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Now I can dance

Bede wearing blue hat and smiling with trees in the background

As a social change activist and SANE Peer Ambassador, Bede is passionate about human rights and mental health awareness. He shares how not being able to live openly as a gay man related to his experience of depression and suicidal thoughts. And, how revealing more of who he was opened a new chapter for him as a mental health advocate.

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When I came out

Sandy standing in front of window sill and looking calmly at the camera

This Pride Month, Peer Ambassador Sandy shares her experiences of falling in love, coming out and receiving mental health treatment over the years. She reflects on how attitudes to LGBTQIA+ people have shifted from dark and discriminatory to something more accepting.

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How I learnt it's ok to get help

Person looking down and smiling they are outside and sun is shining on them.

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

Person from shoulders up with long blond hair smiling at camera. They are outside and there are trees in the background.

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’: 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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OCD: the symptoms you don’t see

A photo of Tim from the shoulders up looking into camera calmly.

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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Real stories from the National Stigma Report Card

SANE-Aaron-Fornarino

Aaron Fornarino is a SANE Australia Peer Ambassador, who was first admitted to a mental health facility at the age of 14 and was eventually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Reflecting on the findings of the Our Turn to Speak survey, which form the National Stigma Report Card, Aaron says he can relate to many of the experiences reflected in the data.

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Angie Kent chooses SANE as 'Dancing With the Stars' charity partner!

Jack Heath & Angie Kent Angie with SANE CEO Jack Heath

We're excited to announce that former Bachelorette star Angie Kent has chosen SANE as her nominated charity, as she gets ready to compete on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS).

A long time mental health and anti-bullying advocate, Angie was concerned about the mental health fallout of the bushfire crisis. In choosing which charity to support through her appearance on DWTS, she wanted to find an organisation that was committed to providing mental health support for those affected by the fires.

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