Coming from the devastation of a civil war to a developed culture where there are systems designed to support people has shifted the way I think.
I came to Australia as a refugee from war-torn Sierra Leone. People express curiosity about my experience which got me thinking that I have a story to tell, so I’ve written a series of short stories I hope to have published. I began writing to occupy my mind during an extended period of hospitalisation that resulted from stress I experienced trying to find work.
For 2 ½ years I was told I could not be discharged until the clinicians could be certain I would keep up my medications. With persistence I was able to undertake tertiary preparation at Ultimo College and was accepted by Western Sydney University to study international relations.
Thankfully I was referred to Flourish Australia for support. The kindness of their staff has changed my life in many positive ways. They knew what was required to succeed in appealing my NDIS application which has given me access to support I need to live with greater independence.
They check in with me to ask how things are going and supported me to get my drivers licence and car.
Living in a hospital for so long meant I had little opportunity to interact with others. Through Flourish Australia’s group activities I’ve found a new friendship and we go to church together where I connect with others.
Like anyone I want to build a fulfilling life and career. My days are busy searching for work to fund my studies. When unemployment gets me down, Flourish Australia encourage me to keep moving forward.
Being part of a thriving community has shown me life through fresh eyes and made a world of difference to how I feel in myself. I never allow things to hold me back or keep me stuck and feel very strongly that no-one should let what they’ve been through define them.
Talk to us today
Our approach to supporting you is different because almost half of the people we employ have had their own lived experience of mental health issues and many of them make up our peer workforce. They get it, because they have been there, so they're able to come alongside you with genuine understanding and insight.
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