Ad­vo­cat­ing for men­tal health


De­bra Lamp­shire waited 18 years for health pro­fes­sion­als to heal her, but in the end re­alised the only per­son who could do that was her­self.

The 58-year-old is now at the fore­front of at­ti­tude change sur­round­ing men­tal health ser­vice pro­vi­sion in New Zealand.

Lamp­shire has been se­lected as a fi­nal­ist in the Mak­ing a Dif­fer­ence cat­e­gory of the 2016 At­ti­tude Awards.

The na­tional awards cel­e­brate the ex­cel­lence and achieve­ments of Ki­wis with dis­abil­ity and chronic health.

Lamp­shire has made a dif­fer­ence within the men­tal health sys­tem draw­ing on per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences.

At 17, she was com­mit­ted to the for­mer Kingseat Psy­chi­atric Hospi­tal in Karaka and was hav­ing episodes of psy­chosis.

‘‘I used men­tal health ser­vices for over 30 years, I was in­sti­tu­tion­alised for 18 of those 30 and was able to even­tu­ally over­come the anx­i­ety and mad­ness which had plagued me for decades.’’

Lamp­shire had a chance en­counter in a board­ing house which made her re­alise that her big­gest ally was her­self.

‘‘[A vis­i­tor] said that in re­gards to restora­tion ‘all that’s needed is a bit of care and it will work’.’’

Lamp­shire, who now lives in Mt Roskill, has gone on to use her ex­pe­ri­ences from liv­ing at Karaka to help oth­ers.

‘‘I have had the priv­i­lege of trans­fer­ring those 30 years of the lived ex­pe­ri­ence of mad­ness, of voice hear­ing and iso­la­tion into work­ing with oth­ers who find them­selves en­meshed or who are start­ing their own jour­ney …’’

Lamp­shire is now a pro­fes­sional teach­ing fel­low at the Univer­sity of Auck­land and a con­sumer ed­u­ca­tor through the Auck­land Dis­trict Health Board.

She is em­ployed by the DHB as a project man­ager for the Psy­cho­log­i­cal In­ter­ven­tions for En­dur­ing Men­tal Ill­ness project

Lamp­shire is ad­vo­cat­ing for bet­ter ser­vices for men­tal health suf­fer­ers.

‘‘Our cur­rent sys­tem is un­der­re­sourced and has a work­force that is un­der­val­ued and much ma­ligned which is a par­al­lel process to the ex­pe­ri­ences of ser­vice users in the com­mu­nity.’’

Lamp­shire will find out if she has won the award on Novem­ber 29 at the gala.

Go to at­ti­tude­ to vote and check out the pro­files of the other fi­nal­ists.

De­bra Lamp­shire is a fi­nal­ist in the At­ti­tude Awards.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.