Consumer stories: mental health
By listening to real stories - shared by people with lived experience - we hope to get a better understanding of how to make changes for the better. There are many valuable lessons here and we honour the journeys.
*TRIGGER WARNING: These stories contain information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people. Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are in need of immediate assistance, or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.
"I’ve had a mental illness assistance dog for two years…he is amazing...he helps me confidence wise and can tame my reactions to things so that I don’t get as angry with people."
"What I want to say to other people who are ill is don’t be withdrawn and ashamed because you have an illness, like I was for years. Don’t blame yourself."
"My own journey with mental health has made me want to work with other people with mental illnesses."
"I saw my peer worker once a week, and I went to a creative writing course run through them…I write a lot when I am in the right head space, and some of it is very therapeutic for me."
"If someone’s had family issues, or they’ve just had a rough week we’re all there to talk with each other."
"Doctors have tried to put me on medication, but my psychologist is an Aboriginal man who also appreciates that tablets aren't always the best thing."
Isabelle and Alex's Story
"Those weeks being unwell were the most awful and frightening times...however I think with the preventative planning and intense support I received, I made a very quick and full recovery."
These stories have highlighted for us that:
- people found it difficult to access services when and where they needed them
- people with very specific needs sometimes found it hard to connect to services able to work with them
- it is hard to know what services are available and where
- trust, respect and relationships are really important.
COORDINARE, as the South Eastern NSW PHN, is working to improve and help better coordinate care in this region. For people needing care from a number of services and for those with or at risk of poor health outcomes we are working directly with doctors, other primary health care providers and hospital staff to build ‘one coordinated and sustainable health system’. We want people to have better experiences of care, reduced cost and improved health outcomes.
We have developed a health priority for implementing a stepped care approach to mental health and suicide prevention. This sets out the actions needed by partners at all levels, to improve and connect care, to help people recover, and to stay safe.
We have also invested more than $4.3 million in new services for people to access psychological therapies, support for complex mental health needs, and community-based suicide prevention aftercare in South Eastern NSW.
We expect that local people and their carers will benefit greatly from more tailored treatment options. The new services will also complement existing services in the region, and help more people in our region to access the right care that meets their particular needs. Find out more here >