Matt is the founder of the Humane Clinic, Just Listening System and Suicide Narratives. He was awarded Australia’s Mental Health Nurse of the Year in 2017 – and has worked to innovate within the mental health system, and to develop alternatives alongside.
Areas of interest
- Hearing Voices network
- Alternatives approaches
- Compassionate Communities
Matt Ball is a Nurse Practitioner, Psychotherapist and founder of the Humane Clinic. Matt was born in the UK but has lived in Australia for over 20 years where he runs the Humane Clinic. Matt has worked as a mental health nurse for many years in Australia, and in 2017 was awarded Australian Mental Health Nurse of the Year. Matt speaks internationally on humane approaches to working with a person in distress. His work is driven by his own personal and professional experience, and is a direct alternative to diagnosis led, mental health systems.
As a young man Matt was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and credits the start of his recovery with a spell in a therapeutic community for people with psychosis. Matt realises that the start of his academic and professional career began in that house, with seven other people who were all given a dire prognosis for their future. Matt – and many others show – that with the right support, at the right time recovery after schizophrenia is possible and that approaches like the Hearing Voices network also help people to live well with difficult mind states, visions and voices. Matt believes that a relational, therapeutic approach where people can live through their crisis in a safe environment produces the best outcomes for people.
Matt has developed an approach for psychosis that eliminates threat, and enables a person to feel safe, and feels mutual relationships are the best vehicle for people to recover. Relationships without goals are essential to enable a person to abandon the altered state. Human connection is the best medicine, says Matt, and approaches that seek to understand “the bad things that happen in people’s lives.”
As well as the Humane Clinic, and Just Listening System, Matt has also developed the Suicide Narrative approach that is informed by lived experience, Emotional CPR, Power Threat Meaning Framework, Talking with Voices and The Hearing Voices approach. Matt is also current chair of The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS) Australia.
Matt has also developed the Just Listening system – a free service where people can self refer and seek support when experiencing emotional crisis, distress or suicide. Matt’s vision of Just Listening is that every community can have a service, which also trains and nurtures volunteers and creates a sustainable free service to the people in the local community
Matt was awarded Australian Mental Health Nurse of the year in 2017 for his work providing alternatives. His vision for the Just Listening Community draws on lived and professional experiences.
Matt is an experienced trainer and keynote speaker. He has also developed the theory of Dissocaichotic, and teaches, supervises and consults nationally and internationally. Matt has also acted as an expert witness in child protection and family legal cases.
His background includes valuing and learning from his own lived and professional experiences in mental health, drug and alcohol, domestic violence and compassion based approaches to human connection.