I’m a statistic. Yes, I’m part of the cohort of one in five New Zealand adults who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder at some time in their lives.
Why am I sharing this on my business page?
Because when my mental health took a significant nosedive postnatally, I held onto the mantra: something beautiful will come from this. And once I became well, I decided that I had a responsibility to share my experience. Not as an expert on the subject, but to add another layer of colour, another experience, another perspective to the discussion. And to hopefully comfort and empower others.
I’m fascinated by:
- The language of diagnosis and how it impacts on our identity.
- What it means to be a “service-user”: the responsibility and drawbacks of representation.
- Stigma: how do we manage and overcome this together?
- Mental illness and work: finding a happy balance and managing stress.
- Finding our own words, language and expression to describe our unique experiences: I write poetry as my outlet.
- Living day-to-day: the strategies that help me.
- Mental wellness and parenting: finding your village and seeking comfort in the little things.
I have shared my experience here:
- Community groups: Northcote Baptist Church
- Service User Academia Symposium 2017: University of Otago
- Masters in Music therapy class: Victoria University of Wellington
- Presbyterian Support Northern: I delivered a customised talk to a team of Health & Safety Coordinators.
“Everyone was very touched by your courage in making the effort to share your story. People said they found it very useful and insightful and also that it made the readings we have done more real and meaningful. They said that they felt you were very dignified in the way you held on to yourself as a person. Also that it was very striking – your pathway to increasing your own and other’s awareness about this – flying the flag for the service-user perspective. And it was a very nice coming together of all your skills.”– Sarah Hoskyns, Associate Professor and Director of Master of Music Therapy Programme at Victoria University of Wellington
“Our staff were so impressed with you and the strategies you were able to share with them about mindfulness, stress and resilience and wellbeing. Your poetry was really inspirational. We fully recommend you to other organisations.”– Wendy Hoskin
Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO Presbyterian Support Northern.
Get in touch if you want me to share my experience at your workplace, conference, workshop or lecture.
I hold a BA, Class 1 Hons in Theatre Studies from the University of Auckland, and I have performed in several plays with Cutting Edge Drama.
Being a parent reminds me of this quote from the great storyteller, Roald Dahl:
“When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important. A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants -and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!”Roald Dahl, Danny, the champion of the world.
Storytelling to kids is magical. When they want to be, they can be attentive and completely immersed in the story. Reading at preschools and performing for children makes my heart sing. And, yes, I’ll put on the different accents and pull the funny faces.
Contact me if you need a face-pulling-storytelling-accent-producing person at your preschool, library or kids party.