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Table 4 Programs targeted to the general population

From: Review of Australian initiatives to reduce stigma towards people with complex mental illness: what exists and what works?

Program name Organisation Type of mental illness Target audience Program description Anti-stigma component Lived experience involvement Session length, facilitated by Where provided Duration and reach Funding Level of evidencea
Mental Health 101 (Youth/Adult) [39,40,41,42] Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT) Mental illness (non-specific) Youth program targets high school students (years 7–10). Adult program targets workplaces Workshop providing an introduction to mental health. Stigma-based learning outcomes include an understanding of what stigma is, being able to identify negative consequences of stigma, and an ability to contribute to the collective impact to reduce stigma in relation to mental illness Contact: Two volunteer educators with lived experience share stories of living with a mental illness
Education: an understanding of myths and facts about mental health and examples of help-seeking behaviours
Programs are delivered by people with LE. Programs are co-designed with mental health professionals and people with LE 1 60-min session, facilitated by person with lived experience ACT, metro, regional/rural Since 1993, 8,000 people per year Commonwealth gov, state gov, and private funding 4
Mental Health First Aid [43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53] Mental Health First Aid Australia Mental illness (non-specific), Bipolar disorder, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, Substance Misuse, Non Suicidal Self Injury General population A program which teaches members of the public how to provide mental health first aid to others and enhances mental health literacy. A variety of courses exist: Standard MHFA (for adults), Youth MHFA (for adults assisting young people), Older Person MHFA, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA Contact: Two videos involve people with lived experience of mental illness talking about their experiences (one psychosis, one anxiety). Majority of instructors share their own experiences in their teaching
Education: Provides accurate information about mental illness to bust myths (e.g. that people with psychotic illnesses are dangerous and unpredictable)
Hallucination simulation: Optional activity where two volunteers have a discussion whilst the instructor reads from a scripted ‘voice’
Founder has lived experience of mental illness. Curriculum based on consensus studies involving people with lived experience (consumers and carers). Courses are delivered by instructors, most of whom have lived experience as consumers or carers Standard MHFA is 12 h, Youth MHFA is 14 h. Training is facilitated by an instructor who is accredited by MHFA Australia. Instructors Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote Since 2000, 800,000 people Varies according to Instructor. MHFA Australia receives earned income, intermittent funding from government and philanthropic sources 5
Peer Ambassador Program SANE Australia Mental illness (non-specific), Bipolar disorder, Personality disorders, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Suicide, other low prevalence disorders including complex trauma General population SANE Peer Ambassadors are a group of people who work with SANE Australia to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide hope to Australians affected by complex mental illness. They also help develop, deliver and evaluate SANE’s programs and services. All Peer Ambassadors receive training and support, guiding them through the process of sharing their story in ways that align with their reason for becoming an ambassador Contact: Presentations in workplaces and community settings to share their personal experience of living with, or supporting someone with a complex mental illness. Online stories via SANE website
Protest/Advocacy: Participants are regularly invited to contribute to advocacy and research projects, review resources and provide their insights through co-design or research projects
People with LE are paid staff on the program. Program was relaunched in 2018 following extensive consultation with people with LE 1 45-min session, facilitated by person with LE Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote Since 1986 in various forms, 1,000 + (currently 110 Peer Ambassadors) Corporate partnerships 1
Batyr (@school, @uni, @work)
[54, 55]
Batyr Mental illness (non-specific) High schools, universities, workplaces Programs delivered to schools (batyr@school), universities (batyr@uni), and workplaces (batyr@work) Contact: Two people with lived experience share their stories, focusing on help-seeking journey [10 mineach]. Video stories are in development and only used in rural communities
Education: Signs of mental illness, how to support a peer, seek help, role of language in perpetrating stigmatising attitudes
Protest/Advocacy: An addition to the School program, school chapters empower 20 passionate students to lead mental health events on their own school campus throughout the year
Lived Experience speakers form part of the governance of batyr, and are instrumental in any decision made within the organisation 1 session 60–90 min, facilitated by person with lived experience and other trained person ACT,NSW,QLD,SA,VIC, metro, regional/rural, remote 5–10 years, 229,934 people Earned income 5
SPEAK UP! Stay ChaTY [56, 57] SPEAK UP! Stay ChaTY Mental illness (non-specific) High schools, sports/arts organisations, workplaces Education and awareness programs. Stay ChatTY Schools Program to grades 9–12, Stay ChatTY Sports Program to sporting clubs, Community Presentation to workplaces and community groups Contact: Founder Mitch McPherson shares his personal story of losing his brother to suicide through his lived experience story. Lived experience videos of community members sharing their stories of mental ill-health and suicide are used in the Sports Program, the Schools Program and online
Education: Programs teach information on mental health vs mental illness, stigma, signs and symptoms of mental illness, resilience, where to access support, helping a friend/team mate/
Other: Delivers online anti-stigma and awareness campaigns via social media, engages with community partners for wellbeing and awareness events, attends community expos and events to promote anti-stigma messages
Founder with LE supports program development. A Youth Reference Group includes a number of young people with lived experience informs the development of youth-focused program content 1 45–90 min session. Facilitated by person with lived experience, nurse, exercise physiologist, lawyer, researcher Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote Since 2013, ~ 25,000 State gov, donations, community grants 3
LIVINWell [58] LIVIN Mental illness (non-specific) Organisations (e.g. workplaces, universities, schools, sports/arts organisations) Introductory mental health awareness program to educate people on a range of issues related to mental health, with an emphasis on breaking the stigma of mental health, enhancing self-efficacy and encouraging help-seeking behaviour Contact: In-person stories of facilitators’ lived experience with mental illness. Video stories of co-founders and how/why LIVIN originated and what their mission is
Education: Accurate alarming statistics on mental illness and suicide in Australia
Programs are co-delivered by people with LE 1 45-min session, facilitated by mental health professionals and person with lived experience Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote 5–10 years, N/R N/R 1
Mental Health Awareness Mental Health Partners Mental illness (non-specific) Organisations (e.g. workplaces, universities, sports/arts organisations) Short courses delivered to private organisations to reduce stigma, give information, offer resources and improve mental health Contact: Courses include at least one person with LE who shares their story to inform participants. Most courses include video of people with LE explaining their journeys
Education: Myths and facts sessions to improve knowledge
Programs are designed and co-delivered by people with LE 1 3-h session, facilitated by social worker, person with lived experience Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote 2–5 years old, 1,200 participants Earned income from private organisations 2
Staff Wellbeing Workshop [59, 60] Chess Connect Mental illness (non-specific) Workplaces A workshop that helps employers collaborate with their staff to educate and promote a positive mental wellness workplace culture Education: Program covers understanding stress, active stress management, reducing stigma, understanding the link between life events, the brain and behaviour, building resilience practices, understanding the impact of workplace habits, and recognising when a person is unwell or struggling N/R 1 2-h session, facilitated by ‘Workplace Wellness specialist’ NSW, regional/rural N/R, Over 750 people N/R 1
Exhibition Program [61, 62] The Dax Centre Mental illness (non-specific) General population Exhibition Program of art by people with lived experience open to the general public Education: The exhibition may include bios written by the artists which allow the artist to share aspects of their lived experience that break down myths and provide accurate information about mental illness for visitors All artists that exhibit have a lived experience and are involved in the process of exhibition development People visit for between 10 and 20 min. Guided tours last between 30 and 60 min. Facilitated by staff at the Dax Centre VIC, metro More than 10 years, ~ 24,000 Commonwealth gov, philanthropic, earned income 2
Education Program (Mindfields) [61, 63] The Dax Centre Mental illness (non-specific) Universities, schools A range of education programs specifically tailored to secondary and tertiary students who are studying mental health or arts-related subjects, encompassing presentations from advocates with LE and tour of current exhibitions Contact: Advocates present to the students sharing their lived experience of mental health issues, including a discussion of symptoms, their journey relating to diagnosis, treatment and other recovery factors. Some programs include video stories. Exhibition tours also include information on the artists’ personal stories
Education: Myth-busting is woven into the guided tour of exhibitions. Information is given about the history of psychiatric care in Victoria and how stigma has impacted community understanding over time
Programs delivered by people with LE. Advocates provide feedback on the program and how it can be designed to be more effective 1 2-h session, facilitated by people with LE, neuroscientists VIC, metro More than 10 years, 22,000 people Commonwealth gov, philanthropic, earned income 1
Mental health awareness forums Australian Rotary Health Mental illness (non-specific), Bipolar disorder, Personality disorders, Psychosis, Schizophrenia General population Community forums, organised by Australian Rotary Health and Rotary Clubs, to discuss all aspects of mental health. Speakers usually a mental health professional, a consumer and a carer. Members of the general public are invited to attend Contact: Members of the community who have a mental illness are invited to attend and speak
Protest/Advocacy: Holding a public forum provides advocacy for mental health awareness and acceptance. No specific activity is undertaken except openness and general discussion on mental health
People with LE are invited to speak when the program is arranged 1 2-h session, facilitated by various people, e.g. health professional, Rotarian, MP Australia-wide, metro, regional/rural, remote Since 2000, ~ 5000 people Commonwealth gov (now ceased), some private 2
  1. 1 = No evaluation evidence, 2 = Post survey feedback or qualitative interviews, 3 = One or more uncontrolled trials or repeated cross-sectional surveys, 4 = One or more controlled trials, 5 = One or more randomised controlled trials
  2. LE Lived Experience, N/R Not Reported