Joey is a youth mental health advocate supporting multiple projects in the ACT that are working towards enhancing the mental health system for children and young people. Joey has recently been involved in the “Right care, first time, where you live” research collaboration between the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the University of Sydney, as the youth lived experience champion for the program.
Joey’s involvement in the Right Care Project was crucial to the design and development of the youth systems model. Joey was able to effectively engage with the research team and policy makers within government and non-government to translate mental health policy and systems modelling to support other young people to engage with the program in a meaningful way. She has skilfully reshaped the research delivery to support enhanced youth lived experience engagement within the program through ongoing consultations with the research team to ensure that the format and contents of the research’s engagement met young people where they were at. This included introducing various technology platforms for use in workshops.
For this program Joey advocated for a specific youth engagement process to be undertaken ensuring that the young people felt comfortable and supported enough to engage with the wider research program. Joey was able to recruit a range of young people with lived experience to the program through various channels and engagement means, which meant that the program benefited from a diverse lived experience voice. She is also incredibly skilled at identifying strengths in other young people and supporting their engagement based upon their strengths.
Joey’s leadership skills and ability to motivate people to participate were clearly demonstrated in her work on this program. We have witnessed Joey successfully engage with stakeholders ranging from young people with lived experience, policy makers, health professionals, academics, ministers and service providers to enhance the program’s outcomes.
Joey is currently studying at university and volunteers her time to support different initiatives where she can share her experience and advocate for better systems and initiatives to support youth mental health. By advocating on behalf of young people, Joey has been able to ensure lived experience is at the heart of key projects supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our younger community.