David Meldrum, Executive Director, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia will present at the 16th International Mental Health Conference at QT Hotel, Gold Coast 12-14 August 2015.
David is Executive Director of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA). He is also Vice President, and immediate Past President of the Mental Illness Fellowship of South Australia, and has served on several other South Australian boards. Originally qualifying as a teacher, then as a social worker, he also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
His professional experience includes government and non-government leadership roles in health, education and community services. These have included Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Mental Health Services, the South Australian Dental Service and Metropolitan Domiciliary Care.
Abstract Title: Developing and supporting new advocates with lived experience of severe mental illness
During the period March to October 2015, which will include both Schizophrenia Awareness Week and World Mental Health Month, the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia is coordinating a number of processes to identify and prepare people with lived experience to become political advocates.
Activities will include:
Identifying key messages for advocates to use in visits to their local federal MP and Senator during the specified period. MIFA is working with the SANE 'consumer and carer forums' to validate and understand each of five initial priorities identified in recent lived experience surveys. This will be followed by reducing the priorities to three clear messages, each with its own description, ready for media as well as meetings.
Recruiting up to 100 people with lived experience, in locations across Australia, including making training opportunities available where no workshop has been planned by providing 'scholarships'. Four cities have been chosen for the training - Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Townsville, and each host organisation has been matched with organisations in other states/territories. MIFA has partnered with Prahran Mission to conduct the training in Melbourne.
Providing direct input from the Chuck Harman, National Director of Strategic Alliances and Development with NAMI in the United States, and local politicians who will provide insights on what types of advocacy are most effective.
Providing the new advocates with training and ongoing support post the initial period to begin to form a network across Australia.
For more information on the 16th International Mental Health Conference please visit the website here.