There is something in this episode for everyone. This podcast is for you if you have a career in the health or mental health sector and you are interested in the pathway to leadership. It is also relevant to leaders in other sectors who may be considering a pivot into the mental health sector. Most importantly, this episode has much to offer anyone whose life has been touched or impacted by PND. Mary's empathy and leadership insights bring this experience to life.
In this conversation, there is a strong thread of wisdom and insight gained through decades of experience that have the listener leaning in to learn more.
Mary shares pragmatic and empathic insights into leading a mental health hospital delivering high quality services to people when they are most vulnerable. And….she puts heaps of myths to bed around Postnatal Depression.
Mary Williams journey to being appointed as the CEO of Belmont Private Hospital is paved with learnings and insights from spending time, in Mary’s words, “on each rung of the ladder”.
Leading a hospital that cares for patients with mental health conditions requires a particular kind of leader - and Mary Williams is that leader.
A leadership takeaway from Mary about Communication:
Leading High-Performance Teams in the Mental Health arena
When asked about the people who make up her teams at Belmont Private Hospital, Mary is clear that they are a high-performance team who know their job is to “walk alongside a patient, to facilitate their capacity to be their best healthy self”.
While Belmont Private Hospital serves the needs of patients with a broad range of mental health conditions, in this episode I explore leadership in the area of perinatal mental health. Mary was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2015 for her work in improving the lives of women experiencing Perinatal Mental Health Disorders.
Mary speaks about how people who are very well-meaning can imagine that working in this field will be somewhat ‘fluffy’. She demolishes this myth and gives us examples of how disempowering it is for a woman experiencing postnatal depression to have a well-meaning person step in and take over care of the baby.
She opens up about leading teams of health professionals whose role is to ensure that vital connection between mother and baby is not severed, by walking beside the mother as she learns the skills and build the bonds with her baby.
A leadership takeaway from Mary for those considering pivoting into the Mental Health Sector:
A leadership takeaway from Mary for each and everyone one of us as we navigate through the challenges of life during COVID-19
For listeners this episode resonated because of the focus on perinatal mental health, tune into Episode 6 where I interview Ariane Beeston, who is leading change in the community interface for women experiencing perinatal mental health issues.
Ariane is a former child protection psychologist, turned writer and mother-of-one. After experiencing postnatal psychosis, Ariane developed a passion for making quality perinatal mental health information accessible to other women and families.
Understanding Theory of The Ghosts in the Nursery A brief U-Tube interview with Dr Alicia Lieberman in Conversation with Dr David Oppenheium about Selma Fraiberg’s psychoanalytic work on Mother Infant relationships. (A text Mary refers to in this episode)