I attend a number of mental health national groups and events as a survivor of mental ill health and the psychiatric system. I also have input as a carer. And do this voluntarily, as a way of helping, with others, to bring about improvements to mental health services and the psychiatric system in particular.
Living rurally I drive a car which is a necessity for me, both for access and health reasons. With the increase in fuel costs and other inflationary considerations it is a continual challenge to be involved in mental health matters. But I think it is important to have a voice and to be able to participate. Therefore the travel expenses offered for attendance can make all the difference when on a small budget. As it will to others like me.
Therefore I think that travel expenses for attendance at mental health meetings, groups and events should be the same for paid and unpaid workers. And that's just for starters. Even better if people with lived experience who participate in events were given appropriate remuneration. Either an attendance amount or an hourly rate. In recognition of their input being not just tokenistic or an add-on but an important part of the proceedings.
I'll soon be 60 so it's not really about me. It is however about paying a person what they are worth in terms of their participation, involvement and leadership. I've been looking through the internet for a phrase that sums this up, hoping for something other than the 'if you pay peanuts you get monkeys' one.
And came up with this cartoon. (disclaimer - don't look if you're a CEO and easily offended). It's not really on point but I just couldn't resist.