As an initiative of Mental Health week, I was an invited guest of PA Hospital Brisbane, and had the opportunity to share my personal experiences with the patients and staff of the mental health wing, of how I manage my Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I arrived early, my heart pattering as I located the sign ‘Acute Psychiatric Facility’, and entered the door with a mix of excitement and anxiety.After Hospital executives greeted me and shook my hand, I was ushered into a large shady courtyard where patients from three mental health wards were standing, sitting and wandering about. Patients introduced themselves to me, most were friendly, some were quiet and reserved, some agitated, some had the glazed eyes of heavy medication.
I flash-backed to 2005 and 2006 when I was an inmate of a Brisbane mental health hospital where I was diagnosed with mania and psychosis , the result of a year of harassment and bullying by parents at the school where I was teaching. I recalled with trepidation, my screaming night terrors and sleepless nights.
I had written the genesis of Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness during my hospital incarceration after weeks of interviewing doctors and patients, trying to make sense of what was happening to me.
ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness won Finalist in the Mental Health achievement awards in 2012 HERE
It was time. I spoke from my heart to the patients and staff, sharing my mental health history. My hands trembled, my knees quivered … my voice picked up speed. The recollections were so strong, I started to stammer.
“Slow down, take a deep breath,” Steve Tyrrell my carer and #1 supporter whispered from the sidelines.
I reminded myself- ‘I was once like these patients but … I have been well since 2006. I know I can help them break their own stress cycle, so they can begin their journey to recovery.’
I relaxed, and shared my story, how I recovered, how I developed daily coping skills, and referenced my self-help manual ME and Him: A Guide to Recovery...
I touched on my recovery, wellness and resilience tips. I left them my wellness philosophy: a pro-active morning regime, understanding your triggers, having a support team, practicing mindfulness and mediation and a calming pre-sleep routine.
What was the BEST part?
Seeing some positive responses from the patients and meeting Stephanie Azri, social worker and counsellor who congratulated me on giving consumers hope.
How I’m celebrating Mental Health Week…
This Saturday I’m presenting my KIDS resilience books as FREE story telling sessions at the Brisbane City Council sponsored Sanity Fair at Musgrave Park, Brisbane. Read HERE
PLEASE come over and say hi…
STOP the Bully at 11:00 am Sharing bully prevention skills
Bailey Beats the Blah 12.30 pm Sharing Coping skills to prevent childhood anxiety and depression
Both Books come with FREE Teacher notes and Kids activities HERE
My Books are available on Amazon in print and eBook
Bailey Beats the Blah Prevent childhood anxiety and depression
STOP the Bully KIDS Bully prevention skills
Are you looking after your mental health?
How are you celebrating Mental Health week?
PLEASE Share, LIKE, tweet, Google plus,