Left: Faye Oldfield, Manager, respite services at Penrith (left) and Rebekah Taylor (right) outside Flourish Australia at Derby St Penrith.
Rebekah is a nurse, a teacher, a dancer, a mother and so many other things. Her story shows why it is important that people living with mental health issues have access to the support that they actually need, not the support that the system thinks they ought to have.
Where my recovery began
by Rebekah Taylor RN
Thank you to Flourish for providing me with three workers from Respite for carer’s organisation. I first met Faye [Oldfield] two years ago at a time when I was feeling particularly desperate and suicidal.
Faye was understanding, non-judgemental, and gave off a feeling of warmth and acceptance. I gave Faye my consent to discuss my case with the cluster manager, Latha Rajan. The following visits Faye disclosed to me that Latha had told her that it was really important to work with me to provide me with a feeling of hope. This is where my recovery began.
My life has been a difficult one, filled with violence and abuse. After a particularly violent assault, I developed major suicidal tendencies which I acted on, on a number of occasions. I also developed severe agoraphobia and lived as a recluse until meeting Faye, Latha, and Lisa [Nattrass] from Flourish.
Previously, I had been with many other services and also been refused access by some. I felt that I was being pushed from one to the other; there was no consistency in my ongoing mental health treatment. It was Flourish Australia that finally provided me with the things that I needed to continue on.
Since 2004, I have worked for Western Sydney University teaching in the Bachelor of Nursing Degree. Since the assault, I have no longer been able to do this; however I still work for them marking university essays from home in both the Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees.
“This is something that I thought I would never have the courage to do…”
Today, with the ongoing assistance of the wonderful workers at Flourish, I am able to take my two small therapy dogs to a local nursing home, go shopping, and attend appointments. Lastly, I had not driven my car for four and a half years, and with the help of Lisa and Faye, I have begun to drive the short distance to practise with the SOS (Sing Out Strong) women’s choir. This is something that I thought I would never have the courage to do, and little by little I have noticed the rekindling of my inner strength.
232 Derby Street
PENRITH NSW 2750
Initial Enquiries please call
1300 779 230
Services at Penrith include
D2DL Day to Day Living
(02) 9393 9799
PIR Partners in Recovery
(02) 9393 9770
HASI Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative
(02) 9393 9779
YCLSS Youth Community Support Service (02) 9393 9779