On 21 June 2022, Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania (MHFFTas) launched its self-advocacy program. A program funded by the Department of Social Services to help build the individual capacity of mental health families and friends.
To inform the program and ensure it reflected the experience of Tasmanian support people, MHFFTas formed an advisory group, called the M-LEAG: Members of the Lived Experience Advisory Group. This dedicated group of people worked closely with our organisation and consultants to create a 70+ page booklet and accompanying workshop – all with the aim to help other support people navigate the mental health system, advocate for themselves and to feel less alone and overwhelmed.
At its core, the self-advocacy program is designed by support people for support people.
The program includes 10 key tools support people can use to advocate for themselves and the people they support, along with a digital version of the toolkit available at our website (with links to further resources), and state-wide workshops delivered by award-winning facilitator Jonathan Bedloe.
Round One of the workshops kicks off at our head office in Glenorchy, on Wednesday 21 August 2022, from 8.30am to 2.30pm. From there, we’ll travel south to Huonville, and Dover. Round Two is the north-east and includes Swansea, Scottsdale and Launceston. Round Three is Queenstown and Burnie. Round Four includes Devonport, and King Island and the final round is Sorell, New Norfolk and Campbell Town.
Each workshop is centred around providing the space, time and resources for support people to learn more about what self-advocacy means and how to harness it to support themselves throughout their own support journey. Another aim of the workshops is to provide support people the opportunity to take time out, connect with other support people and to takeaway valuable tools and tips to manage their own mental health.