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Tahnee
Bridson

Leader in Mental Health Advocacy, Research & Education

  • Exclusive
Lived experience is the greatest teacher of all.
Profile

Dr Tahnee Bridson is best known for her work to reduce stigma, improve help-seeking and promote mental wellbeing as the founder of Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Inc.

Tahnee experienced shame and stigma firsthand when she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa as a university student. She rose through adversity and defied the odds by graduating top of her class.
Her personal experiences were the inspiration behind Hand-n-Hand - so that no one would ever need to go through this alone again.

Current Work:

Tahnee is a psychiatry doctor originally from a small country town in Far North Queensland. Whilst she initially thought of pursuing a career in dance and music, she had a desire to improve the wellbeing and lives of others that led her down the path of medicine. Growing up in the country was no easy feat.

She faced a number of barriers both at home, school and university. Overcoming her own adversities has driven Tahnee to support others from similar backgrounds so they can reach their full potential.
Being a born and bred country girl, she is also an advocate for access to better healthcare in rural and remote areas of Australia. She is passionate about advancing the field of mental health through research and recently combined these two passions when offered a PhD position in Melbourne.

More recently, Tahnee has advocated for the wellbeing needs of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic establishing a peer support network that provides free and confidential support to all healthcare workers across Australia and New Zealand.

Tahnee’s work was recognized by her home state, and she was selected as the 2022 Queensland Young Australian of the Year.

Other accolades include:
-2022 Queensland 7News Young Achiever Awards
- Leadership Award Finalist 2021 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards
- Jeff Cheverton Individual Award Winner 2021 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards
- Jude Bugeja Peer Experience Award Winner 2021
- James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award 2017
- University Medal Recipient 2017

Expertise
Talking Points

Rising through adversity

The past doesn't dictate your future, but it can help shape it. This is Tahnee's story of rising through adversity. From being the underdog at school to battling anorexia nervosa as a doctor, it's been hard work. But these experiences inspired me to make some noise and help others. After all, it's the journey that counts, not the destination.

This presentation is suitable for all audiences (from school presentations to senior executives in high-pressure industries such as health/ law/ finance) and can be tailored for the audience.

Key Takeaways
-You can achieve your goals regardless of where you come from or what adversities you face along the way
-Find the people who believe in you and draw on their strength in times of hardship and when experiencing ‘imposter syndrome’
-Imperfections are what make us human and beautiful - embrace your flaws and use them to grow

Let’s talk mental health

The fence at the top of the cliff versus the ambulance at the bottom - promoting mental well-being through preventive rather than emergency strategies and using examples from our charity (Hand-n-Hand Peer Support Inc.) on how this can be done.

This presentation is suitable for all audiences (from school presentations to senior executives in high-pressure industries such as health/ law/ finance) and can be tailored for the audience.

Key Takeaways
- What is mental wellbeing and how can it prevent mental ill-health
- Primary prevention strategies to prevent burnout, moral distress and mental ill-health
- Pathways to accessing care for those who might need support now

The kindness pandemic

Discussing the effects of COVID-19 and other stressors on the modern workplace and how this has impacted mental health. Strategies to improve conditions and prevent burnout, moral distress and mental ill-health will be provided along with links to support services available to those needing more urgent assistance.

This presentation is suitable for workplaces (management level or employee level particularly for high-pressure industries or those impacted by COVID-19)

Key Takeaways
- How has covid affected mental wellbeing in the workplace using facts/figures and my own experiences as a doctor
- What has been found to work and strategies that could be implemented in your workplace including peer to peer support
- Pathways to accessing care for those who might need support now

Media
Feedback
On behalf of the Psychiatry Interest Forum, I would like to thank you for your involvement as a speaker at the Monash University Medical Student Society's "What should I know about Psychiatry" Event on 18 August 2021. We are appreciative of your involvement and enthusiasm in encouraging medical students to pursue a career In psychiatry and for sharing your personal stories and experiences at this event. The audience was very complimentary and deeply appreciative of your time. I look forward to working with you through the Psychiatry Interest Forum in future. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)

The Psychiatry Students' Interest Society at the University of Melbourne had the pleasure of having Tahnee speak at our inaugural event of 2022 - an evening to discuss the pandemic's effects on mental health, particular in the space of adolescent mental health. Tahnee gave us such an articulate and eye-opening insight into this area, sharing very personal stories with us, along with her current work and research in public mental health, including setting up Hand-n-Hand. Not only did we gain a deeper appreciation for the advocacy surrounding mental health, but we also took away the importance of looking after our own mindsets, as future medical practitioners. One of the highlights from the evening was the manner in which Tahnee's openness inspired some very engaging discussion and QAs along the way.

Psychiatry Students' Interest Society at the University of Melbourne
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