Dear Mind Readers,
Welcome to the April edition of our MindReader publication. I am Acting CEO while our CEO Elizabeth Priestley is currently on a well-earned break.
In the last few weeks, we have continued supporting our community in various ways. I would like to mention just two of the ways we help influence and shape public policy through our advocacy efforts.
In mid-March, we participated in the NSW Electoral Commission’s Equal Access to Democracy Disability Reference Group meeting. The group works to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote in NSW council and state elections is able to do so in a variety of ways that suit them. It is vitally important that people with a lived experience of mental illness are able to fully participate in the democratic process and we are thankful to the NSW Electoral Commission for inviting us to join the working group.
We know that many people with a lived experience are able to vote by attending a polling station on or before Election Day, but we also know for others this is not possible. Fortunately there are other ways people can cast their vote which does not rely on them lodging it in person. We have committed to working with the NSW Electoral Commission to help promote the variety of ways in which people can participate in the upcoming NSW State Election in March 2019.
We have also been invited to attend a national leadership roundtable event looking into the complex social and emerging public health issue of loneliness hosted by Swinburne University in Melbourne later this month. The roundtable event will identify shared challenges that we face in combatting loneliness and help shape a high-level strategy for addressing loneliness through policy, research and community outreach.
We have a role in contributing to this national dialogue as we already know that loneliness has a deep impact on a person’s mental health and wellness. We also know that it is a benefit to our mental health and wellbeing when we are all active participants in our community.
I hope you enjoy this edition of The Mind Reader as much as I did.
Marge Jackson Acting CEO WayAhead