Mental Health Matters - July 2023
We are dedicated to amplifying and celebrating lived and living experiences of mental health challenges and recovery. To begin this newsletter, it's a privilege for us to share this artwork by one of our Lived Experience Advisors in celebration of NAIDOC Week (2-9 July 2023).
This artwork titled, 'Turtle by Milky Way', is by Lived Experience Advisor and Artist, Art by Miree.
Miree says, "You are swimming through an emotion of experience that will ultimately result in the development and growth of your soul. Trust in this process and let your emotions be your guide in the understanding of this power that lies deep within you. Allow yourself to recognise the true value of this power by coming out from underneath your shell and let it shine to be your greatest gift to the world. Don't ever be ashamed to acknowledge and share the wisdom of your true feelings".
Miree's story: "My Aboriginal heritage comes from my father, he grew up on a Reserve in Bourke called "Paka-Tank". Soon after the floods and droughts hit which diminished their food supplies, they moved to Dubbo where I was born. I get a lot of negative criticism for the work and passion that I do. It has been very challenging to say the very least because of my white appearance, as you can imagine I am the palest one in my family.
I came from a broken family which greatly impacted me through my teenage years during a time when drugs and suicide was a norm. I started to question my life and became disillusioned by how I was feeling and where my life was headed. I, like so many, was drawn in by those around me that lead me in ways that negatively impacted me, parties, celebrity drug use and suicide. Most of us don't stop to question something when peer pressure prevails, let alone find the courage to speak up! But, after seeing how others had reacted to some of these topics and the products we stocked, and researched the links between these issues and the healing that art provided for myself, I started looking for a better way that I could wholeheartedly encourage others to heal and inspire by being a major positive role model.
I made it my mission to find a break-through in technique containing natures materials, right here in Australia on my father's country. Mother Nature has everything we could possibly need, red dirt, ash, pigments and charcoal. The connection to my Dad's country and creating with these natural materials whilst also mixing my owns colours, enabled me to have a connection to country that enabled me to heal from my teenage years, which made me feel alive again, giving me reasons to live, giving me hope and passion to make a difference in the world for others that surrounded me."
To view more of Miree's artworks that raise awareness about mental health, you can visit the Dreams of Creation webpage. To view more artwork by our Lived Experience Advisors, please visit the Children's Mental Health Gallery.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Please visit Beyond Blue or you can find further supports on Mental Health Central.
A special type of collaboration
Our strategy is a campus-wide collaboration, harnessing our collective expertise to improve outcomes for children and families by making mental health everyone's business.
Our Campus Mental Health Strategy team brings together colleagues from across The Royal Children's Hospital, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, and University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics. The project is overseen by our Steering Committee made up of senior campus leaders.
Campus Mental Health Strategy event 25 October
The Melbourne Children’s Campus Mental Health Strategy is an ambitious multi-year project that aims to provide a uniform and evidence-based approach to mental health prevention, care and advocacy for patients and their families across campus.
In the first two years of the project, we have engaged campus stakeholders, established a Steering Committee, and set up multiple advisory and working groups. We have implemented a Lived Experience Strategy, commenced several research projects, and launched a website and newsletter.
Over the next three years, we will develop and test a range of new ways of working. We will develop a core set of outcome measures for mental health research, which will allow us to compare results across interventions and see what works and what doesn’t, implement strategies that prevent trauma arising from medical care and support evidence-based care.
Join us at Grand Rounds on 25 October to celebrate National Children’s Week (21-29 October 2023) and find out more about this exciting next phase of the Campus Mental Health Strategy. More details will be provided next month.
In the meantime, you can catch up on previous Campus Mental Health Strategy Grand Rounds here:
- Working together to optimise children's mental health: the Campus Mental Health Strategy
- Making mental health everyone's business, an update on the Campus Mental Health Strategy
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Strategy Journal Club? The Strategy Research Journal Club is a forum for all Melbourne Children’s Campus staff to come together and discuss current research in the child and adolescent mental health arena.
Join us in August! You are warmly invited to attend our next Journal Club on August 23 from 12.30-1.30pm. We will be discussing a paper on whether and how developmental trajectories of emotional problems in adolescents have changed across generations. If you would like to preview this open-access paper, it can be found here.
July Journal Club Rundown Thank you to everyone who attended our July Journal Club, it was wonderful to have many new faces in the (virtual) crowd. We had an interesting discussion centred around digital interventions – how can we encourage engagement with online therapy? What are potential issues with access? Why is co-design important in research projects investigating the utility of digital interventions?
If you would like to hear more about the Strategy Journal Club, including future dates and topics, please contact the team at email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.
August Journal Club Information Meeting: Campus Mental Health Strategy Research Journal Club – August Date and Time: August 23rd 2023, 12.30-1.30pm
Zoom Link: https://mcri.zoom.us/j/69836487281?pwd=YllXSVBVUXk0UmFTb2F1blJBR1Y3UT09
Meeting ID: 698 3648 7281
Acknowledgement of Country
At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Proudly supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation