Janne McMahon OAM has worked within the mental health area as a consumer advocate since 1997. She founded the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia) in 2002 which is a recognised national organisation.
Janne has appeared before nine parliamentary inquiries, is currently and has been a member of a number of Australian Government Committees, national mental health Reference Groups, Steering Committees, Working Parties and Boards. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Ministerial Borderline Personality Disorder Expert Advisory Group as well as the NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Borderline Personality Disorder. In 2008 Janne was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of her advocacy work.
At the official launch of the Australian BPD Foundation by Prof. Allen Fels AO on 5th October 2013 at the 3rd National Annual BPD Conference Janne gave her inaugural speech as Patron of the Foundation. Here is the content of that speech.
‘2013 marks 50 years since Dr Martin Luther King made his famous speech - ‘I have a dream’ on August 28th 1963. It accompanied a momentous demonstration representing hope for the equality of African Americans.
As Patron, I too have a dream and this is also about equality, though in a different sense.
I have a dream that people affected by Borderline Personality Disorder will be able to access services designed to meet their needs. That families are supported and clinicians who choose to treat people with BPD are also supported.
I have a dream that people affected by BPD are treated with respect and that there is no longer discrimination within mental health services based on a diagnosis in Australia in 2013.
I have a dream that people are seen as themselves not a diagnosis and that a robust statewide service (which makes very good economic sense) is established in all Australian jurisdictions based on the Victorian ‘Spectrum’ Personality Disorder Service together with key aspects of the Project Air initiative.
I have a dream that a national Institute or Centre of Excellence is established to roll out national training, research and data collection.
I have a dream that our Foundation is a strong and well financially supported Foundation that is the one voice for consumers, carers, families and clinicians. That our Foundation is the one tool to lobby governments and that our Foundation is the body to coordinate all future National BPD Awareness Week Conferences.
I have a dream that all of us accept the challenge of raising awareness of BPD. That we all have a task to become the champions for BPD for consumers and carers within our work places, friendships and communities.
Unlike Martin Luther King’s call for equality, let it not take the next 50 years to make a difference.
We are stronger together!'