Masterchef… and men’s mental health

Screenshot from Instagram of Brent raising his hand

I’m a big Masterchef fan. I love food, I love stories, I love Melissa Leong’s choice in BIG earrings – what isn’t there to love?! So it was with some trepidation that I approached the last 15 minutes of tonight’s episode. Channel 10 had been promoting an emotional farewell all weekend. It was apparent that … Read more

Commission submissions

Jo quoted in the Royal Commission report

I have a list as long as my arm of blog posts I have been meaning to write of late, not least a reflection or two on the recent Royal Commission Report into the Victorian Mental Health System. Unfortunately, they are all on the backburner a bit as I focus on client work. In the … Read more

Response to the Productivity Commission draft report

Late last year, the Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health released their draft report of findings and recommendations so far. It is a huge report (over 1000 pages!) that covers immense ground, picking up on many of the flaws in the current mental health system. I opted to provide a response to the draft report. … Read more

Managing anxiety on your own

I’ve been lucky throughout my career to work with managers who have been focused on my professional development. But whenever we sat down for a semi-regular performance chat, one question would always stump me – “What are you doing well?” I could point to hundreds of flaws, but ask me to say a nice thing … Read more

Rethinking ambition

One of the surprisingly common reactions to my recent announcement that I have started my own business is the question of what my goals are. How soon before I employ someone else? Where is my office going to be? How big do I anticipate growing? It seems I’m not alone in answering these questions. In … Read more

Abandoning my alterego

Clark Kent takes off his glasses and suddenly he’s Superman. Jo Farmer leaves work and suddenly she’s a person experiencing mental illness. The facade is superficial but somehow works. For a long time, this was me. A mental health consumer who happened to also work in health policy. I kept the two sides – the … Read more

Evaluating with a lived experience

At the 2018 Australasian Evaluation Society conference in Launceston, I gave a paper reflecting on my experiences of conducting evaluation in the mental health sector while having a lived experience. I experience mental illness, and for some time, I have also worked on projects in the mental health sector, as a consultant, an employee in … Read more