International Mental Health Conference: Japan 2024

As many of you know I headed to Niseko at the beginning of Japan in January 2024. I was invited by Professor Patrick McGorry AO, to speak at an International Mental Health Conference, on the power of meditation and share my physical and mental health journey. Professor McGorry is a psychiatrist known worldwide for his work setting up early intervention youth mental health services, notably Headspace throughout Australia, and worldwide. His overall message was one of frustration and deep concern that we are in the depths of a mental health crisis for our youth (12-25), with woman and girls being disproportionately affected, having very few answers as to how to move through this, and his lobbying to government largely being received apathetically.

I however have hope. Learning to meditate changed my life, and having it in my life is how I am still here. So the fact that there’s a place for me at a forum like that is a huge start. There were 15 speakers at the conference, 3 women, and I was one of them. It was a huge honour to be invited to share my knowledge and life experience within that forum, and have the medical industry be so open to receiving that, as they look for ways to achieve better outcomes. This kind of curiosity and enquiry gives me a lot of hope.

The trip to Japan was also my first time to the snow in 22 years, since being diagnosed with being anaphylactic to being cold. When I was 18 I went for a swim at Minnamurra River and went into anaphylactic shock. I was then told I had a rare auto immune disease that meant that I was allergic to being cold, and that if I went swimming or to the snow I could die. And that there was no cure for this condition. I have healed. That trip to the snow was the biggest, most beautiful moment of my life.

I took filmmaker Mikey Conlon with me to capture those moments, because if that level of healing is possible for me, it’s possible for everyone. Other people, and the medical industry, need to know that’s possible. So we’re creating a short documentary about that experience. It’s in the development stages at the moment and if you’d like to be a part of co-creating that with us we would love your support. You can contribute here.

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