It took time to build a level of connection where I felt safe to open up, then my healing happened quite organically as I walked through life together with my Flourish Australia peer worker.
I absolutely loved working in London as a paramedic until mental health issues I had experienced since I was a teen caught up with me. My employer was not very understanding about it so I ended up back with family in Hervey Bay; unemployed and feeling very isolated.
At first I was apprehensive about taking the step to try Flourish Australia. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I started by turning up to their movie night where I wouldn’t feel pressured to start talking to people.
I found I had shared interests with a peer worker called Tony who showed me the ropes, then each time I turned up I felt more comfortable in the company of other people who seemed to get what I was going through.
Building enough trust for me to feel safe opening up took time. I had confided in Tony that I was frustrated by having to ride my pushbike everywhere to get around and he understood what it would mean for me to gain the independence that would come with having a licence. Together we approached our Flourish Australia manager and Queensland Transport about Tony supervising me on rides so that I could go after my motorcycle learners permit and everyone was in agreement.
We spent a lot of time riding around together to improve my skills and after each ride, we would sit and talk about how things were going for me. On one of our last rides, I was feeling pretty down and by the time we pulled up, I finally felt safe enough to open up. Tony really listened and we discussed ways I might manage things better.
It’s thanks to Flourish Australia’s peer support that I now have my motorbike licence and I’m back at university studying nursing. In the process, I’ve become better at talking about what’s going on for me instead of bottling it up and that’s bringing more stability to my life.
Having a safe place where I don’t need to put on a show means the world to me. It’s changed my life.
Talk to us today
Our approach to supporting you is different because more than 50% of the people we employ have had their own lived experience of mental health challenges 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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