Innovation on World Mental Health Day

Oct 10, 2011, 09:08 ET from Mentalympians

Online social network, MentaNet, launched

BRISBANE, Australia, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - A 21st-century mental health initiative, MentaNet, has officially launched to aid individuals in their recovery process.

MentaNet is an innovative online social network that was launched earlier today at the Mental Health Stigma Summit in Brisbane. It operates like a dedicated version of Facebook.

Keith Mahar the founder of MentaNet has personally experienced anxiety, severe depression and acute psychosis and acknowledges that peer support played a major role in his own recovery from bipolar disorder.

Mahar who is now a strong mental health advocate says, "MentaNet is part of a community development initiative to apply technology to raise awareness of recovery, inspire hope and strengthen the mental health community."

Mahar is a qualified social worker and formed MentaNet based on research related to internalized stigma and the importance of interaction and group identity to boost self-efficacy and recovery for marginalized groups.

MentaNet is one of the first projects to be rolled out by Mentalympians, an initiative with an international advisory group that is developing a non-profit multimedia online mental health 'community channel' to promote recovery, connect members of the community, and act as a catalyst for mental health reform.

The Mental Health Council of Australia has described Mentalympians as "a world first new community media initiative" and a "creative approach to promoting awareness of recovery."

Adults with lived experience of mental health issues, their families and friends, healthcare professionals and other interested individuals are encouraged to sign up online to MentaNet.

To join MentaNet go to: www.mentalympians.org

About Keith Mahar:
Keith Mahar is a social worker and member of the Australian Association of Social Workers who recovered from bipolar disorder to go on to become a mental health advocate and founder of Mentalympians. You can read Keith's story: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/living-a-full-life-is-simply-mind-over-matter/2012331.aspx

About Mentalympians:
Mentalympians is a unique, 21st-century peer support platform that aims to stimulate discussion and collaboration to design and develop an online community channel, a multimedia website to be operated by individuals with experience of mental health problems through a global network of mental health consumer groups. www.mentalympians.org 

SOURCE Mentalympians