Mental Health Community Coalition ACT Home

2023 Mid-year Forum: Weathering the Storm – Climate Change and Mental Health

Held in the Peninsula Room at the National Museum of Australia on 6 July 2023, this Q&A style panel, facilitated by Keith Mahar, a respected lived experience and peer worker advocate, focused on the intersection between climate change and mental health and featured:

  • Dr Devin Bowles – CEO of the ACT Council of Social Services. Previously CEO of ATODA, Lecturer at the ANU School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australasia.
  • Fay Jackson – General Manager Inclusion at Flourish Australia, Inaugural Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Mental Health Commission, Associate Fellow UTS and CEO of Vision in Mind.
  • Dr Grant Blashki – Dr Grant Blashki is proudly the Lead Clinical Advisor of Beyond Blue and has been exploring the links between climate change and health over the last two decades in his roles as A/Prof in Global Health at the University of Melbourne and as Adjunct A/Prof at Monash Sustainable Development Institute. He was a cofounder of Doctors for the Environment Australia and has been a Mentor in the Al Gore Climate Reality Program since 2006. He has co-authored 140 peer reviewed publications and coedited 10 books. Recently he co-authored a report led by the Climate Council in collaboration with Beyond Blue exploring the state of Australians’ mental health in relation to climate change including recent extreme weather events.
  • Leanne Craze – From being the Secretary of the Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with mental illness in the 1990s to authoring the National Framework for Recovery Oriented, Mental Health Services and Peer Work Frameworks, Leanne continues to contribute to the ongoing development of mental health services. In recent years, Leanne has sought to promote awareness of the mental health impacts of climate change, and ways in which services and communities can work together to respond. In 2017, Leanne was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to mental health services. Leanne also has a PhD in social work in the care and treatment of mentally ill offenders.
  • Sharon Friel – Sharon Friel is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse and Australian Research Centre for Health Equity (ARCHE) at the Australian National University. Her work focuses on governance of the planetary, social and commercial determinants of health inequities. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences of Australia.

Forum begins at 30 minute mark.
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