Family Advocate and Program Coordinator, SafeSide Australia
Lived experience toward hope
Mel’s passion for suicide prevention is grounded in her lived experience of caring for her brother, and acting as his advocate in interactions with health services. Alongside the heartache and frustration, Mel found a source of hope in the use of her experiences as a means to drive real change.
Mel has been an active advocate for families as a Family Carer Representative in NSW, Australia. She also works with children and young people in education settings as a Program Facilitator and participates in Clinical & Quality Care Committees across the Local Health District.
Mel draws upon wisdom gained by her lived experience to inform, collaborate, and educate in the mental health and suicide prevention sectors. The principles of co-design and family inclusive practice are central to her work, and she believes that early intervention and prevention are the keys to timely recovery.
Completing the Team
Mel met Tony and the SafeSide team thanks to a shared commitment to the Zero Suicides in Care initiative in New South Wales. It immediately became clear that Mel could add something of great value to SafeSide’s leadership and training: The voice of somebody with lived experience of supporting a family member struggling with suicide risk.
Mel now serves as an Instructor, Program Coordinator and Family Advocate at SafeSide. Her perspectives inform the development of all training materials and she continues to push the zero-suicide agenda forward with passion and professionalism.