Please be aware that Speaker Spotlight stories often share experiences related to anxiety, depression and/or suicide. If needed, we encourage you to reach out to your available supports such as family, friends or support services like Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Victorian-based Speaker Vita has been a Beyond Blue Speaker for close to 10 years. She fondly remembers being inducted into the Speakers Program by the Hon. Jeff Kennett AC, the founding chairman of Beyond Blue, back in 2013.
Vita is very passionate about the environment and has a range of hobbies including painting, bike riding and travelling. She has also created and developed her own acting program for children and adults and enjoys writing and producing her own film scripts.
Depression has been a shadow in Vita's life due to a difficult upbringing and struggles in school. Her depression intensified after the birth of her child, but she was hesitant to seek help until her partner encouraged her to see a doctor. Receiving a formal diagnosis of post-natal depression was an important first step for Vita in addressing her mental health and beginning her healing journey.
Vita decided to become a Speaker as she wanted to educate others about anxiety and depression and to encourage people to seek help. Her favourite part of being a Speaker is knowing that she can make a difference in people's lives.
A standout memory from one of her speaking engagements was when she spoke at a women's get-together morning tea where the attendees only spoke Arabic. The receptionist had to translate the conversation back and forth, and over time the women became more comfortable and openly voiced their experiences with depression and anxiety.
Vita’s message to the audience is taken from her own living example of hope, resilience and recovery.
“I leave the message of hope…To seek help early, to have a conversation and know there is help at hand. Depression and anxiety are conditions that can affect anyone at any age and at any stage of their lives…”
Before attending a speaking event, Vita always asks the event organiser to send some background information about the company, school or fundraising event so she can tailor her talk to the audience. She also recommends that new Speakers practise reading their story aloud to increase familiarity.
Vita's self-care routine before or after her events involves going for a walk, talking to a friend or watching a movie. To manage her mental health on an ongoing basis, she keeps herself busy with exercising, eating well, laughing, socialising, meeting new people and most importantly, having conversations about mental health and encouraging others to do the same.
Vita remains committed to her personal and professional goals. As a cancer survivor, she aims to stay healthy and looks forward to continuing her journey towards physical and emotional wellbeing.
In addition to her volunteering with Beyond Blue, Vita also volunteers on the Banyule City Council LGBTI+ Advisory Committee. She has also produced a powerful film on bullying, and plans to continue spreading awareness and advocating against bullying through her script writing. Vita has already written a screenplay for her second feature film project and is excited about bringing it to fruition, while continuing to educate and inspire others through her work.