Fundraiser for Foundation
DEPRESSION is a growing issue in society and Esther Foundation youth co-ordinator Sophie Byrnes is no stranger to the darkness it can cause.
At age 12, the South Perth resident started showing signs of severe depression in the form of self-harm.
She said she had no motivation because she thought that she wasn’t good at anything.
“When I was very young I had some terrible things happen to me and I was never in the right frame of mind that I could begin to deal with the issues that arose from that time,” Ms Byrnes said.
“Getting out of bed was impossible and I would go dangerously long periods without eating or sleeping because I hated myself so intensely.
“By the time I had reached age 14 my parents had become so desperate not knowing how to handle my situation that they decided they were going to admit me to a psych ward.”
Ms Byrnes’ parents found the Esther Foundation, which supports women to overcome life-controlling struggles and issues in a safe and structured environment, and enrolled her there.
After 16 months, Ms Byrnes graduated from the program and went on study fine arts and drama.
In 2016, she returned to Esther – this time as its youth co-ordinator.
Now, to spread awareness of depression and its impact, Ms Byrnes and other Esther participants and staff will share their stories at the foundation’s sixth annual Women’s Morning Tea on May 4 at the South Perth Civic Centre. Tickets are $60 per person. All funds will go the foundation to support its programs.
Carla Evans, who was a speaker at the Women’s Morning Tea last year, with Sophie Byrnes.