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Megan has experienced a sense of loneliness, helplessness and distress. While these have added to the mental health challenges she has faced, they have also enabled her to find out about the services FSG Australia, Partners in Recovery offers. These services, coupled with her creative endeavours, have helped her to live a meaningful, satisfying and purposeful life and become an active and valued member of the community.
Megan along with her husband Steve, who has since passed away, received help through FSG’s Intentional Peer Support program, personal support and in home care services, work and learning programs and respite options. As Megan puts it, “These services have made a huge difference in my life. I have more confidence now. I’m job ready. I’m not a burden on society.”
As Megan’s strength grew, she became involved in the Voicebox project to share her personal story about mental illness and later the Activate Your Voice program to challenge the ongoing misconceptions and discrimination around mental illness in the workplace. Through both these programs, Megan gained a sense of inner peace, dignity and empowerment. Now she is able to reach out to others and support them like she has been supported.
The creative arts have also helped Megan to manage the stressors of life better, especially painting. Megan uses a variety of forms and techniques to express everything she sees. Instead of selling them to help herself financially however, Megan donates them to people in need and not-for-profit organisations.
Megan’s story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the love of her life, Steve. Megan was his carer for twelve years, with Steve being in a wheelchair for four of those years. He was the one who supported her and as Megan puts it, “was behind me all the way.” Though Steve has passed he still continues to ‘be behind her’ as she lives a life defined by a strong network of services and programs and positive and fulfilling relationships.
Written by Duane William Katene
For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website: HealthyGC.com.au