MHFA Program founder Betty Kitchener AM has made the decision to step down from her role as CEO for MHFA Australia. Former Deputy CEO Nataly Bovopoulos has been appointed Acting CEO. Fortunately for the MHFA community, both nationally and internationally, Betty has not left behind her life's work. Betty is currently working as a consultant with MHFA Australia, leading the development of the MHFA for the Older Person Program.
"MHFA Australia is in a very good position with over 1/2 million people trained in MHFA across Australia and over 2 million across the world. I have had the privilege of working with wonderful MHFA staff and I have full confidence they will continue to expand the MHFA program. I look forward to working as a consultant to bring the MHFA for the Older Person Course to fruition", says Betty.
Betty is an inspirational woman and leader who has made such a positive impact on the lives of countless people across Australia and the world in disseminating such an important message. Her contribution to the field of mental health is immeasurable. The MHFA Australia Team are committed to continuing Betty's inspiring work with her, as we set out on the goal of reaching 6% of the Australian population in the next 10 years!
We took the time to reflect on what Betty has achieved over her 17 years of dedication to the MHFA Program, by comparing some stats from the beginning to now:
2001 • Approximately 250 people have attended a MHFA course • 1 MHFA Instructor (Betty) • 1 part-time staff (Betty) • Operating only in Canberra, ACT • Only the Standard (adults helping adults) course developed • No awards • No evaluation data.
2017 • Approximately 500,000 people in Australia and 2 million people world-wide have attended a MHFA course • 3,335 MHFA Instructors have been accredited • 24 MHFA staff and consultants • Operating across all States and Territories in Australia and has spread to over 20 other countries
The MHFA Australia Team put together a reflection and thank you book for Betty, which you can view here: https://mhfa.com.au/sites/default/files/betty-book-no-messages-web.pdf
We wish to give sincere thanks to Betty for this enormous effort. Without you, none of this would have been possible.