Who are we?
MHM2 is a volunteer action and advocacy group based in Perth, Western Australia whose membership includes:
- people who experience mental distress, alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and may have involvement in the criminal justice system;
- their families, supporters, carers and friends and
- individuals who work in community, public and private mental health and allied services.
A Steering Group of between 6-8 people meet monthly to guide our work. People on the Steering Group volunteer their time and do so while managing personal and family experiences at the ‘pointy end’ including mental distress, AOD use and criminal justice experiences. This ‘living experience’ gives us a reality check between what’s being promoted and what’s being experienced on the ground.
MHM2 was the recipient of the 2015 Mental Health Outcomes Equal Opportunity Commission Award for human rights, equity and diversity in mental health’. http://www.eoc.wa.gov.au/mediacentre/eoc-in-the-news/2015/10/09/mental-health-good-outcomes-awards
MHM2 aims to work in ways that are Gracious, Just, Informed, Resolute and Hopeful.
What do we do?
MHM2 seeks to bring the voices and experiences of people and families at the ‘pointy end’ to decision-makers such as politicians, senior public servants and community agency management. People with ‘multiple, unmet needs’ are often the individuals and families who also experience discrimination, poverty and homelessness. They are often the people and families whom the system views as ‘too hard’.
MHM2 is now known as a systemic advocacy group but we didn’t know that language when we started in 2010! We are always interested to hear from people about their experiences and often help them navigate the system, but we don’t have the resources to provide individual advocacy. However, with permission, we use those experiences in a de-identified way to raise systemic gaps with decision-makers, as well as to congratulate services where they’re doing a good job.
Who funds MHM2?
No-one. MHM2 has never sought or received funding to run its core operations. While that is stretches us at times, we decided on that option back in 2010 on advice from consumer and family/carer leaders who had gone before us, to enable us to provide the most robust, independent advocacy possible.
We advocate for individuals to be paid for their time, energy and expertise in consultations or when giving presentations. It is heartening to see that more services are now adopting a Paid Participation policy to enable this to happen.