War
by Terri Tanielian
Publisher: RAND Corporation 2008
ISBN/ASIN: 0833044540 ISBN-13: 9780833044549
Number of pages: 499
The study discussed in this monograph focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury, not only because of current high-level policy interest but also because, unlike the physical wounds of war, these conditions are often invisible to the eye, remaining invisible to other service members, family members and society in general.

Living Bipolar
by Landon Sessions - Smashwords , 2014
This book is a collection of stories of bipolar people, and uses their experience, strength and hope as a guide to recovery for managing the highs and lows in order to live fulfilling lives. The book also shares stories of families and friends.

Mindfulness for Beginners Reclaiming the Present Moment-and Your Life (2012)
: 9781604076585 ISBN-10: 1604076585
120 Pages
We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With "Mindfulness for Beginners" you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.
e- book

Publisher: NIMH 2009
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia.

Understanding Anxiety Problems
by Terry Dixon
Publisher: Help-For 2011 ISBN-13: 9780955813610
41 pages
With information on anxiety and panic, symptoms of both anxiety and anxiety disorders and the way to overcome them, this free e-book can help anyone looking to understand more about the cause and cure of these problems. The book focuses on causes, not just symptoms.

Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice Lucy Johnstone (2000)
Users and Abusers of Psychiatry is a radically different, critical account of the day-to-day practice of psychiatry. Using real-life examples and her own experience as a clinical psychologist, Lucy Johnstone argues that the traditional way of treating mental illness can often exacerbate people's original difficulties leaving them powerless, disabled and distressed.
In this completely revised and updated second edition, she draws on a range of evidence to present a very different understanding of psychiatric breakdown than that found in standard medical textbooks. Users and Abusers of Psychiatry is a challenging but ultimately inspiring read for all who are involved in mental health - whether as professionals, students, service users, relatives or interested lay people.

Women and Depression: Discovering Hope
: NIMH 2009
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a woman has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning and causes pain for both the woman with the disorder and those who care about her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who have it need treatment to get better.


Mending The Mind
By J.F.J Cade
Here is a fascinating perspective of mental illness in the 20th century. It was written by the psychiatrist Dr J. F. J. Cade who is world-famous for his discovery of the lithium treatment of manic depression - now known as bipolar disorder. He also discusses schizophrenia, anxiety, epilepsy, melancholia, masturbational madness, ECT and leucotomy and describes the evolution of mental asylums

On Our Own
Judi Chamberlin
: MIND (1978)
ISBN-10: 0900557834 ISBN-13: 978-0900557835 Judi Chamberlin is a former mental patient, who wrote, "Eleven years ago, I spent about five months as a patient in six mental hospitals. The experience totally demoralized me... It was years before I allowed myself to feel anger at a system that had locked me up, denied me warm and meaningful contact with human beings, drugged me, and so thoroughly confused me that I thought of this treatment as helpful." (Pg. 7) In the introduction she wrote: "This is a book about psychiatry and alternatives to it, written from a patient's point of view. For too long, mental patients have been faceless, voiceless people. We have been thought of, at worst, as subhuman monsters, or, at best, as pathetic cripples, who might be able to hold down menial jobs and eke out meagre existences, given constant professional support. Not only have others thought of us in this stereotyped way, we have believed it of ourselves. It is only in this decade, with the emergence and growth of the mental patients' liberation movement, that we ex-patients have begun to shake off this distorted image and to see ourselves for what we are---a diverse group of people, with strengths and weaknesses, abilities and needs, and ideas of our own. Our ideas about our 'care' and 'treatment' at the hands of psychiatry, about the nature of 'mental illness,' and the new and better ways to deal with (and truly to help) people undergoing emotional crises differ drastically from those of mental health professionals." (Pg. xi)
This book was one of the "foundational" texts of the psychiatric survivors' movement and is an inspiration as well to the later Mad Pride movement.

WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection Gabor Matè M.D. (2013)
Wiley, John & Sons, UK ISBN 978-0-470-92335-1
Matè builds on the understanding of ancient philosophies and healing culture that everything is interconnected and thus mind/body is one. He suggests that if we do not learn to say no, our bodies may do so for us. He quotes Noel B Hershfield (clinical professor of medicine at the university of Calgary) who says "The new discipline of psychoneuroimmunology has now advanced to the point where there is compelling evidence that and intimate relationship exists between the brain and the immune system…" Mate sets out to explore this relationship through a series of patient stories across a range of illnesses. It is his linking of the physical with early trauma that is most illuminating in helping us in an understanding of just how our bodies are impacted by stress and how early life experiences shape the stress we experience in our bodies. Matè confirms that we are 'wired' for community as he explains the physical benefits of mutual relating and the importance of healthy relationships. His thought on the biology of loss intrigues as he explains that it is not only what happens to us but also what is not given or withheld that affects our health and well-being. The book finishes with 7 ideas for healing.


Health Issues Centre
An article by Cath Roper on developing a consumer perspective discipline in mental health

Mental Health Act 2014 (Victoria)

MYPOD - Discussion on case management by Cath Roper and Carol Harvey
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as a vehicle for treatment; in these interviews, Carol Harvey and Cath Roper both discuss the relationships formed between the consumer and the practitioner and within the clinical team. Carol notes that consumers who may be receiving (ACT) are often marginalised and traumatised and may have lost confidence in the system to meet their needs. Knowing each person the team supports and being gently persistent over months or years, in offering both therapeutic and practical assistance, noticing small changes and restoration of hope are all critical aspects of ACT. Cath put hope at the centre of the consumer's recovery and offers wise counsel in regards to the relationship between consumer and practitioner.

Recovery and the Conspiracy of Hope
Presented at: "There's a Person In Here": The Sixth Annual Mental Health Services Conference of Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane, Australia Date: September 16, 1996.
Patricia explores what it means to be diagnosed at a young age and find a way to heal. She speaks of a conspiracy of hope where people come together to "stop saying what's wrong with psychiatric survivors and to start asking: 'How do we create hope-filled, humanized environments and relationships in which people can grow?'".
Pat Deegan Interview on mental illness and education

Speaker notes from Indigo Daya at the Borderline Personality Disorder "What Works" Conference 2014
Talking about trauma can be difficult for everyone. The existence and scale of traumatic events can make us feel despairing for humanity. This is a sad subject and an angry subject and a scary subject. But it is also real for many people.


Consumers of Mental Health WA (Inc)
Consumers of Mental Health WA (Inc) is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation dedicated to supporting mental health reform and recovery of people with lived experience of mental health issues. CoMHWA is led by consumers, for consumers and coordinates, promotes and supports the consumer voice within mental health services and the wider community through consultation, systemic advocacy, supporting peer support and services, education, training and awareness, raiding community awareness, partnerships and relationships.


A Canvas of the Minds
A unique collaboration of different perspectives on mental health and life.

Healthy Place
A consumer mental health site, providing comprehensive, trusted information on psychological disorders and psychiatric medications from both a consumer and expert point of view. We have an active mental health social network for support, online psychological tests, breaking mental health news, mental health videos, a live mental health TV and radio show, unique tools like our "mood journal" and more.

How to deal with Survivor guilt
Survivor's guilt is a psychological phenomenon that many first responders like soldiers, fire fighters, or police often experience after the death of a colleague or victims of a traumatic event. Although survivor's guilt can
The blog is also useful

Mental Health Services - a users view
Peter Campbell
The needs of people with serious mental illnesses have dominated much of the debate on reforming community care. In this article, Peter Campbell, who has used mental health services many times in the past, explains how the reforms could affect people like him. He welcomes the thinking behind the changes, particularly the idea that people who use community care should take part in planning services, but he warns that implementing the new philosophy might prove very difficult. Peter Campbell is secretary of a voluntary organisation for users of mental health services called Survivors Speak Out. The views he expresses here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Survivors Speak Out.

Thomas Szasz

This web site is dedicated to the life and work of Thomas S. Szasz, M.D. In it you will find information from friends and colleagues sharing similar points of view to those of Thomas Szasz on diverse topics ranging from psychiatry and law, to drugs and addiction, to psychotherapy and public policy . . . and more. We share a common philosophy here: Liberty and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. No policy-- public or private--can increase or decrease one without increasing or decreasing the other. Human behavior has reasons, not causes.

Mind Blank
Mind Blank is a not-for-profit organisation that generates awareness and innovative education of mental health topics in youth across Australia. Our mission is to continually contribute to the education of mental health issues in the wider community, using innovative, creative and non-threatening methods to generate higher awareness on the importance of good mental health practices.

Multicultural Mental Health Australia
The MHiMA Project provides a national focus for advice and support to providers and governments on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This involves representation and support for CALD communities' interests in the mental health sector and raising awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention in CALD communities.
Phone (02) 6285 3100 Fax: (02) 6285 2166
Postal address: PO Box 174 Deakin West ACT 2600

National Mental Health Consumer Clearing House (United States).
Here you'll find the latest information on mental health and consumer/survivor issues. We include updates on important issues, linking you to news sources, funding opportunities and the most recent developments in the consumer/survivor movement.

Reach Out.Com.Australia
Offers information on a range of topics including mental illness.

Rosie is a space for girls to connect with the best of the web, helping them to navigate life's tricky situations. Rosie has a range of tips, links and videos, all centred around a theme of respect - for body & mind, work & study, relationships and the world we live in. We are driven by the belief that young people have the courage and resilience to change our world for the better. Supported by the Victorian Women's Trust.


Indigo Daya Facebook Page

Sadie's Story: The Tale of a Bipolar Child
Sadie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age five. In this video she describes what it feels like.

Forget you Must Remember
by Nathan Douglas Hansen
Publisher: Smashwords 2013 ISBN/ASIN: B0055T3YAE
Nathan Douglas Hansen takes you, the reader and patient, on a journey not so unlike many of his own, hospitalized several times for a debilitating disease - Schizo-Affective Bi-Polar Disorder. Here in his debut novella, Hansen hopes to bring light to the taboo subject of mental illness among our veterans.

Kristen Bell
What It's Like To Live With Anxiety And Depression
In a recent interview with

Kristen Bell's Stance On Mental Health Is Positively Perfect
Kristen Bell has a message for anyone facing a mental health issue: There's absolutely no shame in asking for help.§ion=australia

Founded in 1993 to deliver education sessions in ACT schools about mental illness, MIEACT was formally incorporated in 1998. MIEACT secured recurring funding from the ACT Government in 2000, and since then has expanded to deliver additional programs that reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Whilst continuing and further developing the original Schools Education Program, MIEACT has also developed education programs for the broader community, media programs and resources for young people.

My Schizophrenic Experience
by Dennis Hou - Smashwords , 2013
This book is a written account of my true life experience battling schizophrenia. I start off hearing people gossiping about me, but as time progresses I start talking to people physically as well. As my symptoms worsen, I am admitted to hospital.
Publisher: Smashwords 2013 ISBN-13: 9781301552757

Partners In Recovery
Video Clips of Consumer stories provide some insights to personal experience. Features Elyn Saks and Eleanor Longdon

Talking About Suicide
Storytelling by people with an experience of suicide.


Guided Mindfulness Meditation ~ with Thich Nhat Hanh
Published Oct 2013

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life.

Intentional Peer Support (IPS)
A YouTube interview with Shery Mead about Intentional Peer Support, explaining the core purpose of this approach.
Shery Mead Consulting - Intentional Peer Support, Krassman Centre Training Workshop (n.d.) [video]

Is Junk Media Making You Sick???
Media junk food is mind pollution. As waves of erratic, mindless info-toxins increasingly lay siege to a battered mental landscape, our mental pores become clogged, cluttering our capacity to think and to feel empathy. And so we find today that Junk Media is to our mental health, in the very real sense, what Junk Food is to our physical health. Our Cultural Commons has been stolen from us, held captive by corporate consolidation and the McMinds of insane talking heads. We've got to steal it back.

Madlove: A Designer Asylum
Artist James Leadbitter has created his idea of the ideal asylum - an optimistic vision of what he calls a "safe place to go mad". The project, called Madlove, A Designer Asylum, started with a series of workshops that aimed to gather ideas from people with personal and professional experience of mental healthcare.

Madness Made Me
Down the end of the long polished corridor, Mary O'Hagan comes face to face with the condemning words written about her in her psychiatric files. Madness Made Me is a visual poem that grapples with two very different accounts of one person's madness, and in doing so addresses issues of the power of language, asking: is there value in madness?
Director Nikki Castle writes: Madness Made Me is the cinematic exploration of a subject that often defies description. Through the exposition of two different accounts of one person's madness - the doctor's and the patient's - a stark and frightening disconnect is revealed.
Things may have changed in New Zealand mental health since the 1980s, in part due to the decades of work done by the film's subject Mary O'Hagan, but societies the world over still tend to privilege the opinions of 'experts' over first-hand experience. My hope is that this film not only encourages independent thought on issues surrounding mental health, but also instils a deeper understanding of what it might mean for a person to experience 'madness', and questions how as a society we might emphasize the value of these experiences.

Madness Radio: Voices and Visions From Outside Mental Health
This is a regular FM show produced through WXOJ-LP in Northampton MA and aired on KWMD in Anchorage Alaska, KBOO in Portland Oregon and several other stations. Madness Radio is syndicated through the Pacifica community radio network and shows are picked up by stations around the country and internationally. The show is also available online and through iTunes. Hour-long shows are produced monthly, with a special 30-minute version also available.

Mental Health Matters - Consumer Movement
Barbara Meyers Published Nov 2013
Two people, Jay Mahler and Sally Zinman, are interviewed, both of whom are long time activists in the mental health consumer movement. The consumer movement is a client-led movement for rights for mental health clients.

Mindfulness Meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Step by step meditation video

Mistreated Minds
MISTREATED MINDS is a documentary about the often overwhelming stigma facing those who are challenged with mental health conditions. In 1992, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and Public Citizens' Health Research Group released a report that "revealed alarmingly high numbers of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental illnesses incarcerated in jails across America"

Psychological flexibility: How love turns pain into purpose
Steven Hayes | TEDxUniversityofNevada

What can we do to prosper when facing pain and suffering in our lives? More than a thousand studies suggest that a major part of the answer is learning psychological flexibility. Steven C. Hayes is one of the researchers who first identified that process and put it into action in the form of a popular acceptance and mindfulness method called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

RADIO SHOWS - click on the links provided
Australia Talks Back / Radio National 7/5/08
All in the Mind ABC Australia 2007
Madness Radio
Disability Day 2010 - Out of our Minds (scroll to 9:30 timeslot)
Australian Indigenous HealthInfo Net - Mental Health Radio Programs
ABC Radio National - Designing for Mental Health
TVO Mental Health Matters
The Guardian TV - Worlds Maddest Job Interview - Commentary
Channel 4 - Worlds Maddest Job interview

Reach Out: A Film about Mental Health Awareness | Saarthak - a Mental Health Organisation and The Hans Foundation asked us to make a film that helps raise awareness about Mental Health. The film explores the inner and outer struggles of people living with Mental Illness and that with support and care, there is always hope for recovery.

Surviving Schizophrenia: Mental Illness and Recovery (Film)
Matti Salminen is a mental health advocate who knows what it's like to struggle with mental illness. After being diagnosed with Schizophrenia and later attempting suicide, he began a long journey to recovery that wasn't always easy. Schizophrenia is complex, and the field of mental health needs to change in order to fully support the people who suffer from mental illness.

Takin' over the asylum
Takin' Over the Asylum is a six-part BBC Scotland television drama about a hospital radio station in a Glasgow psychiatric hospital. It was written by Donna Franceschild, produced by Chris Parr and directed by David Blair. It is set in a fictional hospital called St Jude's Asylum, filmed in Gartloch Hospital (formerly asylum) which closed after filming in 1996. The station is developed by alcoholic double glazing salesman Eddie McKenna (Ken Stott), who is an aspiring disc jockey at St. Jude's Hospital, named after the patron saint of lost causes. He meets a range of people with various mental illnesses.

The Anti-Authoritarian Movement to Rehumanize Mental Health by Bruce Levine (2015) (film)
Psychiatry's four recent crushing losses of scientific credibility reported by the mainstream media, the film offers societal reasons why psychiatry persists despite its loss of credibility and effective activism to rehumanize mental health.

The More a Society Coerces Its People, the Greater the Chance of Mental Illness (article)
By Bruce E. Levine /
Throughout history, societies have existed with far less coercion than ours. While these societies have had far fewer consumer goods and less of what modernity calls "efficiency," they also have had far less mental illness. This reality has been buried, not surprisingly, by uncritical champions of modernity and mainstream psychiatry. Coercion-the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial and other forces to gain compliance-is intrinsic to our society's employment, schooling and parenting. However, coercion results in fear and resentment, which fuel miserable marriages, unhappy families and what we call mental illness.

The Write Reason
The WRITE reason is a documentary that explores the work of three published authors writing about their mental health experiences. The film shows how writing helps three ordinary, but very different people cope with their problems and dispels common misconceptions about mental health issues. The documentary is currently being featured by The Community Channel and is part of the Mind Reel educational resource. Feel free to show and share this film, with due credit.

Transforming Perceptions Radio show
The show is run by dedicated volunteers who take on the roles of radio panel operators, programmers and interviewers. On 2XX 98.3 FM Community Radio every second Saturday from 2pm - 4pm, Transforming Perceptions offers cultural perspectives on subjects which have direct and indirect links to health, mental health and well-being issues; interviews with important local, national and international health and mental health experts; and providing information updates

24 hour television for life's challenges; videos, tips and stories, music, blog and school resources


Hearing Voices and Recovery (Rufus May)
This video of Rufus May gives his unique insight as a clinical psychologist and ex-user of mental health services.

In the Same Boat: the Self Help Kit, 3rd Edition
A book about self-help and social change; ways to start groups and keep them going well. Published by COSHG, the Collective Of Self Help Groups Price $8 (incl. postage). What is self-help? What groups do; Group structures, Legalities; Starting a group; Meetings; Publicity, phone enquiries; Finances & funding; Sharing responsibilities; Conflicts; Professionals and groups; Social change, Campaigning; Working effectively together; Using the Internet

Intentional Peer Support
Provides a powerful framework for creating relationships where both people learn and grow together. We offer a range of trainings to examine and practice what is necessary to build mutual support. IPS is used across the world in community, peer support, and human services settings, and is a tool for community development with broad appeal to people from all walks of life.

Judi Chamberlin: Her Life, Our Movement
This five-minute film was created to honour the life and work of Judi Chamberlin, one of the founders of the international consumer/survivor movement, who passed away in January 2010. The National Coalition seeks to build support for a longer documentary project to showcase the history of our movement for civil rights and community life for people with psychiatric disabilities.

Neighbourhood Houses
There are more than 300 neighbourhood houses in Victoria. They provide a mix of programs and services and are all very different so contact a few in your area to see what is on offer. The Neighbourhood House Victoria website provides links to all.

On Our Own Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness.
Sally Clay
2005, Vanderbilt University Press, United States ISBN 9780826514660
"On Our Own, Together" describes the inner workings of eight successful peer-run services for mental health consumers, including drop-in centres, educational programs and peer support/mentoring programs. Written by people who developed such programs, it reveals these services as a valuable resource within the mental health system and a precious necessity for many consumers. The book clusters the COSPs into three key types: drop-in centres, which provide varied services for their members, including meals, housing assistance and stigma-free environments; educational programs, which train mental health consumers in recovery skills for themselves and for other consumers; and services based on peer support and mentoring.

Peter Beresford - Out in the lead
Peter Beresford believes he is the first "out" mental health service user to become a professor. It is a flag he is proud to bear. And not just because he wants to be an inspiration to other people with mental health problems - a role model to those like himself who have been written off by society - but also because he believes it makes him a better academic.

Psychology Today: Interview with Peter Beresford on Shaping Our Lives
There are controversies about what to call individuals who find themselves in the mental health system: should they be called clients, patients, service users, or some other name that better gets at the social control aspect of mental health services provision? Those controversies aside, Peter Beresford speaks eloquently about the experiences of service users and the vital role that user-led organizations have to play in supporting and advocating for individuals in emotional and mental distress.

Rufus May: One man and a bed
As a teenager with schizophrenia, he saw the mental health system brutalise patients. He became a doctor to change things from within. Now he is pushing a bed from London to Brighton.

Rufus May - Living Mindfully with Voices - Hearing Voices - November 8, 2012 - Copenhagen
Once a patient himself, psychologist Rufus May tells about his work using Mindfulness, a Buddhist meditation practice, to help his clients accept and transform the 'voices' they hear.

Rufus May has worked for 19 Years as a clinical psychologist in the NHS in England. He is a trustee of the Bradford Soteria House. He currently provides training and consultancy on holistic approaches to mental health. He has worked closely with hearing voices groups and networks for the last 15 years. His interest in holistic and collective approaches to mental health was originally inspired by his experiences of extreme states in his late teens, when he was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia and coercive psychiatric treatment, both of which he did not find helpful In his own words: "I have worked as a clinical psychologist for twenty years in the NHS in England. I am currently working in Bolton in an inpatient setting and with my partner offering training and consultancy in holistic approaches to mental health and wellbeing. My interest in recovery from psychosis and other difficulties is rooted in my own experiences of psychosis when I was 18 and subsequent recovery journey. I am in the process of seeking a publisher for a book I have written about my life and work. I am interested in helping to create alternative understandings to medical labelling and the heavy handed use of psychiatric drugs, which is still the dominant approach today. I believe everybody can flourish, grow and develop if they get the right support network around them that they are willing to invest in. The web-site will connect you with the kind of training and consultancy we offer plus past articles, interviews and other media I have taken part in. Our work is part of a wider movement in mental health that includes the hearing voices movement, community development approaches and other self-help and holistic health movements. I am not against people using psychiatric medication; I just would like people to be able to make informed choices and have the chance if they so wish to try out other approaches to their mental health problems. If you contact me for advice I will do my best to respond but this is not always possible due to numbers of requests and my work-load at the time."

The Brook Recovery, Empowerment & Development Centre Australia
Brook RED is a peer-operated community, supporting holistic recovery from mental illness. We use the unique insights and connections that a peer perspective provides in all of our work.

The Icarus Project
The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.


Arnstein's ladder of citizen participation
Melbourne School of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing
Created 7th March 2014, Last modified 2 February 2016
Arnstein's ladder is a well-known model for understanding different types of participation (in projects, organisations, etc.). It was first articulated by Sherry Arnstein in 1969. Since then, this metaphor has proven useful in many different participation contexts. Here it is adapted to the context of mental health consumer participation. Arnstein's ladder differentiates eight "rungs" or types of participation, ranging from forms of "Nonparticipation" at the bottom, all the way up to forms of "Citizen Power" at the top. Arnstein created this ladder as a critique of participation - she had observed that what gets called "participation" is often tokenistic (or worse). This critique is illustrated at the beginning of the article with a reproduction of a French student poster (Arnstein was writing just a year after the radical French student uprisings of 1968) - the poster shows a hand that is writing, as if it's writing a grammar lesson. The translation of what the hand has written is: "I participate, you participate, he participates, we participate, you participate ... they profit." Arnstein is pointing out that participation can benefit someone other than those participating - usually those with more power, who benefit from being perceived to be allowing the less powerful to participate.

Community Toolbox -Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups
The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities. Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools. Under continuous development since 1994, the Community Tool Box is widely used in teaching, training, and technical support. Currently available in English, Spanish and Arabic and with millions of user sessions annually, it has reached those working in over 230 countries around the world.

Consumers as Tutors - Legitimate Teachers?
Cathy Owen and Rebecca E Reay
The aim of this study was to research the feasibility of training mental health consumers as tutors for 4th year medical students in psychiatry.

Department of Health and Human Services Peer Support Guide
A guide to how people with a disability and carers can help each other to make the most of their disability supports.

Founded in 1993 to deliver education sessions in ACT schools about mental illness, MIEACT was formally incorporated in 1998. MIEACT secured recurring funding from the ACT Government in 2000, and since then has expanded to deliver additional programs that reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Whilst continuing and further developing the original Schools Education Program, MIEACT has also developed education programs for the broader community, media programs, and resources for young people.

Open Paradigm Project
This project is dedicated to fostering the voices and perspectives that accompany changing realities and new understandings of ourselves and the world. They produce creative, journalistic, promotional and educational media on behalf of those who wish to examine, learn from and reintegrate experiences of madness or otherness in our society.

Peer Support Facilitation Skills
A guide to facilitating a peer support group from The Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECC) in the United States.

Developing and Facilitating Self-Help Groups
That individuals who have had the same life experiences can help each other is the basis of peer support. Peer support groups provide a complement - and, for some people, an alternative - to traditional, professionally-guided, talk therapy. Peer support groups are a place to make friends; find people who will advocate with you and help you advocate for yourself; a place to discuss and obtain information on important topics such as medication, disability benefits, family relations, spirituality and others.

The Freedom Centre
The Freedom Center is a support and activism community run by and for people labelled with severe 'mental disorders.' We call for compassion, human rights, self-determination, and holistic options. We create alternatives to the mental health system's widespread despair, abuse, fraudulent science and dangerous treatments. We are based in pro-choice harm reduction philosophy regarding medical treatments, and include people taking or not talking medications.


Carer Gateway
Information and resources for carers


Every Australian Counts
Every Australian Counts is here to make sure the NDIS is delivered as promised and is the best it can be.

National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The NDIS is being introduced in stages, because it's a big change and it is important to get it right and make it sustainable. Existing service users and new participants will enter the scheme progressively. In Victoria, the NDIS will be rolled out across the state. People currently receiving support through the Victorian Government will move to the NDIS at different times depending on where they live and the type of support they receive.

Raise Your Voice, Barwon: Consumer and carer experiences of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) mental health services
February, 2015 Indigo Daya Published by: MI Fellowship
This report highlights a selection of positive and negative experiences of a group of mental health service consumers, carers and mental health workers who have been part of the mental health components of the NDIS trial in Barwon.