Finding your feel

Sarah lives in a small community and lives with severe depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. She also has a speech impediment, which makes it difficult for her to communicate with those around her. Often people mistakenly think she has an intellectual disability.

Sometimes Sarah would seriously harm herself and she had a difficult relationship with hospital emergency staff and local doctors. Her behaviour meant that many services were reluctant to work with her and in a small country town, this can mean there are few options to get the help you need. Sarah was also not managing her medication well and would lock herself away.

 Ability Links connected Sara with services and other supports and helped her identify her goals and worked with her to achieve them. Sara wanted to improve her wellbeing, learn some new skills to help her mother at home and find some part-time work.

Sarah now volunteers part-time at the Community Hub where she is an active support for staff. It has helped her manage the symptoms of her illness and has given her the confidence to enrol in a TAFE course.

Sarah was able to reduce the number of times she went to the emergency department and soon did not need to go at all. In turn, the hospital staff learned and developed more empathy towards   people with mental illness. 

Sarah has been participating regularly in other new activities, such as tennis and social nights at the local club, and has made a new circle of friends.

“Going to the Hub was the best thing I ever did with my life, it changed me right around in myself. I am growing stronger in myself to become a successful person. Before I started at the Hub, I was a very lonely person and no one wanted me, also I didn’t think very much about myself, always in lots of trouble.”

“Now I go and talk to people at the Hub, not only the workers but people who just come there. I am a happier and contented person and have a lot of confidence in myself. The Hub has taught me too, computer skills, making scrapbooking and cards, learning to play the ukulele, learning to cook and colouring pictures.”

“I enjoy every day I am there and I love meeting so many people.”

Photos and names may have been changed to protect the participant’s identity.