Would you like to tell your story to educate the community on mental health and well-being?
- To become a MIEACT volunteer storyteller or program presenter, you will need to be positively managing your mental illness, or be the carer of a person who is living with mental illness.
- You will need to be able to work with other volunteer storytellers and presenters, school staff and MIEACT office staff.
- You will be required to undergo a training schedule and that involves being able to talk about your personal experiences of living with mental illness (or as a carer).
- MIEACT operates two volunteer intake sessions each year, in March and August.
- You will need to be over the age of 18 years.
MIEACT prides itself on offering full Do NO Harm training and ongoing support to all of our volunteers, as they form the heart of MIEACT. You will learn to tell your story in a safe manner that is non triggering for you and the vulnerable people in your audience. You will learn how to present to a crowd and how to offer positive and helpful feedback to fellow volunteers.
To find out more about the training requirements, click here.
To register to become a Volunteer Educator, click here.
What our volunteers say about working with MIEACT…
Rajesh Mukherjee (2016)
“It’s not often when you can say you may have saved someone’s life. You don’t know who that person is. Maybe it was that quiet student at the back of the class. Maybe it was their friend. Or someone an audience member encounters later. It could even be yourself.
In 2015 I joined MIEACT in the hope of using my story to help those struggling with mental health problems and to provide them with a sense of hope. I was brought up with the stigma of mental illness. I wanted to be the last generation to have to feel it.
My MIEACT journey has taken me to many schools throughout Canberra. What I saw was regardless of age, sex or social status, mental health was a concern to every student. They wanted to learn about it and they wanted to know that someone could go through hell and still come out a functional person. Too many times mental illness is presented as a tragic black hole of despair. MIEACT
volunteers show that anyone can survive it and find the light at the end of the tunnel.
The MIEACT staff and Volunteer Educators are really what makes this such a great organisation. I have made wonderful friends and have met some of the strongest people I’ve ever encountered. All of them are an inspiration to me.”
Leanne Stevens (2016)
“To cease the constant nagging of a tiresome and dismissive mental health agency, I found myself landing in the lap of another; MIEACT.
An interest ignites instantly as I involve myself in the training session. I take hold of the opportunity to ease my way forward and continue to remove the barriers and stigma associated with
mental illness – stigma I have felt for 28 years.
I learn to appreciate those in my public speaking group, acknowledging we are all first humans who have a story to offer and to be told.
MIEACT has offered a healing hand, one I initially hesitated to take hold of. With MIEACT’s acceptance, a trust is forming which had almost become alien to me. With trust grows my respect for
those at MIEACT.
Thank you for this experience that has become part of my management journey.”
Ben Mathews (2010)
“I found MIEACT through volunteers ACT — at that time I didn’t know what to expect, but was curious as to what this organisation might be about. I certainly had plenty of experience
with mental illness and could have written a PhD on the stigma that I had attached to it, both internally and externally. So I did the training and got stuck into doing sessions.
From the first session I was blown away; it had it all for me, believe it or not I find the sessions great fun. Getting maximum interaction with the groups is a challenge and once you have
them hooked in, it is really special. Like all the presenters I have spoken to, I find presentations have a magical way of helping me, even when its emotional —sharing my story puts me
out in the world in a way I have never experienced before.
“My past pain becomes the currency of attention with 20 -30 people for a few minutes. They share my illness in an intimate yet very public way and for that small amount of time we care
for each other. I care about how my past can make a difference to them and they care about me, they give me unconditional attention and in doing so honour the shared experience that
takes place. This is the power of a human reality and is why doing this helps me so much.
“The other half is the people that make up MIEACT; the co presenters and staff. What to say, I’m sure it has been said before but Ill say it again, they are all incredible. My co presenters
helped me, nurtured me and most of all gave me a sense of being part of a very special community. To describe the difference that all the staff have made to my life in such a short time is difficult; words are such a primitive and clumsy form of expression, they have helped me find a of confidence in myself that has been buried for a decades, their encouragement and kindness help me reconstruct my dignity and self esteem.
“I am a very lucky fellow to have MIEACT in my life.”