Chat a life-changer

CHANCE MEET­ING PUT ELAINE ON RIGHT PATH

Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

WHEN Elaine Ashurst first stepped foot in­side Fre­man­tle Hos­pi­tal’s Men­tal Health Ser­vice, it was as a pa­tient.

“I wasn’t en­joy­ing life, I couldn’t sleep, I was wor­ry­ing about wor­ry­ing and I didn’t want to see my daugh­ter,” she said.

“I wrote my thoughts and feel­ings down and con­cluded my fam­ily would be bet­ter off with­out me – I never planned a method of sui­cide, I just felt com­pelled to leave.”

Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­bil­i­tat­ing anx­i­ety and in­som­nia, it was a chance meet­ing with a friend who con­vinced her to go to Fre­man­tle Hos­pi­tal that helped her change her life around.

“I didn’t think I would be ad­mit­ted, I was to­tally un­aware of how ill I was,” she said.

Two years on and Ms Ashurst is still at Fre­man­tle Hos­pi­tal but this time is help­ing oth­ers go­ing through the same thing.

“The pro­fes­sional help I re­ceived in hos­pi­tal was in­valu­able but I would have re­ally ben­e­fited from talk­ing to some­one with a lived ex­pe­ri­ence, that’s why I’m do­ing this,” she said. “Be­ing at the hos­pi­tal keeps me grounded, I am pas­sion­ate about re­mov­ing the stigma of men­tal health is­sues and work­ing to en­hance the ser­vices avail­able.

“My re­cov­ery jour­ney is con­tin­u­ing and I am thank­ful to Fre­man­tle Hos­pi­tal for start­ing me on it, to my out­pa­tient OT for en­sur­ing I stayed on track and my fam­ily for giv­ing

Elaine Ashurst: I wasn’t en­joy­ing life; I was wor­ry­ing about wor­ry­ing.

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