I am a husband and a carer to a wonderful lady who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. She also has some OCD and anxiety issues just to make things nice and complicated. We have a daughter and live about an hour outside of Brisbane in Queensland Australia.
While we think the public Queensland Mental Health system is generally good and the legislation governing mental health treatment and practices is adequate there is room for massive improvement in both.
The purpose of our site is to achieve several things
- Raise awareness of mental health in Queensland
- By writing about our experiences we hope to remove some of the stigma surrounding mental illness in the community
- Campaign for changes to legislation in areas we believe are flawed
- Provide support and comfort to other mental health consumers, carers and families. The sun will come up tomorrow and there is always hope!
- On a selfish note this is a cathartic experience and helps my wife and I continue with our healing and coping strategies
My wife’s illness is episodic and 95% of the time she is a high functioning adult with no visible signs of any mental illness. So far, so good BUT when her illness does play up it happens extremely suddenly and with a savageness that is hard to believe it you don’t see it for yourself. On many occasions she has gone from being OK to completely psychotic and being hospitalized in 48 hours.
In the 13 years we have been together she has experienced 4 major episodes that required hospitalisation for an average of 12 weeks at a time while her illness is brought under control. During these episodes she requires an involuntary treatment order or ITO being implemented through the mental health tribunal and these ITO’s normally stay in place for about 12 months after her discharge.
Through trial and error we have discovered the one treatment that “breaks” the illness is electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. It isn’t nice but it is extremely effective and is her preferred form of treatment now.
Our commitment to you, our readers, is to always be 100% “fair dinkum”. We have no political barrow to push. We are not aligned with any particular NGO or service anywhere. We are 2 people trying to make the best of the cards we have been dealt and we hope that through our honesty and openness we can help others and that our voice will help to bring positive change to the way that mental health in Queensland in handled.
Please, please, please participate and interact on the site. Have your say in the comments areas. Tell us what you think. Where does the system work and where does it fail you. It is only by speaking up and having your say that things can and will change.
If you prefer using Facebook we are on there at https://www.facebook.com/queenslandmentalhealth and would love you to head over and “like” the page so you are kept up to date with our latest posts.
If you would like to share your story and have it published on our site please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org We will of course honour all privacy request at all times.
You can also connect with me on Google+
I am an skilled and experienced public speaker and love talking about mental health issues and our experiences with the Queensland Mental health system with groups of interested people. If you are looking for a speaker for your next meeting please feel free to get in touch via email at email@example.com
I am happy to travel at my own cost from Tweed Heads to Noosa to Toowoomba. Speaking outside these areas is by negotiation.
We look forward to chatting with you in the forum and in the comments on each blog post. Don’t be shy – have your say today!
With you in recovery and beyond