Meet Hannah, a SHLEAC founding member

Introducing Hannah Friebel, one of the founding members of the Spiritual Health Lived Experience Advisory Committee (SHLEAC)

Hannah Friebel works as a Mental Health Consultant at the intersection of The Arts, Lived Experience, Psychology and Spirituality. She first discovered Spiritual Health Association when she was introduced to Jenny Greenham, SHA's Mental Health Leader, during her studies at the University of Divinity - Pastoral Care for Mental Health Issues. Since then, Hannah has gone on to complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with placement at Royal Melbourne Hospital in the John Cade Mental Health Unit, and has completed her Graduate Diploma of Pastoral Care with Distinction. Hannah is a Certified Member of Spiritual Care Australia.

In addition to her Pastoral/Spiritual Care studies, Hannah also has a ‘living experience’ of mental ill health, and identifies as being neurodivergent. Between the years of 2018-2020 Hannah co-produced an award (dance) winning film, Sincerely Survivor, that explores her own experiences of the mental health system - an artistic response to the Victorian Royal Commission. In this film she danced her way through the asylums of old, creating art to enable empathy. “There are no words to truly describe that experience. [Sincerely Survivor] expressed what can’t be found in the writings, reports and rationales of countless people without lived experience.” You can watch the trailer and view Sincerely Survivor here.

Hannah currently works as a ‘Consumer Consultant’ at Monash Health, consulting around the lived experience perspective and system reform. She is the project lead for the ‘Consumer Choice Pilot’ - funded by the Department of Health, exploring what it could look like for people with lived experience to exercise more meaningful choice in the public mental health system. 

Hannah is interested in pursuing further study in Pastoral/Spiritual Care including a specialist unit in CPE. This stands alongside her continuing studies in Psychology (Hannah will be undertaking her 4th year of Psychology training at Monash University next year, where she is also engaged as an Adjunct Research Associate). Hannah has plans to undertake academic research at the intersections of Pastoral/Spiritual Care and Mental Health, with hopes that this will one day culminate in a Masters/PhD program in Clinical Psychology exploring a biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to mental health care. Hannah is also particularly interested in the possibilities of (re)centring CPE back to its lived experience roots (nb Anton Boisen), and is curious about the role of Pastoral/Spiritual Care practices for the modern day mental health system, recovery oriented practices and lived experience workforce development. 

Hannah feels honoured to be a founding member of the Spiritual Health Lived Experience Advisory Committee (SHLEAC), and is excited by the opportunities arising for lived experience leadership and a future for the mental health system that is informed by Spiritual Care principles and philosophy. Hannah offers a range of consulting and public speaking packages exploring mental health, lived experience and spirituality, along with the opportunity for community groups and organisations to screen the film Sincerely Survivor.

For more info about Hannah’s work, art, ministry and advocacy please go to www.hannahgabriellefriebel.com or www.sincerelysurvivor.org. You can connect with Hannah via LinkedInInstagramFacebook or Email - hannahgabriellefriebel@gmail.com


SHLEAC formed in June 2021 to raise awareness through leadership, education and consultation of the need, importance, and place of spiritual care in mental health care. SHLEAC will achieve this by contributing to the Victorian Mental Health Reform process via the principles of co-design and co-production. As the host organisation, Spiritual Health Association welcomes the expertise and guidance from the advisory committee members. SHA e-news readership will get to meet other members of SHLEAC in future additions.