Our Mental Health Matters: A manifesto for blogging mental health

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Our Mental Health Matters blog is to contribute to the improvement of mental health care in Australia by sharing information, analysis and opinions relevant to mental health practitioners, policy makers, advocates and people affected by mental illness.

Our Values

People-Centred and Recovery-Oriented

People are the experts on their own lives and we believe mental health professionals should play a supporting role in each person’s journey towards mental well-being.

We acknowledge that the individual is the most powerful agent in their own mental health journey,  and the supports around them including family and community also play an important role.

In the language of the health sector, we’d describe our approach as Recovery-Oriented. We embrace the view that recovery is about learning to take control of your own life, and of living a life rich with meaning and purpose.  We believe that the changes a client seeks to make in their lives (or their recovery if they prefer to think of it that way) is not something that mental health professionals  or services ‘do’ but instead support. We understand that recovery is a process that is different for each individual and support the rights of all people, including our clients, to make choices in their care and in their lives. As practitioners, we work best when enabling people to care for their own mental health and make informed decisions about their treatment.

Opposing stigma

Stigma against mental illness has no place in Australian society or the caring professions. The imaginary wall dividing mental health practitioners and the people they work with and for needs to be broken down.

Mental illness does not discriminate. We believe mental health is a spectrum which each person manages across their lives. Just like managing your health generally, your mental health needs tending across your life.  

Every practitioner needs to understand mental wellness and be self-aware in order to effectively help others. We acknowledge that mental health professionals commonly either experience mental distress or care for others in their personal lives who experience mental distress. We believe lived experience has the potential to make us better and more empathic professionals, as the increasing evidence for, and utilisation of, workers with lived experience attests. We do not  place practitioners on a pedestal.

Cross-disciplinary learning

In keeping with our holistic view of mental health, we believe that cross-disciplinary sharing of what works is vital while silos, ivory towers, and hoarding ideas are dangerous.  

We believe that sharing new research and “what works’ to help improve mental health service provision should be a priority for this blog. We aspire to publish and discuss writing from people across the spectrum of mental health practise, whether they are Psychologists, Counsellors, Psychiatrists, General Practitioners, Mental Health Nurses, Health Promotion Workers, Social Workers, or Peer Workers. We also believe that passionate individuals or advocates with experience of mental illness, or caring for someone with mental illness will have a valuable contribution to make.

Advocacy

Access to mental health care is a human right.

Ensuring all Australians have access to sufficient and appropriate mental health care services should be a priority for every level of government, and every political party.

Accountability

We expect that all contributors to the blog will research and write rigorously, be prepared to be challenged, and be open to hearing new and different views.

We are committed to a collegiate but rigorous culture of peer review as an essential part of becoming a trusted source of information and discussion which improves mental health care in Australia.

Manifesto by Sarah Stokely and Ceara Rickard.

Call for contributors:
Our Mental Health Matters is intended to be a group blog, enabling cross-disciplinary conversation. We would like to launch with a group of regular bloggers as well as welcoming semi-regular or one-off contributors. We are also on the lookout for people with experience writing and editing who might be interested in becoming founding members of the blog with us. Please leave a comment on this post, or email us at (LINK: ourmhm@gmail.com), and let us know what topic or area you’re particularly interested in, and details of your professional background as relevant. We will shortly publish more detailed information about our submission guidelines. Please subscribe to the blog on our homepage to receive an email when the blog is updated. We look forward very much to talking mental health with you!

8 thoughts on “Our Mental Health Matters: A manifesto for blogging mental health

    1. Hello and thank you so much for your interest in the blog and getting involved! We’re compiling a list of interested folks and I’ll make sure to include you. 🙂
      Sarah

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  1. Hiya,

    Whilst I don’t have any experience writing, I do have first hand experience with many of the issues you’d like to hash over, and I’m very much interested in advocacy so I’d love to contribute.

    Cheers, Vicki

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  2. I’m really looking forward to reading this blog. Any forum for conversation where it’s safe to share ideas and debate at times contentious issues, is a gift to all MH practitioners

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    1. Thank you so much Amy! Other fab mental health content creator like yourself have been a big source of inspiration for me. 🙂
      Sarah

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    1. Hi Ben,
      You’re a legend, or a mind reader, or both. Thank you for volunteering before I tried to draft you! 🙂 I have really admired the work you’ve been doing with the Alliance for Better Access and the new government announcements about mental health. Would an appropriate small contribution perhaps be republishing one of your existing posts on that subject? Or would you like to write a brief piece about the Alliance for Better access with a view to publicising what it’s doing and encourage people to join? 🙂
      Kind regards,
      Sarah

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