Welcome

Background

As documented in E.C. Warner's 2006 short film The Naked Advocate, I experienced a truly humiliating public episode of psychosis in 1996.  One of the reasons that I immigrated to Australia five years later was to try to hide.  However, I no longer feel the need to hide and I am enjoying a more productive and satisfying life than ever before.  

A major part of this transformation was peer support, as addressed nearly five years ago in my personal story.

It was while studying social work in 2006 that I came across work by Albert Bandura on the importance of a strong sense of self-efficacy in order to enhance human accomplishment through difficult tasks, including the strengthening of a person's belief in their own abilities by providing them with the opportunity to view others similar to themselves accomplishing comparable activities.

Professor Bandura's work inspired me to start considering how to effectively use social models to help individuals with mental health problems. After consideration, it became apparent to me that an online community channel might be extremely useful in this regard.

In 2007, ACU's School of Social Work granted me permission to conduct further research on this community development concept for my final student placement for my degree.  Dr Leanne Craze agreed to be my field educator for this placement, which was conducted through the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT, the peak body representing the not-for-profit community mental health sector in the Australian Capital Territory. My research confirmed to me that an online community channel produced and operated by people with lived experience of mental health problems would indeed hold significant promise from several individual, community and societal perspectives.

On 5 March 2009, this initiative was launched at the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership.  On the same day, the Mental Health Council of Australia issued a press release which welcomed Mentalympians as "a world first website which is all about mental health recovery and resilience." 

On World Mental Health Day 2009, the inaugural advisory group for Mentalympians was announced, consisting of 12 individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA, possessing a significant and diverse knowledge base.  

In 2010 and 2011, two successful conference presentations were conducted respecting Mentalympians and its theoretical framework. During this same period, two unsuccessful related funding applications were made to the Australian Capital Territory.  As a result, I made the decision to personally fund the creation of MentaNet to this stage myself.  

While my 10-year mental health recovery process taught has me to be more patience, everyone has their limit.