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Trigger warning – this consumer story discusses suicidal feelings

Emma wanted to end her life. She told her GP it was all she could think about, from there a series of referrals were made and Emma was linked with GPH’s Next Steps program.

Emma had suffered emotional and verbal abuse from an ex-partner and when the relationship ended instead of feeling free, she felt a greater sense of loss. She spoke with Mental Health Clinician Alex and Peer Worker Veronica to start developing new goals for her life and create a plan for achieving them.

Veronica would call her each week to help her put things in motion. While phone calls replaced in- person meetings throughout the worst of COVID, Emma found this helpful in the early days when she struggled to leave the house and was feeling at her lowest.

She describes feeling like a sponge soaking up all the encouragement and motivation Veronica would offer each week. Emma loved having space to talk about issues without feeling like she was a burden to anybody. She describes how talking out loud and hearing the answers come out from deep inside helped her retrain her brain.

Emma knew music had to be part of her recovery and made pursuing her passion a goal. She enrolled in a TAFE course to study music, found a vocal coach and sang in front of people for the first time when she recorded a song in a studio. She was overwhelmed when applause erupted afterwards. A contact she made on the day invited her to sing at a gig at Sydney Uni’s Orientation Week. When I spoke to Emma she was driving home from this gig feeling elated by the opportunity and blown away by how choosing to step out had led to an experience she couldn’t have even dreamed up.

“I can’t believe how far I have come in 6 months, I almost wish there was a before and after photo.”

“I went from being underweight and not wanting to live, to eating for wellbeing and believing that doors can open when you trust your passion and take action,” added Emma.

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