Brayden's Story

Volunteering for the Red Cross makes me feel connected and valued because I’m contributing to the community

In 2013, my GP recommended I try the New Outlook program. And, over four years I’ve learnt resilience through this process of recovery - bouncing back after a set back. I’ve learnt that my mental health issues are only a small part of me. Coming to New Outlook consistently has helped me a lot. Participating in the groups, completing my Certificate 3 in an Outdoor Recreation course, and connecting with people has been invaluable to me.

I feel connected and valued because I’m contributing. It’s incredible really. I’m engaged with so many different groups now through my activities, learning new things and developing new interests, and I’m in a great place!

I’m looking forward to completing my Certificate 3 in Fitness and Certificate 4 in Peer Work – studying keeps my mind active. My education takes place within the Flourish Learning Network, which is an organisational commitment to recovery and personal growth through supported vocational education and training.

Partnering with local community colleges and TAFE NSW, The Flourish Learning Network is being piloted at New Outlook and it offers all people accessing services an opportunity to learn, grow and achieve their hopes and dreams.

Many people have gained meaningful employment with the support of these programs or gone onto further education.

I realise I have a lot to contribute. I’m a much better person than when I first walked into Flourish Australia.
I’m mentally stronger, and I can turn what’s happened to me into a strength that can help others.

Mental health issues affect many families and places. I volunteer for the Red Cross. I call a different person every day for a month, to check in and have a chat to people that have a mental health condition and experience isolation. That’s 30 people a month who identify with having a mental health issue. My call can make all the difference. If people don’t have friends or family in their life, I’m happy to just check in to make sure that person is OK. I can relate to the people I call, and when it was suggested I could do this in line with my peer work qualification I jumped at the opportunity.

I like to think that I can help, I can connect with people and make a difference. And my long-term goal for some time now is to be a Peer Worker. It will be a huge achievement for me, but I know it’s the right fit for me. 

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