Suzie is creative, self-employed, beautifully eccentric and occasionally answers her front door wearing a bright yellow dog suit (complete with a tail, feet and a face on its hood, as seen above). She is also a walking purple-haired encyclopedia when it comes to crystals. Whether or not you buy into the New Age elements, everyone can appreciate how each of these rocks are one-of-a-kind, nature-crafted artworks. Some of the pieces Suzie has managed to acquire over the years are truly amazing and show geology at its most exquisite.
Suzie’s hobbies include hand-stitching teddy bears from scratch, running her popular stall over at Blacktown Markets, listening to Peruvian pan-pipe music and accidentally leaving her mobile phone at random Springwood cafes for a week at a time. Lately, Suzie has even started to craft her own colourful scented candles and brew up homemade perfumes and incense (no fatalities have been reported as of yet). Suzie also has a part-time production line job to fill in the time and put a few extra dollars in the pocket of her dog suit.
One of the biggest hurdles that Suzie has had to leap in her recovery journey was finding affordable housing in the current market, which is really no fun at all, especially if your resources are limited. This is why HASI (the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative) run by RichmondPRA is invaluable to so many people. With HASI’s help, Suzie found an excellent rental apartment just around the corner from Stocklands shopping centre in Merrylands for a price she can afford.
Recovery from mental illness goes way beyond just improving your mental health, as attaining total independence is the ultimate goal. Affordable housing is a huge part of bursting back into the real world, along with financial self-reliance, learning basic life skills such as cooking, hygiene, managing your own medications and remembering doctor’s appointments. HASI is just one way of making this process easier.
Suzie’s transition back to the real world has been a success. Assisted by a close-knit group of friends and support people, we hope that we can help Suzie to keep out of hospital forever and continue living a real life.
Need affordable housing? Contact HASI on 1300 779 270
Need employment? Contact Ostara Australia on 1300 656 294
Interested in getting a great deal on crystals, candles, perfume and incense? See Suzie at the Blacktown markets every Sunday (tell her we said hi)