Leading Mental Health Consumer Advocate Fay Jackson To Speak In Tamworth

Thu Mar 10, 2016

RichmoondPRA-sponsored business address by one of Australia’s foremost mental health consumer advocates, Fay Jackson.

Ms Jackson, who is RichmondPRA General Manager Inclusion and also a NSW Deputy Mental Health Commissioner, will be guest speaker at the Tamworth Business Chamber March Business Breakfast.

Ms Jackson has a lived experience of a mental health issue and will share her experiences and knowledge of how workplaces currently respond to mental health matters.

Most importantly, Ms Jackson will canvass how workplaces can do better to provide a safe workplace which harnesses and attracts the enormous untapped potential of people with a mental health issue.

RichmondPRA New England Manager Jim Booth seized the opportunity to secure Ms Jackson to speak, knowing all too well mental health issues that can arise in local workplaces.

“People sometimes forget that mental health issues are just as prevalent in workplaces as anywhere else,” Mr Booth said.

“It’s not as if you suddenly switch mental health issues off when you go to work.

“The lack of understanding about these issues can cause all sorts of problems in workplace settings and sometime even see people lose their jobs.

“But if basic strategies of recognition and understanding are used many problems can be avoided.”

Ms Jackson said people who have a lived experience of a mental health issue were quite often the most productive employees.

“People with a lived experience have a strong drive to prove themselves, and are often the employer’s most valuable asset,” Ms Jackson said.

“But if they have a bad day or week, misunderstandings and perceptions can go the wrong way.

“Usually it’s about ensuring that employers and co-workers have the knowledge and tools to cater for staff with mental health issues, as they would for people with a physical illness, or a disability where reasonable adjustment is necessary to enable them to do their work effectively”.

“One in five people will experience a mental health issue during their life, and many are or can be working people.

“Someone might be fine at work one week but knowingly or unknowingly wrestling with mental health problems the next.

“That’s why recognition of the signs and symptoms and having workplace strategies in place is so important.”

Tamworth Business Chamber President Lia Mahony said safe and healthy work places are essential for maintain productive and viable businesses.

“Mental wellbeing in the workplace is so easily overlooked,” Ms Mahony said.

“I have made a point of raising awareness of the importance of emotionally healthy work environments.

“Talking openly about the need to ensure mentally healthy workplaces reduces stigma and misinformation and can only lead to further improvements.

“I urge anyone in business to bring as many of your team as possible to this important presentation.”

Ms Jackson will address the March Business Breakfast at the Best Western Sanctuary Inn (Marius Street) on Thursday 17 March, starting at 7.00am.

For bookings, contact tamcham@tamworth.org.au or call 02 6766 4810

RichmondPRA is a not-for-profit organisation providing recovery focussed support programs, accommodation and hope for people with mental health issues in New South Wales and Queensland. Advocating community-based assistance, it is a leading mental health support provider that has been in operation for more than 55 years with heavy involvement across the New England.

Media Enquiries: Matt Watson 0417 691 884