PsychMed supports a range of community events promoting social and personal well being. We are also actively involvement in advocacy and supporting consumers, carers and advocates of mental health services. This includes attending awareness raising events, holding and supporting fundraisers, promoting services and meeting with community stakeholders to improve our understanding of the needs of the community in metropolitan and rural areas.
PsychMed has started an Authentic Voices consumer advocacy group, founded by Dr Phil Townshend, an experienced and highly regarded clinician in the area of mental health and addictions. This group consists of people who have lived experiences with a range of mental health problems and addictions. This remarkable group of people participate in PsychMed’s AOD and gambling programs as mentors and bring the voice of consumers to the table in program review and planning. We are looking forward to strengthening our community support and connection through our authentic voices advocates.
We call our advocacy group of workers the Authentic Voices as we value and respect the contribution they make to our clients. PsychMed provides services based on science and the treatment experience of our clinical staff. We have found our Authentic Voices add another level to this treatment and to the quality of the recovery of people with drug and gambling addiction issues.
We know there are many barriers to seeking help and taking part in treatment for people with addictions, two of these barriers are fear of being judged and feelings of hopelessness.
The fear of judgement comes from the way our communities regard addiction as a moral issue or something to do with willpower. Our Authentic Voices overcome this barrier as our clients can be confident they are not going to be judged by someone who has been there and experienced many of the same highs and lows of addiction as they have.
Another other significant barrier to help seeking is feeling hopeless that anything can work. When a person in addiction is desperate to change their life and have tried everything they can think of to do this without success, it’s easy to believe that it’s all just too hard and recovery is impossible. This is the part where our Authentic Voices can help by being there and sharing their experience and leading by example. All our Authentic Voices have successfully dealt with their addictive use of drugs and gambling and gone on to build new lives that are sustainable and rewarding.
Our Authentic Voices enrich our programs with their experience and wisdom and we are proud and grateful to have them as part of our services.