Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Helen Makregiorgos, Manager

Helen was previously Senior Manager, Health Promotion, Research and Development at Women’s Health West.

She has a Masters in Social Work, where she focused on the acute service response to mental health needs of women during pregnancy, and has worked in various leadership and senior management roles across the health sector, including mental health, women’s health and sexual assault.

Helen has worked extensively with mental health consumers including advocacy work, and in the development of accessible resources and programs.

She has extensive experience supervising and managing staff across diverse roles, including social workers, community development workers, Aboriginal liaison officers, drug and alcohol advocates and psychologists.

Jenny Bretnall, Senior Advocate, Dandenong

Jenny has over 30 years' experience in the social welfare and community services and mental health sectors as an educator, practitioner and project manager.

Passionate about social justice and human rights, Jenny has worked alongside people with a lived experience of mental health to be provided with the tools, knowledge and opportunities to be informed to make their own decisions and to self-advocate if they choose

Belind a Brady, Senior Advocate, Geelong

Belinda is a local to the Barwon-South West region and has a strong passion and commitment to rural health and ensuring locals have access to quality services.

She has 18 years' experience as a social worker. She has worked with children and families and as a rural social worker throughout Australia and overseas. Before moving to IMHA, Belinda worked at the Epilepsy Foundation in Geelong.

She is an experienced team leader and supervisor with a strong commitment to consumers having their voice heard and given every opportunity to be involved in making decisions about their own treatment and recovery.

Jessica Davis, Senior Advocate, Bendigo

Jessica Davis (BSW, MSW) has worked within clinical mental health settings in Victoria for the past 20 years. Beginning in forensic psychiatry, assertive outreach and moving to complex case management. Jessica then held a range of leadership and executive roles. Jessica has workforce training and development skills as well as experience in delivering tertiary education. Her areas of interest include the reduction of restrictive interventions and advocating for human rights in mental health settings, co-occurring mental health and substance use, the social justice model of disability and neurodiversity.

Emma Wilcox-Davies , Senior Advocate, Melbourne

Emma has extensive experience within Mental Health Advocacy both in Victoria and the UK, this includes supervisory roles and team leader roles.

Emma has specialist knowledge and skills within Forensic Mental Health Services in both Victoria and the UK.

Emma is passionate about advocacy and the importance of consumers having access to independent advocates.

In addition, Emma has a background of education within Social Care and Advocacy and uses this in supporting the development of advocates within the team.

Wanda Bennetts, Senior Consumer Consultant, Melbourne

Wanda initially worked as a primary teacher but moved into consumer perspective work in 2000 and since then has held a variety of consumer roles as an educator, advisor and consultant. Her move into mental health came from her desire to positively influence services to improve their systems for people who use them.

Her passions include progressing the consumer workforce, consumer perspective education and training for clinicians, staff and consumers, and advance directives.

Wanda is the author of a research project called Real lives, real jobsExternal Link which explored issues facing consumer workers including recruitment, retention, education, supervision and career paths and made recommendations to ensure the growth and sustainability of this workforce.

Reviewed 01 December 2021


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