Lived Experiences

Carli Sheers

Carli Sheers knows a lot about turning lemons into lemonade. Not literally. But it’s now a defining theme in her life. Speaking to her Dad many years ago, Carli was asked to contribute to the reform of the Mental Health Act as a person with lived experience. “I said Dad, ‘I never thought I would apply for a job where one of the essential criteria was that you had to have a past experience...

Leah and Lachlan

To talk to Leah or even read her story, you would think she is one of the strongest people you will meet. She doesn’t think so - she’s just been through a lot and has learned how to manage it. It will be five years in June since her husband Clint took his own life. Many people talk about the ripple effect after a loved one’s suicide, and Leah’s ripple has now affected her two children...

The Smith Family

The Smith Family have faced many stressful years caring for loved ones who had intersected with mental health service and sometimes the justice system. The Smiths did not know how to navigate the mental health system or advocate for their loved one or even understand their rights. Thankfully, the Smiths had access to a community support group which facilitated networking meet ups between...

Rachel’s story

After many years of interaction with mainstream public mental health services and having the “life squished out of her by psychiatry” and contact with medical only treatment, Rachel was told she had no hope of living a full, meaningful life. This was until Rachel discovered a community support group near to where she lived. The community group gave her a sense of self. It gave her a...

Edward’s story

Edward has worked in community mental health services for more than 15 years and seen firsthand how community supports enable people with severe and persistent mental health challenges to stay well for longer in their own homes and avoid frequent hospital admissions. One of Edward’s clients was visiting hospital settings up to six times a year. This was distressing for both him and his...

Jane’s story

Jane feels sick to her stomach every time her son leaves the house. Where will he be found this time? What time of the morning will first respondent staff call her today with news of another interaction with the emergency department. Jane’s son is sick and tired of the medical model for mental health treatment. Since the age of 15 all they have done when he is in crisis and at his most...

Jobe’s story

Jobe has experienced homelessness, couch surfing, endless rental living arrangements, and living on and off with his parents for many years. This lack of consistency and solid home base has not been an ideal match for his mental health struggles and his parents often don’t know or understand how to best support his needs. Jobe is sceptical of mental health services which have taken a more...