On Wednesday 31 July 2013, Aftercare’s Client Representative, Joey O’Reilly, delivered a well received address at the Randwick City Council Community Mental Health Forum.

The Community Mental Health Forum is an annual event which provides the local community with information about mental illness and support services in the local area.

Aftercare is pleased to be involved in this great community initiative, and this year, Joey spoke about his ongoing journey to recovery.

Here is some of what he said

“Self-education about mental illness has been useful for me as ultimately I am the one who defines what my experiences are and I have to learn to live with my symptoms. I need to know what the triggers are for my illness, the experiences that are likely to lead to a mental health crisis and to limit or avoid my exposure to these. Stressors are another factor. I need to know what can cause me more stress than I can cope with and what activities I can do to reduce stress and help me to manage my illness. Early warning signs, the indications that I may be becoming unwell are another factor that I need to recognise so that I can work with others to avert a mental health crisis.”

“Mental illness creates its own difficulties and challenges and we need to be able to talk about it openly and with consideration to reduce the stigma of fear and ignorance and learn to tolerate people living with mental illness so that we too can contribute to and live fulfilled lives in our communities.”

You can click here to access his full address.

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