VMIAC introduced the annual THEMHS Scholarship in June 2016. The aim is to provide an opportunity for a breadth of consumers to apply to attend the Mental Health Services Conference.

In 2016 applications were sort from participants who identified with one or more of the following categories:

  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Youth
  • Consumer Workers
  • Those who had not previously attended
  • Mental Health Consumer Workforce Conference

The 6th Consumer Workforce Conference hosted by VMIAC was held at Bell City Mantra on 21st and 22nd of March 2016.

The consumer workforce has continued to grow, and we received over 180 registrations for this event.

A Changing Landscape seemed an appropriate title for a conference focussing on workers with lived experience functioning in an ever-changing industry which is concerned with the living experience of people with a diagnosis of mental illness.

In this challenging environment, the conference provided an opportunity for us to put forward our visions, our hopes and our actual activities that are making an empowering difference to the lives of people living the experience of having a diagnosis of mental illness.

Mary O’Hagan was our Keynote Speaker for the conference. As an initiator of the service user movement in New Zealand, the first chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, an advisor to the United Nations and World Health Organization and a Mental Health Commissioner for New Zealand, Mary was uniquely placed to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of working for increased consumer participation in a changing landscape.

The Final Report for the 2016 Conference can be found here