UNSW Scientia PhD candidate Kathryn Thorburn has been recognised among 50 women activists and reformers in mental health in NSW in a book launched by the NSW Mental Health Commission.
Kathryn Thorburn has been identified by the NSW Mental Health Commission’s publication celebrating 50 years of women activists and reformers in mental health in NSW. Women who have led the way in mental health reform across NSW over the past 50 years have been recognised in this new book which has been released to mark International Women’s Day.
Enrolled with the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, Ms Thorburn’s PhD topic is Improving the physical health of people with severe mental illness. Ms Thorburn’s PhD brings together her passion for collaborative approaches, mental health and physical health, and lived experience leadership.
“It's an honour to be recognised among this amazing group, many of whom I have looked to as mentors and role models for many years, and all for whom I hold deep respect. I don't think any of us have any illusions that this list is definitive - there are so many others we could include. I hope a book like this does as much to reflect the advocacy and activism of those many others as it does to acknowledge the work of those identified in it,” said Ms Thorburn.
Kathryn Thorburn has been recognised for her role in the space of mental health research and support. She co-founded the business inside out & associates australia in 2011 with the intention to create spaces for critical conversations about extreme states and mental distress, promoting lived expertise and consumer-led responses to these. Over the years they have facilitated awareness raising, educational and social action events, conferences, workshops and courses for a range of people committed to better approaches to mental distress experiences.
More recently, inside out & associates have been involved in supporting and facilitating the co-design of resources and services, co-developing a peer-led program to enhance support for the consumer workforce, contributing to The Leader’s Way, and expanding Alternatives to Suicide peer-based mutual support groups.
In addition, a book that Ms Thorburn collaborated on is listed as one of three key events in mental health activism to occur in 2019. The book, recognised on page 89 of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s publication, features over 50 lived experience co-authors and is called Our Own Words: Reflections on living with mental distress and extreme states (and living without them).
Kathryn Thornburn was one of 50 women celebrated by the NSW Mental Health Commission.
“The story of mental health reform is one of many dedicated women leading and challenging traditional thinking and systems of care in their own way. It is inspiring to see the range of incredible initiatives, opportunities and challenges these women took up,” said Catherine Lourey, Mental Health Commissioner of NSW.