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Our Stories

Read and listen to the inspiring stories from those experiencing mental health, carers and our workers in their own words. 


Karen, Carer. 

“My son was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia during his teenage years and I have been his carer in varying degrees for some 18 years. When you are only as happy as your happiest child; what then happens when the odds of a complete cure are not in your favour? When the reality of the future sets in, the parameters of parenting disintegrate slowly into chaos. How does one set boundaries of behaviour when the capacity to comply may be impossible due to the impact of disordered thoughts? When personality problems are perceived, what is the answer? Is it the illness or a behaviour that needs addressing or simply teenage rebellion or self-medication issues? Hearing complaints that medication creates a feeling of having your brain locked up in a straitjacket, followed by a refusal to comply with the medication regime. This decision may inevitably result in going back through the revolving door of the hospital ward again. These are some of the things that can bombard you. This can be daunting challenging as a carer but there is the opportunity of engaging with support services, which at times can be a lifesaver. The provision of respite that was made available to me always gave me a new vigour to simply just go on. When in spite of a cure not being possible, expectations for your loved one can become one of recovery, sufficient enough to be able to enjoy life again.”



Catherine and Marshall, Coordinator & Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker


Cassie, Participant. 

“Quite a few years ago I had depression and my husband was working away in the mines.  There was just my children and I at home. I had a lot of people in my ear telling me my husband should be at home looking after us and it created all these demons in me.  I started feeling vulnerable and insecure. I started having panic attacks and things like that. 

Things that happened to me in the past started to rear their ugly head. I had been mugged and beaten, and my son was home and things became difficult. I became isolated, and with that gained depression and anxiety and every other thing you can think of.  It affected my kids, they were missing school.

Then all of a sudden I had a TeamHEALTH support worker on the doorstep, she told me she was there to help me, and she was from TeamHEALTH, a mental health service.  That was the beginning of helping me and turning things around.

I found out I was going blind at 22 years of age and I had a lot of insecurity with it, some days were good and some days were bad.  TeamHEALTH sat down with me and I told them I had trouble getting the kids to school because it was wet and I couldn’t drive.  I was trying to reach out for help but it wasn’t coming. Then with Christel being my support worker, she was wonderful.  She was passionate and she was pushy.  I would make excuses but she would not take no for an answer. 

It was small steps to the park or drive around, and then when she felt it was getting better she would take me somewhere a bit more challenging.  I had things going through my head all the time. She told me she had my back, and those voices started to go away.

TeamHEALTH started a program called Women’s Circle which was fantastic.  I really enjoyed this program, and I started to have a role in it and then I started to be their support worker and I was mentoring the Mentor! 

They took me and my family on an outing to Katherine. We stayed at the Knott’s Crossing Resort, and we all had our own rooms. That really took me out of my comfort zone.  We went to Cutta Cutta Caves and Katherine Gorge.  I was the fourth blind person to climb Katherine Gorge.  I had to do it for my children to say that if Mum can do this, nothing in life can stop you. I wanted to show them I was stronger now and it is ok to be scared, and to try new things. They didn’t interfere with my family but they were on the sidelines. 

Eventually they let me go and I was very sad, and was very distraught that it might come back and they told me TeamHEALTH would be there for me again. I was worried that I would be lost to the system. But I wasn’t.”


Heather, Aged Care Support Worker

“At the age of 18 I was studying to be a chef and around that time I started to become unwell. My friends would say things like “what is wrong with you?” why are you acting strange?” and they just did not understand how I was feeling and what I was going through. I decided to go to Tamarind Centre to get help and was firstly diagnosed with Bipolar and Psychosis, and then later Schizophrenia and along with that came Depression. It was a very difficult and a scary time, I was in and out of Cowdy Ward at Darwin Hospital. I started to get help from TeamHEALTH back in 1987 and without their support, I would not have been able to keep well. I love cooking and TeamHEALTH have helped me carry this on, as well as providing me with support with the little everyday things such as grocery shopping which is a huge help. I have never fished before and recently they took us all out fishing and I really enjoyed that. There are many other excursions that we get invited to go to and that helps keep me social as during my first diagnosis I started to become isolated from my previous friends. I am currently living in TeamHEALTH housing where I have my own garden which I enjoy maintaining and keeping tidy. One of my goals is to eventually move to live in a cottage in Darwin. I would say the first step in mental health recovery is definitely accepting your diagnosis and beginning to get help. I have no regrets and continue to live and enjoy life to the full.”

Nasim, Participant.

Arnie (The Soul Parent), TeamHEALTH Partner and Supporter.

“I’m a single parent, corporate employee, adventurer, and a proud father of two girls, one of whom I share my day to day life’s journey with and who has a diagnosis called Asperger’s (which is on the Autism spectrum).  I’ve been through some highs in life and also had some significant setbacks which has made me the person I am today – the person who never gives up, works on positive action and mental resilience and wants to be a better person with each new day.  I am devoted at being a positive role model to my daughters and to fulfil a passion of mine to put a positive footprint in this world, no matter how small or large. I have my own brand, The Soul Parent, and I am in partnership with TeamHEALTH.  I am an advocate and supporter for TeamHEALTH.  Specifically, I promote the services offered by TeamHEALTH and to bring greater awareness for positive action around mental health.  I largely do this via The Soul Parent website and Facebook page (social media advocacy) and through iconic challenges such as my planned trek up a mountain (Mount Kilimanjaro). I have personal experience where my mental health has been tested regularly and I have been through the ‘highs’ of stability and the lows of being broken mentally and in a very dark place with very little hope.  My story is one I strive to not only survive but thrive through resilience, positive thinking and action.  I hope I can give inspiration to others through what I’ve learned and continue to learn – that is, sharing my current life’s journey where I’m constantly working on my mental health. I want to inspire people in our community to take ownership of their own mental health through nurturing their mental resilience / self-belief / actioning the full potential of their positive mind. I aim to influence popular opinion to shift away the negative stigma associated with Mental Health due to a lack of awareness. I hope for a future of a more informed community at the local level.  This will naturally make it easier for inclusion and positive action (community and individual level).” 


“I joined TeamHEALTH because I wanted to work with a grass roots organisation where I am able to help people in our community. I love coming to work because every single day I will receive a new challenge or opportunity. I love the problem solving and the ability to know that not all the time, but sometimes, you have the ability to change someone’s life in a really positive way. I get a lot of job satisfaction from what I do. I have always been intrigued with Mental Health and the effects this has on a person’s life. I also have a strong belief that in our industry, most people have some type of lived experience, whether that be personal or a close family or friend is experiencing mental health. I feel TeamHEALTH is filled with people that are trying their best to improve someone else’s life every single day and that is something very special to be a part of. I get a lot of job satisfaction from knowing I have helped or supported someone in a positive way. I also get a lot of job satisfaction from achieving my goals that I have set and feeling like I have either progressed or assisted our organisation to move forward. I wish that the stigma around mental illness or people experiencing a mental illness didn’t exist.” 

Emma-Rose, TeamHEALTH Staff, Property Coordinator.

Kasee, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker

“I first found TeamHEALTH when I was homeless, there was an event happening in the city and I saw the TeamHEALTH stall and that was when I started to get help. I felt lonely and had nothing to really look forward to as I was on the street. TeamHEALTH said they could help me with my depression and they have helped me start a new life. I have a home and am motivated to get involved in community activities and social outings. I have recently started to get back into my art, with TeamHEALTH encouraging me to find my passion again and have gave me a project to do within TeamHEALTH. As well as being part of interview panels where I am involved in a potential staff member’s first interview which makes me feel included and listened to. I feel a part of something now, part of a big family who are looking out for us all. We listen, we learn and we get better.”

Leigh, Participant

Do you need emergency help?

NT Mental Health Line


Ph: 1800 682 288

Lifeline


Ph: 13 11 14

www.lifeline.org.au

Emergency Services


Ph: 000

Kids Helpline


Ph: 1800 55 1800

www.kidshelpline.com.au

Suicide Call Back Service


Ph: 1300 659 467

Headspace


Ph: 1800 650 890

www.headspace.org.au