The 2015 SANE Community Award was awarded to Lisa Sweeney, who undertook research into psychosis, preventative measures and recovery tools.
'Individuals with a lived experience of psychosis, and their loved ones, may benefit from a broader understanding of the tools and options that can accompany drug treatment,' Lisa said.
'While holistic conceptions of mental healthcare are gaining momentum, integration within traditional psychiatry remains minimal.'
While medication is an important aspect of psychiatric treatment, Lisa believes people affected by psychosis should be provided with more options to complement drug treatment, including self-care, diet, exercise, social, economic and emotional needs.
Lisa said she has one additional incentive to ensure her research is effective.
'I hope this project will benefit one Australian in particular,' Lisa added.
'Twenty years ago my brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Following dozens of hospital admissions, numerous suicide attempts and countless prescriptions – he has covered every pointy end of public psychiatry and lives to tell the tale.'
'He grieves for a life not lived fully, battles with a shadow that he can’t shake, and more often than not struggles to find hope within a system that has more cracks than even ground. Despite this, he is resilient and a survivor.'
'We walk in tandem on his recovery journey and this project offers us, and people like us, an opportunity to find new strategies, and new hope.'
The SANE Community Award is a discretionary research grant, awarded as part of the annual SANE Hocking Fellowship.
Like the Fellowship, the Community Award aims to promote better mental health by advancing public understanding of mental illness and how people affected, including family and friends, can be empowered to help themselves.