I have been working on getting a Recovery College in the ACT for over four years, so am really invested in making sure the College works. My interest in mental health started over 40 years ago when I started work as a mental health nurse, it continued in my studies with Bachelors of Arts and Science in sociology and psychology, Masters in Health Studies (Addiction) and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. I also have a Masters in Adult Education. I have a lived experience of mental health dealing with anxiety and depression for the last ten years. I wish that there had been a college when I first experienced symptoms and then maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to start on my own recovery journey
I am excited to join the team at the ACT Recovery College. My experience working in the mental health sector started over 20 years ago when I was a young trainee administration officer in Community Mental Health at Greater Southern Area Health Service.
Through my own mental health journey over the last 25 years, I bring to the team a pro-active approach focused on well-being and recovery.
I am also as a parent and carer to young adults who are also travelling their own mental health journey - so I can relate to other parents and carers over the challenges they face in navigating support for our loved ones. I'm passionate about supported inclusion and providing hope for a future full of enriched opportunities.
I joined the ACT Recovery College team as a course co-developer in 2019 when I developed the Community Connection and Belonging course that we offer.
In March 2020 I took on the Education Coordinator position at the College.
I love being connected to the Canberra community and I spend a lot of enjoyable time every year volunteering with the State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance, the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation and (of course) the ACT Recovery College too.
I have a strong interest in supporting people in their mental health recovery that has stemmed from both my lived experience of anxiety and depression and from doing my first Mental Health First Aid Course many years ago.
I have a Cert IV in Training and assessment and over 10 years experience teaching both children and adults first aid.
Feel free to call me Twisty, it's the name I'm known by in the community.
My own mental health journey started in 2003 when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 2003. In 2006 I was employed as a chaplain. My 6 years working in mental health was the best job I had. During my time in acute mental health I became a trainer of chaplains (Acting Level 1 Clinical Pastoral Supervisor), was on an anti-discrimination committee, conducted mental health education for carers and churches and taught congregations how to become active in pastoral care. I served for 3 years on the NSW Cancer Council’s Ethics Committee. During this period, I received a Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Counselling and will soon complete a Master(s) in Ministry, both focusing on mental health. I also am a parent and carer of a child and adult living with mental health challenges. I believe in the ACT Recovery College’s focus in providing educational opportunities for people who live with and/or care for people living with mental health challenges. I am privileged to volunteer with ACT Recovery College. I assist by conducting the Student pre-course interviews and other tasks as required.