Radio broadcaster, mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Craig Hamilton, will moderate the forum, Lifting the Lid on Mental Illness, in May.
The forum aims to encourage discussion about mental health, with a view toward better services in Port Stephens.
Hamilton – a bipolar survivor - will lend his profile to the cause and with it another tier of credibility.
“Craig is not only a very well known individual, he understands mental illness, and is someone who is committed to furthering the cause,” Mr McDonald said.
“We’re thrilled that he's accepted our invitation to moderate this event.”
Hamilton’s inclusion nails down the final part of the forum at Wests Nelson Bay Diggers, May 4.
The free even will open at 5.30pm with a bracket of songs from Port Harmony, led by musical director Kathryn Dries. This will be followed by power point presentations from Professor Helen Christensen (Chief Scientist of the Black Dog Institute) and Professor Cyndi Weickert, Macquarie (chair of Schizophrenia Research).
Following a short interval, it will be over to the community to direct their questions directly to the Q&A panel comprised of Professors Christensen and Weickert as well as GP Tony Plummer and Tomaree Clinic mental health nurse Charmaine Foster.
This is alongside schizophrenia research advocate Richard Schweizer and the Primary Health Network mental health services manager Leigh Philpott.