Family and Friends National Reference Group
I also know that working collaboratively with family and friends is important for getting the best outcomes, and that is why I applied to be part of the headspace Family and Friends reference group. I am aware of how important it is for family and friends to take good care of themselves so that we can support our young people.
I love to help people feel good and empowered and working with the Family and Friends Reference Group will help take that to a broader range of people and will also enable me to learn so much more in return
Matthew is passionate about improving the mental health system particularly for young LGBTIQA+ people. Matthew has experienced mental health challenges since 2015 and through this became aware of the presence of mental ill health in young people. He also has experience helping close friends and family through similar issues.
He also hopes to encourage a greater representation of male counsellors, assist young LGBTQ+ and promote better understanding and treatment of eating disorders.
As well as having a passion to help others, Matthew enjoys swimming in the ocean and when he was younger, had a strange obsession with vegemite and bacon sandwiches!
I knew this would be a fantastic way to become involved in making sustainable change that would not only benefit those who I know, but also others in the community who may be facing their own mental health challenges. I see this as a way for a group of family and friends supporting loved ones to come together with a common goal to make a real difference within the sector and in service delivery.
headspace was our first point of contact and our local centre has been a huge support over our three-year journey. Thankfully headspace Port Augusta is very family inclusive, offering support and guidance to not only my daughter, but those of us supporting her.
I am a passionate believer that our young people need the support of either family or friends outside of their health professional. These people are the ones that are the 24/7 support so ensuring they have the tools to help in the best way possible is so important.
I hope that be being involved with the Family and Friends Reference Group we can help build those additional support mechanisms and offerings that can help those supporting our young people in a more meaningful way.
I am a single parent to three boys and we live in a beautiful coastal town on the Bellarine Peninsula. In August of 2018, after a long battle with mental illness, my middle son took his life. After having supported my son through his struggles with major mental health issues I have become a passionate advocate for youth suicide prevention and ensuring that our young people can access services and resources that meet their needs at the time that they need it. I strongly believe that the involvement of a young person’s support people in their care can help improve outcomes. It is rewarding and exciting to have the opportunity to provide a lived experience perspective through involvement with this group, particularly that of caring for a young person who may be reluctant or unwilling to engage.
An interesting fact…we have lots of furry love in our house with three cats and two dogs, all except one are rescue animals. I love to garden and to do handcrafts such as quilting and embroidery. I find the craft of slow creation almost meditative – good for the mind and the soul.