Get to know: Nicola McKay
Meet Nicola McKay, Community Development, Mental Health Support.
Q: Firstly, what is your coffee order?
A: Latte – no sugar, fat milk. And three for a Sunday brunch.
Q: Tell us about your role at Northern Health?
A: Community Development is an ideology built around our common humanity. There is a myriad of positive health benefits that the community bestows on us. Humans are social creatures and Community Development is about enabling, encouraging and supporting ways that individuals can build their social connections. The other half of my work is as a Psychiatric Support. I support clinicians by removing or mitigating the barriers our consumers experience that stop them from engaging wholeheartedly with their clinicians and their therapeutic journeys. Issues with Centrelink, landlords, courts, banks, neighbours, or food poverty as well as systems like the law, insurance, compliance, or simply the receptionist (a formidable gatekeeper) – will suck out the oxygen of your day, leaving you unable to see the bigger picture or how you can live your best life.
Q: What is your typical day like?
A: Wholehearted interaction, communication and collaboration with people. Organising events, writing grant proposals, standing at a customer service counter asking difficult questions, listening to consumers, and being part of my fabulous team.
Q: Describe Northern Health in three words?
A: Diligent, purposeful, caring.
Q: If you could live anywhere, where it would be?
A: As a Kiwi the South Island is my spiritual home. After a month living in Edinburgh and performing at the Fringe Festival, this Scottish city resonated in my heart, but I love Melbourne – the arts capital of the southern hemisphere and my dear wee house, so my choice is here.