Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

A Christmas message for my mental health friends and colleagues... looking back with a grateful heart…

…looking forward in anticipation of more adventures, successes and exciting discoveries ahead!

What an amazing year 2017 has been from my perspective! With Christmas only a few days away… and a New Year about to dawn… I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my journey through 2017, and the companionship of the people who have journeyed with me! And, to pay respect…

This time last year, I was busy packing up our family home in Armidale, Australia…  I was saying goodbye to my previous workplace, University of New England… farewelling my home town…

And, my husband, family and I  were preparing for our usual big family Christmas traditions… the weather was hot… the days were long! There were plenty of mangoes…

Eleven and a half months ago (January 10) I arrived (with some of my family) in Odense, Denmark… to take up a new position at the University of Southern Denmark… about as far away from my home town as I could be, and still be on planet Earth! It was cold… dark… icy… People said it was brave… I think it was too… some times life requires that you step up to an uncomfortable plate… and be courageous. It is risky… but opportunities are!

It was hard to leave behind the old … and exciting to discover the new…

Milestones since leaving Australia:

  • moved house 8 times
  • emptied two precious jars of vegemite
  • travelled to about 15 countries (some on repeat visits… and some in transit…)
  • discovered the hygge phenomenon and acquired more candles than my husband approves of!
  • published 9 book chapters/journal papers (that is my job!)
  • learned to drive on the wrong side of the road
  • there have been conferences, keynotes, grant proposals, reports… lots of successes… some near misses… and there are plenty of ‘ducks lined up’ for 2018 to look forward to!

There are many people to acknowledge and thank over the last year…

Always at the top of my list are my husband and family… but in my professional life, there are so many colleagues and old and new friends who have been such a great pleasure to work with this year.

I have throughly enjoyed working with every single one of my new Danish colleagues at the E Mental Health Research Unit and the Telepsychiatric Centre… Institute of Clinical Research in the Faculty of Health, University of Southern Denmark; the Region of Southern Denmark; and Odense University  Hospital, and the Middelfart Psychiatric Hospital. Thank you to all for the wonderful welcome… kindness… and for the amazing work we have been able to contribute to the mental health discipline and the evidence-base for the care of people with mental health conditions this year!

To my colleagues in our various advisory committees, steering committees, and working groups, and partnership consortiums  – it has been a tremendous year working with you also, and I am looking forward to continuing with you all in 2018.

All my co-authors and co-investigators… you are all amazing people and I value the work we have done in the past, and continue to do in 2018 immensely! We all need each other, and together we succeed, in the sometimes lonely and slow business of research. I absolutely love working with you all – and have the deepest respect for each of you and your skills, expertise and dedication to our collaborative work.

To my mental health and nursing colleagues and friends in Australia (and throughout the world…) thanks so much for your continued support and  encouragement… some treasured mentors among you (especially Kim… Debra…)! Some have visited… (Cath & Eimear)… and more with plans to visit in 2018… and some I have been able to reconnect with in Europe (Kurt… Helen…) the world is actually a very small place! And the mental health research population, minuscule! The encouragement from colleagues and friends at the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Nurses and Midwives has been very warmly received as well. Mange tak! Many, many thanks… I am cushioned by such a fabulous network of mental health professional around me – and it is a source of strength and refreshment for me.

2017 has been fabulous, and if you are reading this blog – you probably played a part in making to so fabulous! Thank you!

There is a great deal more to be done in reducing the burden of world mental health problems… I am utterly convinced that technology has a very prominent place in delivery of safe, quality and effective mental health care of the future… and I am looking forward to working to increase the capacity we have further in 2018 along side my teams, students and collaborators.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas – God Jul til alle. Best wishes for 2018.

A short photo gallery 2017 in review: 

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