The Enemy Within – Suicide Prevention & Mental Health and Wellbeing Education

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Mr Joe Williams, Founder at The Enemy Within joins us at the conference to discuss ‘The Enemy Within – Suicide Prevention & Mental Health and Wellbeing Education’.

Abstract

Through sharing ancient culture values this demonstrates how the connection to culture is proven to reduce suicide. I am fortunate to travel all over Australia and USA (in 2016) talking in depth about wellness and wellbeing of the Australian First Nations people. I have been educating people on how Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people lived for 60,000 years pre-colonisation with no suicide and no mental health problems; I speak of how reconnection to traditional culture has saved my life from regular suicidal ideation, to living, thriving and walking ´in two worlds´. Following my suicide attempt in 2012, I felt my purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness, to reduce suicide rates and break the stigma of suicide through open dialogue and sharing my wellness tips that have helped to keep me alive. In the presentation I talk, traditional cultural values and teachings that have been passed down for many generations; and it is in these teachings can we learn values such as Humility, Respect, Love & Care.

I have previously collaborated with Kevin Hines, fellow suicide survivor, activist, director, author and story teller and have just published my own autobiography ‘Defying the Enemy Within’. My book which is not only about a child hood of sport, my battles with alcohol and recreational & prescription drug addictions while playing in the NRL, it talks about the darkness that lead me to a suicide attempt & how I’ve built my 2nd chance at life to helping others.

Biography

Joe is a Wiradjuri, 1st Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, NSW having lived a 15-year span as a professional sportsperson. Joe played in the NRL before switching to professional Boxing in 2009. As a boxer Joe was fortunate to win 3 major titles. Although forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bi Polar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness. Joe recently released his very own autobiography titled Defying the Enemy Within.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit anzmh.asn.au/conference