Month: June 2015

Don’t quit!

Nicholas reckons work is better than a gym membership

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Nicholas, age 22, accesses our service at Goulburn. At the start of 2014 he started to work on one of his recovery goals: to gain employment. Nicholas linked in with a local employment provider who had a great amount of motivation and drive to see Nicholas succeed in his goal.

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NSW by Rail and Bus

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Warren Heggarty asks: is this a record?

Graeme Seaman is a member of three RichmondPRA services: Westclub at Penrith, Newcastle King Street (where Graeme says you can get a REALLY GOOD LUNCH) and Armidale. With such far-flung memberships, it’s logical that Graeme was the right guy to organise a series of long-distance group outings by rail for his mates.

Graeme had already been on many solo weekend trips to places like Nowra, Oberon and Gulgong, but In 2011 one of the other members at Westclub Penrith suggested a group excursion to Bathurst. Scott Turner, who was a staff member at Westclub at the time, said that Graeme should put forward an official proposal. The idea seemed a bit daunting at the time, like most new ideas, but after a bit of brainstorming it was pretty clear who was the right man for the job: yep, Graeme.

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Lloyd: the value of insight

Lloyd

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.

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From Platform 10 to Maître D’

In hospitality work, attitude counts for a lot.

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A few years ago, JOHN SEBESSY was with another organisation that provided support to people living with mental health issues, but he felt they weren’t doing enough. This is the story of how John came to be with RichmondPRA and how he then went on to become a manager in the hospitality industry.

Opening doors

A good manager will find people’s strengths, facilitate their development and, as a result, open doors. This can be life changing in an ADE (Australian Disability Enterprise). Not all managers do this for their workers, however.

The company I was formerly with was started off by a visionary, a woman who worked with people who had disabilities and who brought them in to do junior staff roles. During my time with the organisation I was involved in marketing, supervision, doing presentations, stock control, and all other aspects of the business. People relied on me. I had responsibility and I was proud of that.

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Ken Hua: My Life in Blue

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When you are unwell, what sort of things give you hope and keep you going? In the September 2014 issue of Panorama we profiled RichmondPRA’s Enterpraise at Warwick Farm and spoke to one of its employees, KEN HUA, who has had quite a remarkable life. Ken has written many stories and would like to share his ideas in the hope they will help others. So here is an excerpt from ‘My Life in Blue,’ where Ken reveals some of the things that keep him hopeful when he is unwell.

At the end of August last year, I had a fairly bad relapse because I’d been working too hard. I felt quite depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I complained about my condition to my youngest son, who was living in Sydney. I asked him whether I should be admitted to the hospital, and straight away he told me he didn’t think so. My youngest son reminded me of how ill I was back in 1994 and that this relapse was nothing in comparison with the serious sickness I had gone through during the time I was in hospital. He said I should be patient with my illness and that I would get better soon. What helped me get back on my feet again was not just visiting the doctor, but also, once again, it was the support and encouragement of my three children, particularly my youngest son.

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Wellness Walk: The Aftermath

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by Alison Perizi

A BIG thank you to everyone who physically took part in the 2014 Sunflower Foundation Wellness Walk.

As a charity partner of the Wellness Walk, RichmondPRA had the opportunity to organise our very first peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Our Superheroes theme encouraged people to release their inner superhero by strutting their best, most colourful getups on the day in support of our young people’s programs.

The Wellness Walk took place on Sunday the 16th November on the Harbour Bridge and attracted a total of over 500 registered walkers, with 70 of these walkers selecting RichmondPRA as their charity of choice. It was a fantastic day and the whole crowd shared an intense team spirit.

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Howdy, partners! Partners in Recovery at Bankstown

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Panorama popped into Bankstown where a consortium of RichmondPRA, Care Connect and other organisations operate a united service of South Western Sydney Partners in Recovery.

Everyone needs to feel that they have a role in their community in order to feel valued. Dale Carnegie once said that this need is what distinguishes humans from other animals, yet we can’t fulfil this by ourselves. Being socially disconnected is a major problem, and it is estimated that a large percentage of people with mental health issues aren’t receiving the support they need in this area. Thankfully, the role of Partners in Recovery is to work with people so they can make these essential connections and become empowered to embark on their recovery journey.

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