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The patient-psychiatrist relationship: it's a matter of trust

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Anita is a SANE Peer Ambassador, mother, vet and writer who lives with Bipolar 1. From her experience of hospital and recovery, she reflects on the importance of a trusting and collaborative relationship with her psychiatrist.  

I don’t clearly remember the first time I met my psychiatrist. I was too sick.

My first encounter with mental illness was sudden and brutal. Psychosis swept in within a week of my first baby’s birth 14 years ago. That episode was the beginning of my bipolar 1 disorder.

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How I learnt it's ok to get help

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I grew up in a culture where many people don’t talk about mental health issues. So, it has always been hard to discuss my mental health journey with others.

However, having navigated challenges and stigma around mental health issues to get support, I would like to share what I've learnt so others know they are not alone.

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Coping with a sudden Victorian lockdown

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Feeling overwhelmed or upset by the news of a hard Victorian lockdown? We are too.

The snap three day lockdown we had in February was the first glimpse of our new valued freedom being interupted. The news today that we are going back into yet another hard lockdown at midnight may feel like deja vu and be hard to process.

For those of us living with complex mental health issues or with a history of trauma, the suddenness of this lockdown could be a trigger for mental health symptoms and high distress.

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‘Discover More’: The REAL reasons living with ‘schizophrenia’ is so challenging

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I thrive with my ‘diagnosis of schizophrenia’ but there are still challenges for me that I feel aren’t well understood by others.

So, what are the REAL reasons that my life with ‘a diagnosis of schizophrenia’ is so challenging?

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'Discover More': How my brothers’ experiences with schizophrenia sparked my decision to become an advocate.

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Sarah Sutton is a sister, a daughter, a psychologist, and a sibling carer for her two brothers, both diagnosed with schizophrenia. For over eight years, she’s been a passionate advocate for increased recognition of the work of carers and their unique lived experiences.

This Schizophrenia Awareness Week, Sarah invites others to ‘discover more’ about her invaluable experiences as a carer, as well as a SANE Peer Ambassador.

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‘Discover More’: the power of choir and community to expand horizons

Jenni and Niall standing in front of the Voices of Frankston banner at the Frankston Uniting Church

From singing alongside acrobats, community and acceptance, to improvement in mental health symptoms, Niall and Jenni chat about the empowerment that comes from ‘finding their voice’ in Voices of Frankston.

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'Discover More': how my husband's schizophrenia led me to Oxford University...twice!

Sandra is standing outside, smiling and wearing a patterned shirt. Sun is shining on her and the trees and plants behind her.

I eloped with my partner in November 1985, wearing huge ‘leg of mutton’ puff sleeves and listening to Starship’s ‘We built this city’. I worked in marketing and he was a registered nurse. He was funny, quirky, different and we were in love. We did what everyone was doing; buying a house, partying, dinners, birthdays, Christmas and in a blink, ten years had passed.

In 1998 our son was born, and everything seemed perfect. Seemed.

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'The death sentence didn't eventuate': the importance of discovering hope and purpose

Sandy is on a hockey pitch with her hockey stick in position to hit a ball. She is wearing a purple uniform and rainbow coloured socks.

From poet and violinist, to hockey player and advocate, Sandy Jeffs OAM is also one of SANE’s longest serving Peer Ambassadors, sharing her experience of living with schizophrenia for 45 years to shape public policy and help others. 

This Schizophrenia Awareness Week, which coincides with SANE’s 35th anniversary, we chat to Sandy about the ‘heady’ early days of SANE, becoming a public figure, and ‘curating’ a life towards wellness, despite the daily challenges.   

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COVID-19 vaccine available for adults living with complex mental health issues

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Did you know that if you have a complex mental health issue, you might be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine now?

The Australian Government states that 'adults with specified underlying medical conditions' are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of phase 1b, which is rolling out now. This includes people with 'severe mental health conditions'.

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OCD: the symptoms you don’t see

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You might have seen Tim on ABC’s You Can’t Ask That sharing his experiences of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Here, he gives even more insight into living with OCD, the symptoms people don’t see and how acceptance gives him strength.  

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