Month: December 2018

Putting wings to her dreams: Nancy’s support planning journey

Nancy Begley.jpg

By Konnie Magalhaes

Nancy has been working with Flourish Australia for over a decade. She works very hard and is very passionate about her job and it keeps her well. 

She has also been working on herself, too, in detail. She is aware of the challenges that she must deal with to keep physically and mentally well. 

Nancy wished to further her professional development and find work that it more meaningful for her. That is why she decided to engage in “support planning.”

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Employment: Occupational Therapy

Amy Vandervegt IMG_1444.jpg

If you are a people person who wants to make a difference in people’s lives, perhaps you might consider working as an Occupational Therapist!

By Amy Vandervegt, OT

I didn’t know what Occupational Therapy (OT) was until my very last months of High School. Originally, I wanted to be a Primary School Teacher. I wanted to do something that made a difference to people’s lives, was different every day, and did not have me stuck at a desk. My Dad sustained a back injury when I was 5 months old, and I remember going with him to his Physiotherapy sessions as part of his ongoing treatment. My Mum told me that Dad also received OT very early on, and recommended this as something to study at university. I decided I would give it a go which turned out to be a good choice!

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Innovations: Step up / Step Down

Resolve team.jpgABOVE: Some of the staff members are, L-R, Emma Brown (Peer Worker, Barraminya), Jenny Craig (Senior Cluster Manager, Bathurst), Sheree Masling (Manager, Parkes), Danielle Edwards (Senior Mental Health Worker, Barraminya), Germaine Rich (Peer Worker, Barraminya) and Amy Vandervegt (Occupational Therapist, Barraminya and Panorama).

Flourish Australia partners in rural sub-acute units

By Warren Heggarty 

In the June 2018 issue of Panorama you may have read about The Resolve Program, the aim of which is to reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital for mental health issues. Flourish Australia is also involved in two Sub-Acute units in Dubbo and Bathurst whose aim is pretty similar. Panorama spoke to manager Sheree Masling about them.

There are approximately 20 Flourish Australia staff employed across two sub acute mental health units in Dubbo and Bathurst. Dubbo unit is officially known as Barraminya (Wiradjuri for “recover”) and we are pleased to hear the Bathurst unit is officially known as Panorama, though we suspect it is named after the famous mountain in Bathurst rather than our magazine!

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Young People’s Formal Project

YCLASS.jpgABOVE: Elizabeth Harlow looks on as Tyler, Peer Worker for the YCLSS Western Sydney team, addresses the Mental Health Month business breakfast. PHOTO NEIL FENELON

It is a common thing for young adults to miss out on important life events, things that mark our passage through life’s stages. Things like getting a drivers’ licence, going on your first date, graduating from Univeristy or TAFE, your 21st birthday… these things can be postponed by mental health issues arising at the same time. 

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Breakfast with John Brogden

John B.jpg“Workplaces need to be redesigned to promote mental health, or there will be consequences,” says this business leader with a lived experience of mental health issues.

Story by Warren Heggarty, pictures by Neil Fenelon

While in the Northside Clinic following a very public attempt on his own life, John Brogden’s psychiatrist assured him that things would get better. “Why are you teasing me?” he thought. 

The former NSW Opposition leader’s fall a few days earlier came as a result of inappropriate comments he had made in a pub. The end of his political career in 2005 had been so precipitous and so complete that he could not see any hope. To make matters worse, the media showed no mercy and continued to attack even after he had resigned. 

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Young Adults Group At Buckingham House

Shana Atkins

By Shana Atkins

The Young Adult’s Group is a program offered by Buckingham House that provides fun and constructive activities on Fridays and Saturdays for young people between the ages of 18 and 30. Running the youth program at Buck House allows us to use the existing resources and equipment, so we have a full gym, a table tennis table, and enough room for dramatic and artistic expression. As all of the young people are adults, they are also welcome to participate in any of the groups or activities in the regular Buck House program, with tennis being one of the most popular examples. 

Our Friday program runs from 12pm to 3pm, and includes a yummy lunch provided by our cultural cooking group, though sometimes we have a BBQ instead. There are two groups we run on Fridays: a drama group, and an art group. We use the drama group to engage in light and fun non-confrontational interactions that allow us to get to know each other better and build on our social skills, while in the art class we express our creative sides with paint, clay, origami and other mediums. We hold the drama group around 1pm, and the art group at 2pm. 

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Showcase your town in the 2018-19 Recovery Forum Series

ABOVE: At the Armidale forum in August. (Clockwise from top left) Lisa, Julia and Karen; Steve, Daniel and Isaac; Aaron and Jason  PHOTOS BY PETER FARRUGIA

By Peter Farrugia

Meeting new people and hearing their stories is what I love about the Recovery Forum. It is a real honour to share those experiences with people. 

The 2018/19 Flourish LIVE Recovery Forum brings people who access Flourish Australia services together to celebrate the best parts of their recovery. This year’s program contains fresh, innovative content that will support people to think, share, inspire and grow.

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