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SEXtember 2022: The Power of Relationships - Presented by the MHFA Network

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Event description

Relationships are central to our lives and the quality of these relationships often underpins our well-being. How we navigate our desires, communicate our needs and adjust to our partner/s needs and wants is often overlooked when we think about mental wellbeing. Yet as social beings, it's difficult to separate the health of our relationships from our self-worth. 

What is the impact on our relationships with ourselves and others when our mental health is challenged? 

How do create healthy relationships? Does it take work, and what does that work look like? How do we adjust to another's needs while still maintaining our own? Is there a right and a wrong time to leave a relationship?

Explore this and more with our team of experts Chris Cheers, Dan Mai Kaplan and Renee Griffin as we navigate the interplay between our mental wellbeing, sexuality and how this impacts our relationships. 

About the panellists:

Renee Griffin (she/her) 

Renee is a Mental Health Social Worker who has a private therapy practice and manages one of the counselling teams within UNSW Psychology and Wellness. She is particularly passionate about supporting survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and trauma, and more generally individuals who face structural oppression or institutionalised inequalities. She is passionate about working with individuals from marginalised communities and has experience working in South India with transgender peoples, remote First Nations communities in the Northern Territory, newly-settled refugee children, and urban Australian and French Canadian populations. She has previously sat on the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Board and Social Policy Steering Committee, and has occupied State Coordinator, Program Manager and Strategic Advisory positions within prominent NGOs. 

Danyelle Mei Kaplan (she/they) 

Dan is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker & Clinical Supervisor of colour, living & creating on sovereign Gadigal land. 

They are a Filipino-Hong Kong Chinese-Jewish queer, non-binary person who believes wholeheartedly that individuals are the experts on their own lives. Dan works from a narrative perspective of justice-doing, naming and dismantling oppressive systems of power, and liberation through solidarity, decolonisation and abolition. 

They have over a decade of experience providing anti-oppressive, trauma-informed & intersectional support & counselling.

Dan works closely with queer & trans communities of colour in their private practice, and also provides clinical consultancy for arts, health and community organisations, artists and service providers. 

Chris Cheers (he/him)

Chris Cheers is a psychologist and educator with a focus on elevating mental health in the arts and LGBTIQA+ communities. Chris is a university lecturer, an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist Supervisor, member of the Australian Professional Association for Transgender Health (AusPATH),  and PhD candidate at the Centre for Alcohol and Policy Research at La Trobe University. Chris is a regular contributor in the media featured on the 7am podcast, ABC News and Reputation Rehab (ABC TV), his writing appearing in Archer Magazine and featured interviews for The Guardian, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Chris has also provided workshops and mental health consultation to arts organisations, theatre productions, universities and companies across Australia. Chris will publish his first book, The New Rulebook, with Harper Collins in early 2023. 

This event is brought to you as part of UNSW's annual festival of celebrating, questioning and exploring every aspect of sex. To learn more, check our website out here.

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