Be Well

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6 Roche St, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
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A Way Forward for Mental Health

Sometimes you can actually FEEL change happening …..

This week I spent two days co-emceeing a room full of people with lived experience of mental ill-health: psychologists; psychiatrists; family therapists; researchers; educators; government officials; carers; mental health advocates; community workers and more.

An unusual gathering of absolutely remarkable people!

We all care about mental health and wellbeing. Everyone has either had personal experience and/or been affected by a loved one, friend or colleague’s mental ill-health.

Literally billions of dollars have been poured into government inquiries, education, support and services for individuals, families, organisations. And rightly so. And yet, we continue to see health,  education and community services systems straining under the pressure of unmet need.

Maybe there are innovative ways of relieving this pressure?

Enter Open Dialogue

Open Dialogue, which is in 34 countries, offers a different way of supporting people experiencing mental ill-health problems.

Every person is seen as an active participant in their own care, with a social network which may include invited family, friends, carers and mental health teams. within the support of their broader family, network or community.

This social network model contrasts with the traditional approach, where the mental health professional works with individuals.  

The Open Dialogue model has strong, emerging evidence of its efficacy in trials around the world. As one mother observed:

“We feel Open Dialogue has really worked well for our family because it has given us time, patience and sensitivity in order to recognise, alleviate and communicate what are often invisible or hard to get at difficulties surrounding mental illness.”

So this week in Sydney we held the inaugural National Conference of the Open Dialogue network convened by the new Open Dialogue Centre.

Australian practitioners are leading some of the most innovative work in the world including beyond mental health service reform, bringing Open Dialogue to school education, local communities and family therapy.

And not only Australia, but our friends from New Zealand shared how they are using Open Dialogue in Maori health practices.

Meeting and working with these incredible pioneers and innovators was truly inspiring. We are going to hear a lot more about and from them in the years ahead as we explore new approaches to addressing the global mental health epidemic, particularly in our young people.

The Wellness Circle

At Be Well, we believe in the social network approach too. Which is why I’m thrilled to announce that Dr Kate O’Brien, our resident Clinical Psychologist, is conducting a Wellness Circle.

The purpose of the Wellness Circle is to help you become the very best version of yourself.  Dr Kate will lead a mindfulness and acceptance group therapy workshop for up to eight people, conducted over five weeks.

See the post below for more details, and consider submiting an Expression of Interest to join the Circle.

PS: Find out more about Open Dialogue here:

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.