Life was throwing one terrible thing after another at Sam when it all became too much. Her mum was having surgery for brain cancer, her partners pop was also unwell and then she lost her job. The pressure was mounting and before long, she herself was in hospital. The Community Mental Health Team referred Sam to GPH’s Next Steps program.
Sam was connected with GPH Clinician Samara and GPH Bega based Peer Worker Glenn, who began to catch up with Sam each week. Sam found it difficult to leave the house at this stage but baby steps helped and they started by going out for a coffee and a chat.
The mental load of looking out for her mum and the financial burden of the bills piling up, took its toll on Sam and there were days she describes being barely able get out of bed – let alone take care of herself.
Glenn helped Sam secure a Carers Pension through Centrelink to take some of the pressure off. They also developed goals for her recovery and took one at a time to keep moving forward without getting overwhelmed. One of her goals included going for a walk, which at times was the last thing she wanted to do. The medication Sam was prescribed for her anxiety was taking a physical toll on her autoimmune disease but she didn’t yet feel strong enough to stop taking it.
Sam persevered and eventually began to feel more like herself – getting her creativity back, studying, playing games online, walking her much loved puppy Mikasa and even socialising with friends, which she hadn’t done for quite a while.
Sam has gotten to a place where she is able to function without anti-depressants and has strategies in place to cope if her mums’ condition worsens, or if her Father continues to be less than supportive.
Glenn says there were times he was moved to tears by his conversations with Sam and he is so proud of the confident young woman she has become:
“I feel incredibly lucky to work with people like Sam who have gone through terrible times and need a bit of help to come out the other side.”
Sam is grateful she can still work with the team via the Psychological Therapies program going forward if she faces tough times again.
“I never felt like I was on a time limit or couldn’t get help because I couldn’t afford it.”
“I don’t want to have to start over with someone else so knowing I can reach out makes a difference,” added Sam.