Richmond Wellbeing is proud to announce our successful tender application with Mental Health Australia to design and deliver NDIS peer education and Train-the trainer workshops nationally.
On the 28th of July, 2015, Richmond Wellbeing celebrated the official opening of the Richmond Wellbeing Centre. Located at 29 Manning Road, Cannington, the new Centre houses both the former Bentley and Cannington offices, alongside training and outreach staff. The Centre was officially opened by WA Premier, Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, with the Minister for Mental Health, Disability Services, and Child Protection, Hon. Helen Morton MLC, also speaking to the attending community.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
From a young age doctors and therapists expressed to my mother that I showed signs of depression and anxiety, and my mother had noticed them too. In winter I would wear my summer school uniform and in summer I opted to wear long pants and a big jacket, I often thought of death and had Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies. I was bullied in primary school and when I was younger found solace among the students in the Education Support Unit, they accepted and understood me.
Rhys is a respectful, happy and interested young man! He has clear goals, a volunteer job, and is studying Horticulture at TAFE.
Rhys, didn’t always feel this way, following four hospital admissions for deteriorating mental health and an over-dose of clozapine, he moved into Richmond Fellowship of WA’s (RFWA) Community Supported Residential Units in Busselton in June 2013.
I’m sitting in the meeting room having a chat to Kadia Brown about ‘Glitterby’, a painting that will be on exhibition from the 11th to the 17th of April, as part of ‘Art of Recovery’. This art exhibition will bring together a collection of artwork that has been produced by artists with an experience of mental illness, their families and friends as well as people working in mental health.
Kadia experiences mental health distress and is a voice hearer. She tells me that art and painting aid her recovery as it helps her to focus and relax. At the time she was painting Glitterby, the voices were particularly noisy and confusing.
My life of 40 plus years had been full of ups and downs with each down being worse than the last. I had been hospitalised on psych wards on two occasions and after the last found myself homeless and couch surfing and extremely unwell. Life had become unbearable, day in day out with severe Depression and Anxiety. In the past these bad times had passed over the course of a few months with high doses of antidepressants, rest and a home where my sense of well-being could return. I found myself in a place where Recovery was just not possible, and was terrified of finding my own place to live even though I had the money to so – I was just too unwell.
Thanks to the mental health community in Bunbury and in particular my Case Manager from Bunbury Mental Health, I found myself with a home with the amazing supportive, nurturing and kind people at the Richmond Fellowship community supported units in Bunbury. After experiencing severe and debilitating anxiety for nearly five months straight …. My anxiety gradually eased over a few weeks and I had a wonderful sense of well-being again!
Richmond then helped me start my own personal Recovery program to better live with my mental health challenges once and for all! This included therapy for dealing with problems I’d not properly dealt with all my life, as well as learning what the healthiest lifestyle was for me to stay well. After about 12 months I started to make steps towards one of my long term goals of getting back into the workforce as I hadn’t worked for 10 years due to my mental health issues. I enrolled in TAFE and worked in two volunteer jobs and have now landed my dream job of Mental Health Support Worker. Now I can give back to the mental health community who have done so much for me. I’ve also found my dream home and am in a relationship. Life has never been better!
I will never forget my “family” at Richmond and will always drop in to say hi when I travel to Bunbury. I also made some lifelong friends with some of the other residents at Richmond who have also made independent lives for themselves in the community.
Nathan was referred to the Ngulla Mia because he wasn’t able to look after his unit well enough. He used drugs and alcohol and was under an administration order, which meant his finances were managed by public trustee. He says he would be living on the streets if it wasn’t for RFWA, but today he is an inspiration to many.
When I first entered Ngulla Mia, I felt lucky to live in such a nice place with so many things to do to help me move forward in my life.
In line with the Recovery from Psychosis Conference, 3 - 5 November 2008, National 9 News broadcasted this report.
Story: Amanda Olsen \ RFWA
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