A Path to Follow


Apparently who I am and what I do is complicated – Let me sort that for you…

What, why and how I do “A Path To Follow” is complicated apparently (ah, yes it is).  This is largely due to our commitment to the customisation of wellbeing services to meet the needs of our peers. But I do get it, I need community to understand what we do, if we are to truly provide positive impact for those who need it most. This means I need to know how to simplify our key messages. Here is my attempt at a describing what really is a niche, pivotal and unique service in a simple way that also still captures the true essence of our service for those who really need it right now. Here goes… Please let me know your feedback. I am Kirstie; Founder of A Path To Follow (APTF), (Volunteer) Secretary of South Eastern Suicide Prevention Network, Mental Health Service User and Carer, Professional, Mum, Wife and Human Being (the order of which does not reflect my priorities nor preferences). I have over 25 years of professional experience in wellbeing related sectors, inclusive of practice within education, family, community and mental health systems.   I also have well over 25 years of combined mental health lived experience as a mental health service user and/or as a carer to a young person experiencing mental health related challenges.   It is that lived experience that grounds my professional practice, enabling authentic engagement and personalised support of young people and families in their wellbeing journeys.    It is those combined Lived and Professional experiences that saw APTF arrive as an alternative method of care in our “broken” mental health service system; out of the the raw, personal, chaotic, traumatic and grief laden journey within the system arose something so important, so ingrained in my being that I knew professionally young people and families need. Three years old as an official business, (9 years into a venture that began with a small but important volunteer community awareness and fundraising focus) my commitment to young people and family wellbeing has not changed; in fact, it has grown and consolidated my commitment and passion. I will continue to practice within my values and vision according to the missions set to proudly provide this unique model of service, growing our professional and lived experience workforce as we go. Our mental health peer youth, family and sporting programs for are a product of my combined mental health experiences and current best practice evidence, with each embedded in principles of prevention, early intervention and personalised response.  Both Australian and International research backs the role of lived experience working collaboratively alongside professional care to help communities bring about their own best outcomes in wellbeing. Just look at our RCMH recommendations for evidence in support of lived experience and peer support in our trying to save our mental health system. Very rarely is my life simple or my mind uncomplicated. I hope I have untangled the tangles and simplified the complexities enough for those of you needing a light at the end of your tunnel today. Kirstie Descriptions of Youth, Family and Sporting Peer Programs can be found on our website. Further information on our  Model Of Peer Support, can be found here:

Marching into 2021 with a Not For Profit Purpose

Marching into 2021 with a Not For Profit Purpose Join Us APPLICATIONS EXTENDED UNTIL JAN 29TH 2021 After much pondering, mixed with a fair dose of frustration and followed by a renewed determination, I have decided it is time to take APTF into the Not For Profit world? We need like minded and supportive people to join us on our Board of Directors. Is that you? Why? Long story short? Yep, of course, no one really likes the long story. Short story is that I want to be able to throw our very valid and worthy hat in the ring when it comes to government and related funding opportunities. Currently most of the these grants are only open to those organisations who are incorporated.  I cannot continue to devote so much time to securing sponsorships and donations and I choose not to continue to hit up those same type of people who enabled support to our clients this far. Once I began my preparation, I also ran headfirst into another reason; the flip side of a reason I was actually avoiding the NFP status. I have loved the independence and autonomy of having my own business and not having to answer to anyone else. Then I got lonely and then I got real. Not only is it selfish and unrealistic to think I can achieve our vision on my own; it ignores a core strength of my work ethic. I love team and I love leading and participating within them. Through registering as a NFP I get to gather and collaborate with a team of individuals with like purposes and philosophies around mental wellbeing. Interested? We need to fulfil the mandatory roles of President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer. There are also general Director positions available. We welcome ALL people who can fulfil the stated criteria to apply and especially welcome young people, and people with lived experience of mental health challenges or carers thereof. When?  Nominations to be on the Board of Directors closes COB January 29th 2021. First Meeting- Feb 17th (time tbc) Where?  Via Zoom How?  Email your nominations to kirstie@apathtofollow.com.au Advertisement Board Code of Conduct Nomination Form Never miss out on your news, sign up here.  

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