Meet Lloyd, a 37-year-old Peer Support Worker at Embark Cottage, Blacktown. As a guy who is in recovery from mental health issues, Lloyd is an ideal fit for his job. After all, Lloyd understands how disabling things like paranoia can be, and having a lived experience has equipped Lloyd with the life lessons required to counsel and reassure the people he encounters at Embark.
Lloyd has what is known as “insight” into his mental health issues. If someone with (for example) schizophrenia has “insight” into their condition, it simply means that they’re aware they have a condition, and this means that treatments like medication and counseling will usually be more effective. It’s not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to be unaware that they even have a mental health issue in the first place, especially if they’re currently in the grips of psychosis, and the simple factor of being aware of that you have schizophrenia can turn an insurmountable situation into one that you can win.
Lloyd didn’t always work in mental health. He spent two years in the landscaping trade, which is heavy, physical work at the best of times, but he’d recommend it if you’re young, fit and enjoy the outdoors. Lloyd was able to do his job thanks to support from his former boss, but he doesn’t intend on returning to that line of work any time soon. In fact, Lloyd is much more interested in being a qualified mental health worker who helps people with a lived experience to recover, regain their freedom and live a full life. We wish Lloyd all the best in this worthy goal.
Lloyd has only had one admission to hospital. Thankfully, Lloyd responded quickly to medication and gained the insight to know what is good or bad for his mental health. A part of this insight is how Lloyd is aware he’ll sometimes see the world through a potential “filter” of paranoia that may colour his perceptions. This simple knowledge has helped Lloyd in living a full life.
As a long-time member of Embark Cottage, Lloyd has gained a lot from his regular attendance. Sure, at its most basic Embark Cottage is a safe place for people with a lived experience to hang out, but Embark also encourages people to interact with other people and serve as a bridge between institutions and the real world.
Lloyd is a genuine bloke with interests that include fishing, watching the footy and screaming his head off when the Rabbitohs won the premiership for the first time in 44 years. Lloyd loves a good documentary on the box, but his favourite show would have to be Call of the Wildman, starring everyone’s favourite toothless Kentuckian animal-botherer, the Turtle Man. On another note, thankfully the news about the Turtle Man’s death was a hoax.
Lloyd’s previous house was in a nasty area with a lot of stress and nightmare neighbours, so we’re happy that Lloyd now lives somewhere nicer.