The Benefits of Consumer and Carer Participation in Mental Health

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.

Ms Gabrielle Vilic, Director Social Inclusion and Recovery, Addiction and Mental Health Services at Metro South Hospital and Health Service joins us at the conference to discuss ‘The Benefits of Consumer and Carer Participation in Mental Health’.


Consumer and carer participation in mental health has had a large impact and influence on people using the service as well as the staff. Consumer and carer workers offer many aspects to care providing a unique understanding and skills to compliment the clinical teams. This workforce is also involved in mental health design and delivery at all levels. The growth and development of the workforce highlights the benefits that this workforce brings to the services. This workforce is emerging and is influencing the way we work by bringing a different perspective and offering hope to consumers using the service and modelling recovery to all.


Ms Gabrielle Vilic joined Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services as the Director for Social Inclusion and Recovery in 2013. Ms Vilic has worked in mental health for over 22 years, in both the government and non-government sectors, and has won a number of statewide awards for her achievements in the area of mental health. Ms Vilic was the consumer representative for the Queensland Mental Health Commission in 2011 and has also worked within the Metro Health Alcohol and Other Drug Branch in senior project officer roles.

She has also worked as a consumer consultant for the Gold Coast Mental Health Service and provided consumer input in all aspect of the service's planning, delivery and evaluation, and assist in improving the service's response to consumer needs. Ms Vilic was also involved in coordinating the implementation of the Mental Illness Education Program into Queensland secondary schools. The program focused on positive lifestyle choices, self-awareness, and early recognition and intervention for potential mental health problems. Ms Vilic's areas of interest include the consumer and carer workforce, research, reduction of seclusion and restraint, and metabolic monitoring.

For further information on the upcoming 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit



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