Helen Lockett and Caro Swanson attended the Australian Equally Well symposium held earlier this year, saying it oozed with collaboration, diversity and generosity of spirit, with lived experience very much at the heart of the symposium. It also held true to the Equally Well principles - Quality of life, Equality in life.

Plenty of ground was covered during the two days, including lived experience leaders clearly articulating inequity as discrimination and a human rights issue, plus a call for the need to recognise and respond to trauma. There were however some topics that could have received a greater focus, for example the audience called for a greater focus on the physical health impacts of psychotropic medications and what this means for prescribing practices, especially polypharmacy.

For Helen, watching and hearing about Equally Well actions springing up all over Australia was humbling. GPs, nurses, pharmacists and exercise specialists are a few of the different sectors already signed up and taking action. Witnessing Equally Well Australia lift off and take flight, gave Helen renewed energy to strive to strengthen our collaborative actions here in Aotearoa. She says there is plenty still to do to ensure that tangible and lasting change is experienced by people with lived experience at every contact point across the health and health-related systems. 

View the presentations and abstracts from the symposium, including those of Helen, Caro and Emma Wood, Te Pou National manager, practice.