Samuel endeavours to always amplify the voice of real people's experiences in mental health to change healthcare systematically. He is invested in the change occurring respectfully and with the knowledge of who the change serves is front of mind.
Samuel is a youth and lived experience researcher at the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre, and has shared with the Life in Mind team why he signed the National Communications Charter and what being a Life in Mind Champion means to him.
Q&A with Samuel Hockey, University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre
Why did you sign the National Communications Charter?
I signed the National Communications Charter to stand with my fellow colleagues and sector worker against offensive, ill-informed, non-inclusive language on the subject of mental health; in both my personal and professional outputs. I see The Charter as an opportunity to further the respect those who face mental ill-health and its associated stigmas head-on deserve.
What does being a Life in Mind Champion mean to you?
To me, it is not only a personal commitment to aligning my language and values with that of best practice but also a public commitment to uphold the values of best practice in communicating about mental health and all those who are touched by it. This means I am accountable to not only myself but the wider sector with my personal and professional outputs.
What is the most rewarding or enjoyable part of your role/s?
For me, the most rewarding aspect of my role is assisting in providing lived experience with a paper-trail firmly grounded in black-literature. For so long, lived experience has been glazed over in black-literature referencing due to existing either solely in media-based reporting or grey-literature reporting— or worse, seen as mere participants. Having universal standards in language and communication, such as the National Communications Charter, we are enabling lived experience documentation to demand the same respect, citing, and referencing as that of academia.