Meeting for Minds is the brainchild of Maria Halphen. While visiting her mother in Perth, Maria met her old friend, Susie Hincks, who she had not seen for many years. Susie told Maria how she had lost most of her twenties to schizophrenia and detailed her concerns over the stigma associated with mental illness.
“Heartfelt” by Susie’s story, Maria began developing a vision for change; a conversation that could lead to better and longer lives for mentally ill people everywhere. Maria and Susie were joined by Keith Wilson, a former Western Australian Minister for Health, and Chairman of the Mental Health Council of Australia. Meeting for Minds was conceived in order to improve the lives of people living with serious mental illness.
Their combined drive for change resulted in the 2014 Meeting for Minds International Mental Health Forum in Fremantle, Western Australia. Maria is also the founding President of the Philippe & Maria Halphen Foundation, based in Paris, France, under the auspices of the French Academy of Science.