Mental Health System Change: Mary O’Hagan

Mental Health System: Mary O'Hagan Mental Health System: Mary O'Hagan will speak at The 17th International Mental Health Conference 11-12 August 2016

Mental Health System: We are pleased to announce Ms Mary O’Hagan, Mental Health Entrepreneur and Former NZ Mental Health Commissioner as a Keynote Speaker at The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change to be held at Sea World Resort Conference Centre, Gold Coast, from the 11 -12 August 2016.

Mary O’Hagan will be presenting on: System transformation - The Alien Report: Mental Health on Planet Earth’.

In this talk an imaginary alien from a Planet that has the ‘best in the universe’ responses to people with mental distress. He investigates mental health on Planet Earth. The alien visits several countries and concludes that discrimination skews social and service responses and that the narrow deficits approach in services does not improve outcomes.

Despite this the alien senses little sense of urgency for change. The alien then describes the recovery oriented responses on their own planet and makes recommendations for system change on Planet Earth.

The alien points out that deep change in a system with finite resources will require removing the ‘control’ elements of services. These include replacing hospital with home and community based services and reducing the dominance of biological psychiatry. It is not sufficient to just build the leadership of people with mental distress, provide a broader range of services for diverse cultures and communities, and promote social inclusion if the failed elements of the old system remain.

Mental Health System - Mary O’Hagan

Mary O’Hagan was a key initiator of the mental health service user movement in New Zealand in the late 1980s. She was the first chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry 1991-1995.

Mary has been advisor to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Mary was a full-time Mental Health Commissioner in New Zealand between 2000 and 2007. Mary has written and spoken extensively on recovery and user / survivor perspectives in many countries.

Mary is now an international consultant in mental health. She runs a social enterprise that has developed PeerZone offering peer led workshops in mental health and addiction. She is also leading the development of Swell, an online recovery toolkit for people with mental distress and for the people who work with them. Mary has written an award-winning memoir called ‘Madness Made Me’. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015.

Mental Health System and a wide range of mental health topics will be discussed at The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change will be held at Sea World Resort Conference Centre, Gold Coast, from the 11 -12 August 2016. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. To view the Program Booklet CLICK HERE.

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