' Through Adversity to the Stars '
Recovery oriented mental health services are the way forward in effective rehabilitation for consumers. A movement away from the medical model in which medication treats symptoms of an underlying cause or trauma is now understood to be largely insufficient in terms of truly effective treatment.
Zoe Horner is a Perth based Occupational Therapist who graduated from Curtin University in 2015. Recently returning from London, Ms Horner worked in the United Kingdom for 2 years across a variety of healthcare settings but has returned to focus on her passion of youth mental health prevention as she believes early intervention is key for making lasting positive change in shaping the future trajectory of young peoples lives.
Zoe believes that a new vision of hope, seeing unique challenging experiences as something to accept and embrace without judgment rather than trying to suppress or eradicate symptoms is a useful paradigm shift. Mental health consumers are the experts of their own experience and have a lot to teach the world about their unique perspective.
As a child with Attention Deficit disorder, Zoe faced many challenges moving through the traditional education system. Zoe was accepted into her desired course at Curtin, which explored neuroscience and led her to her lightbulb moment: the discovery of the concept of 'Neuroplasticity' - the idea that the brain can change itself through exposure to new environments and new training.
In 2015, Zoe discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques and now she is passionate about utilising mindfulness in conjunction with other evidence based psychological therapies and Occupational Therapy to provide youth with the tools that were not readily available in her childhood education. Zoe is utilising mindfulness as a core component of what she is doing to embrace a neuro-restorative approach to improve self-awareness, attention, focus as well as promote improved emotional regulation and self esteem. Zoe believes that adaptive lasting and sustainable change has to occur from the inside out (within the brain) rather than purely the “outside in” such as the use of medical intervention or other compensatory strategies.
In May 2019 the Treasured Youth Co was born and is now in the beginning developments of an early intervention, skills based program offered to teenagers experiencing mental health challenges to develop increased coping strategies, foster and promote strengths, and encourage development of ones authentic self, paving the way towards self actualization and empowerment.