Kirstie uses her professional and lived experience in well-being to provide customised mental health support inline with community need.
Kirstie’s career started in education, where she taught at a mix of public and private schools. After the birth of her second child she returned to study and gained Honours in Psychology.
From there, Kirstie joined a local Family Relationship Centre, helping separated families with shared parenting support. Here Kirstie trained and attained a qualification as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
In 2009 Kirstie moved to a new role as Coordinator of the Kingston Family Services. Here she gained invaluable experience in working with families experiencing complex challenges. She managed a team working with child protection involvement, family violence, drug & alcohol misuse and mental illness. It was during this time Kirstie’s desire for a future in community mental well-being was consolidated.
Kirstie’s most recent role was as a Manager in Community Health. Here she led Paediatric Allied Health Professionals, Mental Health professionals and a Health Promotion team. During this time Kirstie led a remarkable team who always had their clients’ best interests at heart. This team supported people with challenges that were complex, heart wrenching and sobering. Kirstie developed and implemented the organisation’s Child Safe Standards, acting as the Child & Young Person’s Well-being and Safety Officer, in addition to holding the Family Violence Portfolio.
Prior to leaving Community Health, Kirstie was approached about Co-Chairing the innovative, South Eastern Suicide Prevention Network . This was an important initiative for Kirstie, professionally and personally. She is a parent of a son who lost 2 classmates to suicide within a 12 month period & who then struggled to maintain meaningful connection to his own life. As a professional she was saddened by the rising incidence clients who didn’t want to live anymore.
During her son’s mental illness, Kirstie and her family got to experience first hand the mental health system on a personal level. At best, the mental health system saved her son’s life. At worst, it left him and their immediate family traumatised by their journey; one they are still travelling today. This journey, although painful and a continuing challenge, has motivated Kirstie to support those families experiencing complex mental health challenges and invest in the prevention and early intervention of the whole community.