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Meet your community champions!

Hi everyone,

 

We wanted to share with you the way that our wonderful Community Champions are here to support you.

 

You may have noticed that a few of our Forums members are labelled ‘Community Champion’. Community Champions are volunteers within the Beyond Blue Forums who:

 

  • have the time, skills and empathy to support other members regularly;
  • help to welcome new members;
  • are actively engaged members that help set the tone of our community.

 

Our Community Champions are regular contributors to many conversations across the forums. They are a consistent and friendly voice that have committed to sharing their experience and expertise with this community.

 

They are not health care professionals or clinicians. Like you, they have an experience with a mental health challenge or diagnosis – either for themselves or someone they care for. This forum is for people who understand what it feels like and have a lived and living experience of mental health challenges. Our Community Champions help everyone feel comfortable and confident by demonstrating what excellent peer support is all about.

 

Click here to find out more about how you can become a Community Champion!

 

This incredible team are excited to introduce themselves below, and we are sure you’ll see them around the forums in conversations important to you.

10 Replies 10

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi all,

I'm 59yo and now forcibly retired due to my issues being bipolar 2, dysthymia, depression and anxiety. The anxiety has been licked after 25 years.

I grew up in Melbournes western suburbs but my family came from Tasmania. I was deeply unhappy as a child,cried a lot and didnt understand why. I joined the RAAF at 17 and didnt understand why I'd buy and sell cars so often and didnt fit in with the other guys. I was manic and it wasnt detected. I was suffering from the dysthymia but I wasnt diagnosed fully until 2009 at 54 years old. So I know the feeling of endurance with mental illness, the struggles and the plans to end my life.

Thankfully I also had a positive attitude that arose from motivation lectures and I kind of sprung back into life again.But those 90 cars and 60 jobs with many professions along the way gave me KNOWLEDGE, that I cherish. I may not be able to work but I have this information to spread and assist if I can. Having mental illnesses doesnt mean its all bad news.Mental illness has provided me with empathy, kindness and care, these are the things I can do without feeling drained and tested.Yet if two bills come in the mail at a time I am thrown overboard and need to overcome the stress which takes time.

I've learned that being fickle doesnt mean you are an idiot. Not fitting into groups doesnt mean as you are not a member of a clique you're are abnormal. It all means that that is you and being yourself is ok.You are unique and you are wonderful and too bad for those that think and judge you otherwise.

And it's not all about me.

One of my articles I written here is called "what life's like at the end of the tunnel". It explains the euphoria of surviving into a better world where your illness is managed ok, that your relationship is steady and your day to day life is bordering on normal.

I've also learned a lot since being here on this forum. Some threads rock me, spark me into enthusiasm or make me realise I'm lucky to have "made it".Such a thread was "think b4 you act" by another member.It was a guys great struggle to endure many operations after a suicide attempt.What a member to share it.

So making it to the end of that "tunnel" has it many facets - fun, happiness, reminders of the past and what could have been.

In 2003 I was falsely diagnosed and took the wrong medication for 6 years.Then in 2009 I got a second opinion and never looked back. Life turned around. It can for you to. Here we can be one link in that chain of recovery..

Tony  WK

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear All~
I stumbled across this place a couple of years ago, not knowing what to expect, and never left. I found it to be a deep well of kindness and experience. Now I’m here to try to give back in addition to continuing to receive.

About myself: I’m male, born in the late 40’s in the UK, to a clergyman and a nurse, with whom I had extremely strained relations. I was educated in England, France for a short while, and then Australia, going to a total of 8 different schools, a journey that tended to teach me a little about independence.

I’ve been married twice, the first time to a marvelous lady for 25 years, and then when she passed away I remarried another equally lovely person. We are still in love after 20+ years. I have one grown-up son and a grandson too.

I am an ex-policeman. Over 30 years ago, after being subject to an increasing number of physical and mental symptoms I was invalided out of the force with what was called at the time stress-related disorders (now known as PTSD, Chronic Anxiety and Depression).

While not completely cured, subject to ongoing symptoms and occasional setbacks, I cope and am able to lead a pretty good useful and enjoyable life.

When I was retired I was in a bad way and my wife had to shoulder the burdens of family, child, work and myself. It is in no small part due to her love and support that I am here today.

Thanks to her suggestion I eventually undertook a course of study and ended up in an honorary teaching position at a university, specializing in IT. Around 15 years later I switched to another honorary position where I use IT, practicing what I previously taught. I also use my skills to assist the physically disabled.

My interests are reading – which I’ve done avidly all my life - old TV shows & movies. (Nowadays I insist on a happy ending). My family life is a blessing.

If anyone sees anything in my history that might ease their path I’d be privileged to try to assist.

Thank you,

Croix

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

I will introduce myself in twenty nouns.

I have been or still am a daughter, mother, sister, niece, aunt, student,teacher, opera extra, health educator, speaker, babysitter, teacher's aide, retailer, motelier, blogger, waitress, tutor.

I am so honoured to be a community champion and humble.

As I usually ask questions feel free to ask me any questions.

I have spent over 40 years living with a diagnosis so now I am pleased to be able share my experience and keep on learning.

Thanks to everyone who has been so kind and patient with me.

Quirky

Ahoy there. Well, I appear to have made it into a trusted community. I had to read through the previous posts to get some ideas what to write. So who am I? (One of life's eternal questions!)

Father of 2 teens (son and daughter), brother, uncle, son, married, have a pet cat.

I work as a software developer. Late last year, things at work got the better of me, and I turned into the mental mess. The funny thing (not in a haha way) was that it started on the day my kids were getting awards at highschool. I did not realise how bad I was until I was referred to a psych. I would eventually find out I had sever depression and anxiety. So now I am in this recovery phase.... however long that takes.

I area(s) that I think I might be able to help others with is my own experience. That others might see part of themselves in my story. And to know they are not alone in this crazy journey called life. And most importantly, I really do not want others to have to get to the depth that I went before seeking help. We (or I) have one mind, one life, one body, and need to be able to attempt to make the most of it, as best we can.

And as Quirky said... "I am so honoured to be a community champion and humble." If you have questions feel free to ask me (hint: if not posted in my thread, just give me a gentle nudge) and thanks to everyone who has been kind and offering or providing support to me.

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone...

I’m very happy to be given this opportunity to be able to join the amazing Community Champions in helping out on the forums...

I came on these forums in 2017..a very confused and mixed up person...With the help of the wonderful people on these forums I started my way back to wellness..Now I want to give back as much of me as I can...

I haven’t had such a good life...having narcissistic parents then marring a narcissistic man...He passed away 7 years ago, and now I’m trying to find out who I am... Living my life for other people’s wants and needs... I lost my identity along the way...I have 3 sons...I was tricked into adopting my middle son out by my husband and father in law...My other 2 sons live 7 hours away...

I love helping people and caring for people..and hope I’m an asset to Beyond Blue...and hope we all continue to grow along side each other...

I live with 2 little dogs and a bird..they keep me active while I’m caring for them...

I try many things..including, knitting, croteching,drawing, colouring in...My favourite of all things to do..is to sit on my front veranda, watching the clouds, feeling the sun, looking at the big old gum tree opposite my home..listening and watching the birds and the cows when they venture down my way...

I feel so very honoured to be a Community Champion and looking forward to my new role here..

The forums is an amazing community with everyone helping and supporting each other..

I hope everyone can benefit from them as I have..

Wishing everyone a great day..

Sending my care, love and hugs to everyone..🦋💜🤗..

Grandy..

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone,

It's nice to rejoin this community again after a few years.

I joined these BeyondBlue forums originally as I was suffering quite badly from depression and after a bit of time talking to the many great people, I thought I wanted to be able to help others who suffer from mental health issues.

I took a bit of a break when my own life got really busy, but I'm really excited to have some time again to speak to posters here again and hopefully make some people's days and lives just a little bit easier.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

James

Petal22
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi everyone! 😊

Thank you so much for having me as one of your Community Champions I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity…

Im a happily married wife and mum from WA 😊

I have a real passion for helping people with their mental health, this passion has stemmed from my own mental health journey with OCD.. Which I am very grateful to say I have now recovered from thanks to the help of health professionals….

I believe I have come out the other side of the tunnel to help others with their mental health and to give them HOPE.

I also like to share my positivity with others, having a positive mindset is a very powerful tool to have.

Sometimes you need to remind yourself that your a warrior

and warriors don’t give up ❤️💪

Im here to chat and support you …. Please ask me any questions and drop me a line any time 😊

jaz28
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for having me as a Community Champion!

My name is Jasmine, AKA. Jaz or Jas! I am a psychology student, currently in my third year, and I just love to help people. I want to see people be the best they can be. This is why I became a community champion.

I am looking to study for my Honours next year and then Master's within the next few years, hopefully in Health Psychology. I have experience with illness so I am wanting to help others through that. I also have experienced GAD, so I can understand what it feels like to have anxiety as well.

I love to practice mindfulness and have a keen interest in spirituality/tarot as well as music. I also love to exercise and find exciting walks/hikes to go on. I am living in South Australia, which has some beautiful walking trails.

I am excited to learn more about mental health whilst also helping others on the forums. I believe we all have a story and there are tough times along the way. I want to be able to help others through those tough times.

Look forward to engaging with everyone!

Jaz.

sbella02
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi all!

My name is Steph, and it's a pleasure to be joining the Beyond Blue community! Thank you all for the warm welcom.

Just a bit of background on me and my interests, I'm a very creative person, and enjoy writing, singing, painting, drawing etc. I'm a second-year psychology student and plan to become a clinical psychologist, pursuing research and possibly lecturing on the side. In addition to my course, taking part in volunteering is recommended to enhance our understanding of human behaviour, help make a valuable contribution to the lives of others, and prepare us for interacting with community members from all walks of life. I've heard of Beyond Blue before and upon further research, I fell in love with their mission of helping Australians achieve their best possible mental health.

Throughout high school and in recent years, I've struggled with my mental health, particularly as I come to terms with my own sexuality. I currently openly identify as a cisgender bisexual woman (pronouns: she/her), and would love to empower other young queer individuals to accept and appreciate their identities as well. I feel as if I can begin to achieve this goal through these online forums, as they offer a personal, anonymous, and interactive format for community interaction and sharing of experiences/advice.

I've always loved the English language, and seeing it used as a tool to empower or support people is amazing to me. My hope as a Community Champion is that my lived experiences and advice can help people on this forum through their own struggles.

SB