Q&A with Missy Robinson, ANZMH Association Ambassador
Missy Robinson is an Australian publicist, creative, speaker, author and mental health advocate whose mission is to reduce the stigma around mental health and how even living with a complex mental illness, you can still set out and achieve all your dreams and goals.
Find out more about Missy in our exclusive Q&A.
Q: Why have you become an ambassador for the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMHA) and the Workplace Mental Health Symposium (WMHS)?
A: I wanted to share my personal lived experience and be a voice for those living with a CMI. To give hope and educate on the amazing possibilities available once you learn to understand and manage your illness. Working with ANZMHA and the WMHS will allow me to reach a wider audience and get the conversation happening about improving mental health in the workplace on the daily.
Q: Why is mental health and mentally healthy workplaces important to you and what made you want to become active in this space?
A: With so many Australian and New Zealanders experiencing some sort of mental health issue, this naturally impacts every aspect of their life including working. As most of us need to work to live and survive, pay the bills, buy food etc… ensuring that workplaces are providing the necessary resources and policies in place to ensure their employees feel safe.
Q: How do you think companies should create more mentally healthy workplaces?
A: It’s about taking positive steps to reduce any risk factors and to provide support to employees to ensure maximum productivity in the workplace. This could include having a Coach come in to speak with employees and assist with identifying any areas that can be improved to enhance the staff’s time at work, organising team building exercises to build moral and improve teamwork as well as implementing policies in place to ensure that employees who may be dealing with mental health problems are given the support and time off they may need – which may involve the chance to work remotely, or reduce hours. Providing an open and safe space for employees to feel comfortable to come
Q: How do you think colleagues and people in general should support each other’s mental health?
A: We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, and people experiencing mental health issues are very good at hiding it from those closest to them.
It’s about “normalising” the conversation and realising that this is a common part of life and can be managed and dealt with.
We spend most of our days with the people we work with, more so than our family and friends. It’s crucial that if we notice a change in a work colleagues behaviour, don’t be afraid to ask them if they are okay or need help.
Having since fostered a successful career in both the fashion industry as a blogger and fashion stylist, and in the world of PR working with both small local businesses and national brands, Missy’s life changed forever when she was first diagnosed with a Complex Mental Illness in 2008.
To assist with overcoming her adversity and decades-long battle with Bipolar Affective Disorder and Psychosis, Missy penned her experiences in The Book of Amazing People, published by Kizzi Nkwocha in the UK and available internationally. She also shared her lived experiences in a raw and open blog.
Missy’s mental health battle and her ensuing weight loss of over 50kg sparked a passion for raising awareness of mental health and she is currently working with various mental health charities and organisations as well as delivering inspiring keynote talks at schools and corporate events around the country covering topics such as living with a CMI, spirituality, healthy living and the joys and complexities managing your mental health as a business owner. With a unique insight into the human condition and having lived an incredibly interesting life , Missy makes for an engaging and somewhat savage speaker.
Missy has been featured in many national media outlets including Cosmopolitan Health, Elle Magazine, Body & Soul plus various online blogs.
In addition to her mental health advocacy work, Missy is also a business owner of a thriving Public Relations agency called The Rebel Collective, that focuses on building community, connecting people and creating out of the box campaigns for clients. She is also currently an ambassador for SANE Australia as well as the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health , and hopes to educate Australians on how you can live with a complex mental illness and have a happy, successful and fulfilling life.
Missy continues to foster a love for fashion and entertainment, a career which has seen her as a Contributor and Editor for a number of both print and online magazines interviewing talent, both here and overseas and is still involved with many fashion festivals and events.