Melissa on the Move

After just three months in the role, Melissa has well and truly hit the ground running as Lived Experience Coordinator for the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast region. As the Lived Experience Coordinator for this vital region, Melissa has quickly made contact with individuals, organisations and networks in the suicide prevention community. So far Melissa has visited North Burnett, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast and reconnected suicide prevention networks and establishing support networks while also promoting the Roses in the Ocean workshops. Workshops are planned for Hervey Bay and Melissa is working with the Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN to secure a whole region workshop specifically focusing on first responders. If you are from the region and would like to find out more about Roses in the Ocean workshops or how to connect into suicide prevention networks, please contact Melissa on melissa@rosesintheocean.com.au

National expansion continues

The new year heralded further national expansion for Roses in the Ocean with the establishment of offices in Sydney to deliver trained and supported Lived Experience Advisory Groups across NSW.

New team members Bridget and Bec (aptly nicknamed B1 and B2) take on the roles of NSW Lived Experience Project Coordinator and Project Administrator, respectively.

Bridget brings five years of experience working in mental health, community development, and youth work positions, and has recently completed a master’s in social work. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, writing poetry, birdwatching, cuddling her cats, and strolls in nature. Bridget has recently made a “tree change” and now lives in the beautiful Blue Mountains.

Bec has more than 12 years’ experience working at high levels of state government administration including NSW Corrective Services and the Mental Health Review Tribunal. She is extremely passionate about social justice and human welfare, and it shows when talking about all things related to the human condition. In Bec’s spare time she likes to read books relating to psychology, volunteer at a Sydney-based dog shelter and play competitive sports.

The NSW Lived Experience Project, funded by NSW Health, will result in the formation of Lived Experience Advisory Groups in each of the state’s local health districts (LHD).

The groups will share their lived experience to offer vital insights on four key initiatives; alternatives to emergency departments, zero suicides in care methodology, postvention services, and assertive community outreach models.

Each LHD will be approached by the team to start conversations around finding people in each area who want to lend their lived experience voice to suicide prevention. Once those individuals are engaged, they will receive the “Our Voices in Action” and “LaunchPad” training. From there, a Lived Experience Advisory Group will be formed with the trained participants, and Bridget, Bec, and the LHD staff will work collaboratively to support the group and enable them to be a part of facilitating systemic change in their region.

While the challenges of COVID-19 have caused upcoming training to be postponed, expressions of interest for workshops are still being taken. Keep an eye out for the rescheduled dates as they become available!

Bridget and Bec are very humbled to be joining Roses in the Ocean during this time of exponential growth and are excited about the opportunities this project brings for creating grassroots change.