Leilani Darwin is a proud Quandamooka woman, whose ancestral home is Stradbroke Island. She has been touched on a personal level many times by suicide and mental illness and through her own lived experience and work within the sector, Leilani is a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led, culturally informed practices within mainstream services. In 2016, Leilani was the recipient of the LiFE Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention across Australia. Then again in 2016 she accepted an invitation to join the Queensland Suicide Prevention Taskforce for a three-year appointment. She has been published in several journals on topics such as youth suicide prevention and Aboriginal lived experience. Leilani Darwin, Head of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre at The Black Dog Institute
The National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) has launched #GettingThroughThisTogether - a national conversation to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians as the uncertainty around COVID-19 continues. Leilani Darwin and the Black dog Institute, in collaboration with over 20 mental health and social service organisations, have helped Developed #GettingThroughThisTogether acknowledges the stressors and difficulties of COVID-19 and provides simple and practical tips that help support the communities mental health and wellbeing.
The program has prioritised key at-risk groups including: • Women and children who are living in unsafe homes and victims of family and domestic violence • People struggling with financial stress and distress due to unemployment • Young people, especially those who are undertaking year 12 and at university • Women who shouldered a large share of the household burden during the first lockdown and are facing it once again • People who are already vulnerable, living by themselves or have been dislocated from their community and support services
#GettingThroughThisTogether builds on the success of #InThisTogether, which was launched in response COVID-19 in March, and acknowledges the continuing challenges for many Australians, as we navigate the compounding impacts of the pandemic.