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Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Personal story:

Teresa

Following the birth of her first child, Teresa was admitted as an inpatient for psychiatric care.

I was able to access doctors, and in particular a psychologist who seemed to really understand where I was coming from. I felt really heard and understood, and it was [as if they saw] my value as a human being and were interested in supporting me.

After being discharged Teresa was supported by an assertive outreach team under the HOPE program and given access to a peer support program offering her practical help day-to-day:

The outreach program helped me find a psychologist that I could work with, drove me to my appointments and de-briefed with me after. It was really important to have people say to me that it is normal and okay to not be coping and then ask me what they could do to help me. I also had the support of a peer worker who helped me normalise my experience. This support was amazing.

Teresa believes this service was critical for her recovery:

That service that I was able to access post the—well, during my hospital stay and post-hospital stay—was absolutely incredible and […] I credit it with being able to get me to the point where I am able to sit here, I’m back at work full-time, and able to share my story.

Source: Interim Report, November 2019