Housing: the foundation for mental health | Wednesday 19 February 2020

Mary O'Hagan

Developer and Director, PeerZone [NZ]

Mary O'Hagan

Mary O’Hagan was a key initiator of the psychiatric survivor movement in New Zealand in the late 1980s, and was the first chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry between 1991 and 1995. She has been an advisor to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Mary was a full-time Mental Health Commissioner in New Zealand between 2000 and 2007. Mary is the director of the international social enterprise PeerZone, which provides peer support and resources for people with mental distress. Mary has written an award-winning memoir called ‘Madness Made Me’. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015 and was awarded the Wellington Gold Awards New Thinking Award in 2017. She currently leads New Zealand’s Like Minds, Like Mine programme to counter prejudice and discrimination against people with mental distress.  All Mary’s work has been driven by her quest for social justice for one of the most marginalised groups in our communities.