RANZCP recognises Te Pou lived experience leader Caro Swanson with Honorary Fellowship

30 January 2020

The RANZCP is proud to award Caro Swanson, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui Principal Advisor Mental Health and Service User Lead, Honorary Fellowship of the RANZCP for her influential work in mental health systems and services.

The Honorary Fellowship of the RANZCP recognises exceptional and prominent contributions to psychiatry and mental health by a person who does not otherwise qualify for Fellowship.

Caro has worked in mental health for more than 20 years in a variety of consumer and peer roles.

At Te Pou, Caro has been instrumental in the creation and growth of the Equally Well collaborative, aimed at addressing physical health inequities and work towards achieving physical health equity. She also co-leads projects focused on least restrictive practice and is a leader on national peer workforce development.

Caro’s nomination for Honorary Fellowship was submitted by RANZCP Fellows Dr John Crawshaw and Dr Susanna Every-Palmer, who commended Caro for her effectiveness over the years, engaging clinicians in understanding the experiences of people accessing services and what clinicians can do to enhance this experience.

On being awarded the Honorary Fellowship Caro said she was absolutely flabbergasted but very honoured.

‘To be awarded for doing something you believe in so strongly is incredibly validating. I appreciate, more than anything, the valuing of lived experience this implies and feel it heralds a strengthened resolve and enthusiasm for working together more effectively.’

Caro will accept her award in Hobart this May, at the College Ceremony during the RANZCP Congress.