MIEACT provides a range of mental health education programs to young people in schools across the ACT. Our Positive Body Image Program, Any Body’s Cool, is co-delivered with the help of our partners at the University of Canberra and the National Gallery of Australia. MIEACT also partners with Anglicare’s Junction Youth Health Service to co-provide mental health education in school settings for young people at risk.
At the core of all MIEACT’s work is a personal story of recovery from mental illness. Stories that are crafted to include messages of hope, recovery and help-seeking, and refined through our ‘Do NO Harm’ framework, become a powerful education tool that enriches both audiences and volunteers.
MIEACT Volunteer Educators deliver their personal stories directly to audiences. This ‘positive direct contact’ with a person willing to share the most intimate and emotional experiences, of either their own illness or the experiences of caring for someone with mental illness, is recognised as the most effective way of reducing the stigma, discrimination and unconscious bias that often surrounds mental illness. When we feel less stigma about our own mental health problems we are more likely to seek help.
Better learning comes from sharing real life stories – learning in this way, from sharing real life experiences, helps us all be better people.