Emotional and physical pain: Getting out of bed feels impossible

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” It’s a mantra Priscilla wholly believes.

Living with chronic physical pain. The grief of losing a loved one. The breakdown of a marriage. When daily tasks became insurmountable and life overwhelming, Priscilla couldn’t see a way through.

From her childhood in India where she was always entrusted to look after her siblings, to her career as a nurse, Priscilla has always been someone who puts others first. The time had come for her to let help in.

In adversity, she has come to understand that while pain is inevitable, she does have control over how she handles it.

This is an episode about finding purpose through pain.

 
Photo of Cliff with quote, “I felt like I was in this sealed glass box that just moved where I moved.”
 

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Transcription

V/O (MARC)
This season of Not Alone was made possible by Australia Post, proudly supporting Beyond Blue.

CONTENT WARNING
Just a heads up, this episode of Not Alone contains a personal story of mental health and references suicide. If you or someone you know needs support, visit beyondblue.org.au, call our support service on 1300 22 46 36, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

NARRATION
Hi, I’m Marc Fennell and this is Not Alone, incredible stories from everyday Australians talking about their mental health, to help you with yours.

And this episode is all about growing through pain.

(music - Sense of Home by Harrison Storm)

MONTAGE

MALE VOICE 1
Chronic pain is so hard. Being in constant agony is so draining.

FEMALE VOICE 1
I used to be fighting fit.

MALE VOICE 2
Some days the depression rules and I just stay in bed.

FEMALE VOICE 2
Other days, pain runs the day’s agenda.

FEMALE VOICE 3
I can be distracted from my pain for short times by my kids…

FEMALE VOICE 4
I just don’t know where to go from here.

FEMALE VOICE 3
…but once they go to school, I’m bed-bound.

MALE VOICE 3
It’s the grief in losing your ability to do just the normal, everyday things.

FEMALE VOICE 5
I can’t get motivated to get up most days.

MALE VOICE 1
My pain can’t be fixed.

FEMALE VOICE 4
My pain can’t be fixed.

MALE VOICE 4
My pain can’t be fixed.

(music - high pitch drones)

PRISCILLA
Every painful experience reveals to you more about yourself, more about the bigger picture. And then again, you have the choice either to be stuck in the suffering of pain, or to use that pain and use it as a slingshot. And that’ll launch you farther away.

V/O (MARC)
Priscilla is the oldest of five children, and she grew up in the city of Bangalore in India’s south.

PRISCILLA
It’s colourful. The colours are vibrant. And there’s flowers everywhere. There’s greenery everywhere. In the morning, there’s the Mullah at 5am calling out and then there’s the temple sounds the bells going off and people doing poojas in their houses. And school was fun too, and a very noisy house. I’ve got fond memories of being the oldest and I’m not the bossy kind.

MARC
Yeah, I’m not sure I buy that.

PRISCILLA
But I did get my way around my sisters and my brother. And it was just happy and colourful. We had, we’re not like a very rich family. It was middle class mum and dad, my dad was the only person earning. And, you know, five kids.

MARC
Did you feel a lot of responsibility being the eldest?

PRISCILLA
Yes. I was like, I considered myself the right hand of my dad. And yeah, I wanted to be…I couldn’t wait to be there to support my dad and help him raise the siblings, my siblings, and just for a good life.

(music - lullaby on a music box)

PRISCILLA
I always wanted a doll. A doll, which would talk and walk and obey my commands, almost like a robot. And I said this to my dad, always I said, “can you buy me a doll, daddy?” And he said “yes, yes, very soon, very soon.”

And one day he comes to school, I think I was in year three or four. And he says, “I’ve got a doll for you. And this doll talks, it cries and it can move.” My sister was born. That was the fondest memory and then my brother’s, birth was also…it stands out because my mum’s waters broke at home. And she was like, “I’m going to give birth now. You need to take me to the hospital.” And my dad had a bike. And she sat on the bike and my dad drove to the hospital. And just as she got in to the door, my brother was born.

(music - lullaby ends)

PRISCILLA
His name is Asiel. There’s about eight years gap between me and my brother. So I was old enough. In India, you’re old enough when you’re six to take care of your siblings. And I was old enough to babysit him too. And to take him out and play. I would carry him on my waist and I’d play hopscotch.

And that’s how it began. I was his babysitter, I looked after him. And growing up, I always had this thing about protecting him, taking care of him. And then that… I was also waiting for him to be the man of the family. I just loved him to bits. I love him to bits.

(music - grunge rock; Nirvana-esque)

PRISCILLA
He loved playing the guitar. Kurt Cobain, he would talk a lot about Kurt Cobain. He’d sing, my brother loved to sing. We all sang at home. And if I…we would randomly sing, we’d just start off. It was like the house was a choir. And if one person started a song, everyone would chime in and we would sing along. What my brother did, if I started a song, he’d said another song. Intentionally, so he could disrupt.

V/O (MARC)
Priscilla did well at school and studied nursing at university. After graduating, she worked in cardio thoracic intensive care, and then decided to emigrate to Australia in her early twenties. In Sydney, she continued her nursing career.

PRISCILLA
I wanted to be Mother Teresa, but I wasn’t that saintly enough.

MARC
I do not believe that.

PRISCILLA
No, I wanted to marry and have children, I wasn’t going to be a nun. So I said not…for a while I did put rosaries on and I enacted being a nun for a while. And that was when I was 18, or 19. Yeah, I did all of that. But then nursing was like my calling.

And I love the challenge of it. Nursing’s not just giving bed wash and taking care of people physically. It’s more than that, and I like that. And I love every aspect of nursing, including the mental challenge, the critical thinking, all the infusions of the drugs. And learning about the heart, learning about the brain learning about this marvellous spirit that’s there in human body, which keeps them going and alive and pulls them through. It’s amazing.

(music - solo guitar; a shift in tone to something somewhat melancholic)

MARC
Do you feel like your purpose as it lives today was born through tragedy?

PRISCILLA
Yes. We can’t let pain just be pain. Then there wouldn’t be a purpose behind that painful experience you’ve had.

V/O (MARC)
Priscilla lived and worked in Sydney for two years, and then in 2006 finally went home to India for a short visit. It was a great reunion that her brother, in particular, didn’t want to end.

PRISCILLA
My brother kept telling me, “you’re coming home for Christmas.” It got annoying. Every time he said that. I said, “I’m not coming home for Christmas. I’m not coming home for Christmas.” And he said, “you will come home for Christmas, I’ll make you come home for Christmas.”

PRISCILLA
Him and my dad came to say goodbye. And we were at the airport and I forgot that I had to check-in because I was sitting out there with my brother having the time of my life. We were laughing our heads off, making fun of people. And only to realise my name was being called out to check-in. I hurried and checked my luggage in and said “bye” to my brother. And he gave me this big, big big hug. I didn’t realise the importance of that hug, then.

MARC
How often do you think about that moment these days?

PRISCILLA
Oh, many times in the day. Because my life now revolves around that. Because I did go back that Christmas. But it wasn’t to celebrate with my brother but to bury him. He was buried seven days before Christmas.

(music - dirge-like vocals, as if underwater)

V/O (MARC)
Asiel died by suicide. He was 20 years old. Priscilla says that no one knew what he was going through while he was alive.

PRISCILLA
I think if we knew it, it wouldn’t have happened. He’d have fights and he’d go and we thought it’s just a normal teenage teenager having a fight and being frustrated. Because I spoke with him on the phone. He would ask all these strange questions. Suddenly he was asking, “what is life? What is God?” He was just being weird. It was like, “okay, he’s just, it’s a phase and he’ll grow out of it.”

We didn’t know, nobody knew.

MARC
How did it feel to know that no one was really equipped to help him with the pain that he was going through.

PRISCILLA
Devastating. I’m jumping on people’s chest, every night almost, doing CPR, bringing people back to life. And my brother didn’t even get a thump on his chest because there wasn’t anyone for him. I was sad that I hadn’t taught my sister how to do CPR, because she was the first one to find him. My mum had no clue.

And in India, the mental health literacy is pretty low. And if you are depressed, anxious, or someone dies from suicide, there’s a lot of judgment. And my family faced a lot of judgment.

I think overall, all around the world, it’s a negative. People are not armed with enough knowledge and the attitudes stink when it comes to mental illness. People are very judgmental, and there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness and to suicide. Just because they’re ignorant. They don’t know the facts, or they don’t have enough knowledge.

And that day, a dream was born. I said, I wasn’t there for my brother, but I want to be there for other brothers and sisters. And I made up in my mind that day that I will teach people how to do physical CPR. And I will teach people how to be there for someone who’s experiencing these thoughts and feelings, and identify when someone is depressed or having a sad moment and be there for them. So this doesn’t happen.

That dream was born that day.

(music - Priscilla’s theme; piano and strings; subdued)

PRISCILLA
But I got sidetracked. And my dream was lost, or it was forgotten on the shelf.

V/O (MARC)
Years earlier, before Asiel’s death and in the final year of her nursing degree back in India, Priscilla had met a man.

PRISCILLA
It was like, “oh, my god, I can’t…” I hadn’t had a boyfriend before. And it wasn’t like, love at first sight. But I just…I wanted to love him, give him all the love that he deserved. I was just…I was in my element, because I call myself a hyper-lover.

It was amazing. But I had to wait nine or 10 years before we would marry.

V/O (MARC)
Priscilla and her husband began to make a life for themselves, moved out to regional NSW, and soon, they added to their little family.

MARC
How does a hyper lover react when you can love a new human being from you?

PRISCILLA
It’s like hyper-hyper. The moment she was born, I was like, “oh, I can’t believe everything was so perfect. I can’t believe that there’s this inexhaustible resource inside of me that keeps loving and loving and loving.”

MARC
For a long time, there had been this dream of becoming a wife and a mother, it had been like something you’d built up for a long time. At a certain point, it started to fall apart. When did you first realise that that dream didn’t quite match up to the reality that you were living?

PRISCILLA
I think, before I got married, it didn’t match up. It didn’t match up at all, but I’m a fighter. I don’t give up. There was this want to make it all happen even though all my dreams were crumbling, I saw cracks in them. But I wanted to keep going and give him the best. And I thought I could change him. I thought I could bring about that change. I thought I could fix it. And so it kept going. It kept going and going and going. And he decided to leave us.

(music - drones)

PRISCILLA
Him leaving was hard. It broke my heart, because I love this man. I loved him so much. And I think when we have a breakup or when someone dies, it’s the grief of losing that person. And along with that comes the grief of everything that you had seen, that idea of being in love, that idea of having a family. And when that is taken away, that hit me really hard.

(music - ominous and fuzzy electronica)

V/O (MARC)
Her marriage breakdown compounded the pain she was still feeling from the loss of her brother. And on top of all this emotional pain, Priscilla began experiencing physical pain as well.

PRISCILLA
I was born special. I’m born with two extra ribs. They start right up here in the neck. And the pain of that rib became extremely unbearable. I had dizzy spells I had almost paralysed arm, I couldn’t use it much. And yeah, it just worsened.

MARC
Is that something that can be fixed with surgery?

PRISCILLA
Yes, I went to India because I had no one here to look after me. I just had Ruhi, my daughter with me, so I decided to get it done in India. And it was also very figurative or symbolic for me. You know, when god created woman, he put the man to sleep, and he took his rib. And then he made the woman. And I’ve got like these two extra ones. And so one had to go, and my relationship was almost going and for me, it was like, “okay, it’s gotta go, it’s got to go, it’s got to go.” For me, it was symbolic. Because I was losing a man, I was losing a rib.

V/O (MARC)
During the surgery, something went wrong, and a nerve in Priscilla’s neck was damaged.

PRISCILLA
And I was left with no strength in the left arm. I couldn’t even hold a sheet of paper. And it was almost like my arm was on fire. And then the pain radiated to my head, my half the face. Yeah, and the pain kept growing in intensity, higher and higher. It wouldn’t come down.

And then the pain got really worse. And I wasn’t able to function.

V/O (MARC)
So Priscilla’s GP prescribed her pain medication, but it didn’t really seem to help. The pain became so unmanageable that she was unable to work and was put on indefinite leave.

(music - low drones)

PRISCILLA
All the side effects of the medication were driving me nuts. I couldn’t do much at all. I was on autopilot. Just because I had that tenacity to just feed my child some food. But there were days I couldn’t wake up in the morning. She’d be up in the morning, and she’d say “mummy, I want breakfast”, and I didn’t even want to wake up. I just didn’t want to do anything, there wasn’t any energy. And at least if you don’t have energy, you have the drive, you get up. Some days I lacked even that drive.

There’d be dishes piled in the sink for days. I couldn’t vacuum. I couldn’t feed my child. I couldn’t take care of myself, I’d go for days without a shower. And she would go days without a bath. And I knew I’m putting myself in danger and my daughter in danger if I don’t do something.

(music - low drones end)

V/O (MARC)
Priscilla wanted to come off the medication, but the withdrawal symptoms were severe. And so Priscilla, who for years had cared for others, now needed to be cared for herself.

PRISCILLA
I just couldn’t do life alone. I needed…I needed help. I realised then, it’s okay to ask for help, because if you don’t ask for help, you’re going to be shaking and shivering and dying.

For six months, I had to be under a weaning regimen under a neurologist. But I still wasn’t working on my own self. The pain was the same with or without medication. It didn’t matter whether I was on the cocktail or not. Because I was still experiencing the pain and I was…I was so stuck. I wasn’t aware that it can…there can be a possibility that something else is causing my pain. I was just stuck on the physical aspect of it. And I was moping in my other pain and other grief, and the breakdown of the relationship, having lost a job, not being able to work.

The GP said, “look, your pain is still there. We’re unable to help reduce the pain, there’s more to this.”

V/O (MARC)
So Priscilla’s GP referred her to a pain psychologist, and in those sessions, Priscilla began to understand that it’s not just her body that was in pain.

(music - fuzzy drones)

V/O (MARC)
Emotional pain had fuelled the physical pain, which had fuelled the emotional pain. And now Priscilla was experiencing a feedback loop that was getting worse and worse.

PRISCILLA
There is an emotional impact, spiritual impact. I believe pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And I was hanging on to the optional part of it. And that was making the pain worse.

I think I grew after that. It was about letting go of the baggage, the resentment, the bitterness. It wasn’t like a one-month plan or a two-month plan. It happened over the years. I had to let go of the bitterness, the resentment, the “why me?” and “why should I have to go through this?” And just being angry with the world and everyone else. And taking responsibility and it it is a journey.

(music - high, windy drones)

V/O (MARC)
She started to commit to working on all aspects of herself - the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. And then slowly, the pain became manageable.

Now off the pain-killing medication, and free from the debilitating side effects, Priscilla returned to work. And she hit the grindstone hard. Maybe too hard.

PRISCILLA
: It was like 18 hours a shift, because I needed to bring all the money back in. And then I was transitioning between intensive care and triage nursing, because I wanted to be there for my daughter. I didn’t have any daycare.

So I transitioned to becoming a telephone triage nurse where I could support people from home and I was putting in hours there as well. So the stresses, everything that was going on built up to such a extreme. And it was like my tank was full.

(music - keyboard tapping)

PRISCILLA
And one day at work, my telephone triage shift, about 3am, in the morning, I had a nervous breakdown. I was talking to a client on the phone, advising them. And before I could realise I had typed my thoughts, instead of typing the patient’s complaint.

I just couldn’t, I couldn’t talk to the client. I just wound up the call, I hung up. And then I just started sobbing and crying. And it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. So that day, it started. The next day, I became extremely suicidal.

PRISCILLA
I call them my 30 precious seconds of life.

I’d sent Ruhi to school. And I had the house all by myself. And it was just me and my thoughts. And I had this big pile of laundry, bed sheets, bed linen. And I threw them on the bed and I was lying there. There were thoughts going on in my mind because it was like, “okay, I’m a nutcase, I suck at being a mum, I’m a failure. Everyone would be better off without me. Ruhi would have a good life, maybe one of my sisters will take care of her.” And I was about to…I was lying there and it was all going to happen.

MARC
MARC: Knowing what happens to your brother, and nobody was there for him. How much was that playing on your mind at this particular moment in your life?

PRISCILLA
All I could think of was I want to go to him.

And something snapped inside of me in those 30 seconds that I went and I paused. And I called my GP. Because life didn’t bring me through all of that, so it could end this way.

And that made me think this is not how my story is going to end. And it was a choice I had to make then.

V/O (MARC)
V/O: On the phone with her GP, Priscilla was put in touch with a community mental health service and had an assessment. A suicide callback service phoned her regularly to check in on her welfare. Later, she saw a psychiatrist and received a diagnosis of depression and PTSD. The latter of which, giving Priscilla some rather scary experiences.

PRISCILLA
I’d be awake, I’d be hearing these voices. And they put me on antipsychotics. This is I started explaining to people you know, this is part of PTSD where my brain jumps out at night and it starts telling me stories and it starts reliving the memories and I hear all these things. And that’s where stigma and judgment came in then. I was judgmental myself.

For me, it was a taboo, having psychosis. But whatever the name and the diagnosis is, I have experienced the symptoms. And a journey began of dealing with what was going on, being better equipped, asking for help.

(music - modern classical swell; hopeful>)

PRISCILLA
That’s when things started to improve.

V/O (MARC)
Grief, heartbreak, mental health anguish and physical pain had nearly derailed Priscilla’s life. After Asiel died she had committed to this dream of helping and teaching others how to care for those in need of emergency interventions, but she had been sidetracked.

And then, 9 years after her brother’s death, it was time to find that dream again.

PRISCILLA
2015, I knew there is more to my life. And I wanted my story to be a story of inspiration and to be able to help other people.

And I realised, “okay, enough is enough, Priscilla. You got to do something about this, start teaching people CPR.” I raised enough money to buy a little inflatable mannequin.

And in 2016, the end of 2016, I went to India, and started teaching people for free. CPR.

And that kind of confirmed what I wanted to do. I came back home and I signed up to go teach mums and dads, baby CPR. My entrepreneurial journey began then, because I wanted to make more money. So I joined the parent-medic movement. And I remember going house to house, regardless of the time, 6pm or 8pm, I just go because that’s when you find mums and dads were free. I’d go and teach them baby CPR and first aid and I started teaching adults as well.

And then I thought, “okay, this is when it begins. This is the time for me to bring it into existence, my purpose.” And that’s when it began.

Working on myself getting all those accreditations I needed to, in order to teach Mental Health First Aid and start going out and teaching people mental health and making use of my pain.

(music - piano and strings; hopeful and bright)

PRISCILLA
CPR is resuscitating your heart and the lungs so the person can be alive.

You’re sustaining and you’re keeping them alive. Mental Health First Aid is an accredited training. And thank god I got to know about it and I became a trainer. To me that is life saving.

Why aren’t we thinking about the mind when people are dying by suicide? The mind and the emotional aspect of a person needs to be revived. And that comes down to knowledge, awareness, attitude. And this mental health training helps you with all of those.

And once you do that you’re able to save lives, you’re able to learn what to say to people, identify those symptoms, identify those signs, and then take action. And that is life saving itself. And so I just thought, it fits in with the CPR journey I’m on, let me call myself the CPR Chick. So mental health first aid and mental health trainings, they are CPR for your mind.

V/O (MARC)
Although it took years to make her dream a reality, Priscilla would be the first to admit that the timing was just right.

PRISCILLA
I don’t think it would have been that impactful if I just rocked up and talked about, “okay, my brother died and I want to teach mental first aid”, or “I want to teach CPR.”

Because I hadn’t grown. So it had to be a journey for me. And for me, I think that was my growth, my healing, my letting go of all the baggage that I was holding on to. And all the weight that was pulling me down. I had to get past all of that.

And that’s what it is with me, understanding that there is power to the pain that I’ve been through, and I can’t just let it be pain. That pain is a blessing in disguise. I wouldn’t be who I am if not for that. And to realise that and to accept that and then say, “what can I do differently”, and to have a purpose.

And now I’m ready.

(music - upbeat and hopeful rhythmic drones)

MARC
It just goes to show, like, you can plant a seed, but it takes its own time to grow, right?

PRISCILLA
Yeah, like the bamboo shoot, which takes a long time to grow and then suddenly it shoots up. Just goes ‘vroom’, and that’s exactly how it is with me. It took almost 10 years of waiting. And now it’s blooming. There’s more lives to be impacted. And I’m just excited.

MARC
How much does your brother’s legacy live on in your work today?

PRISCILLA
All of it. All of what I do, he lives on fully in it. Completely. I…when he died, I was like, “what a waste of life.” I felt that. But it is not a waste of life. His life and his death is not in vain. There is a purpose behind it.

And for me, I’m able to live my purpose. I’m passionate about what I do. This is my purpose. This is what I was born for. Many people will live because of that story. Many people will live because I do what I do today. And his legacy continues.

MARC
What do you think he would think of the woman you’ve become?

PRISCILLA
He’d be very proud. I know my brother, he was all about love. He was moved with compassion every time he saw suffering, or pain. So he’d be very happy and proud of his big sister.

(music - Priscilla’s theme begins)

V/O (MARC)
Throughout her life, Priscilla has learnt about pain in all it’s forms: the physical, the emotional, the spiritual. This pain impacted on her mental health in a way that nearly cost her the life she had built, the one that she had hoped for.

But Priscilla made a choice to find purpose in her pain. And by committing to making life better for those around her, she ultimately found hope.

PRISCILLA
Recovery is not a destination, it is a journey. And today, it’s not like I’m completely whole. I have my down days, I have my up days. But there is hope.

Life is like Pandora’s box. You’ve got all these things flying out, which are not so good. But then, there’s that little butterfly, knocking from inside and telling Pandora “let me out, let me out.” And she goes, “no, I’m not letting you out.” And it goes “just let me out.” Just a little butterfly, she opens the box and out flies the butterfly. And it starts kissing all the pain that she had let out. And with mental illness, there’s a lot of pain in this world.

And when I train people, I say “you are the agents of hope and recovery. You are all those butterflies who will go and kiss the pain away.” And that’s what the world needs more butterflies of hope.

(music - Priscilla’s theme kicks off)

V/O (MARC)
connection between physical and emotional pain is not something that is often spoken about. So to get a better understanding of it, I reached out to Beyond Blue’s Lead Clinical Adviser, Dr. Grant Blashki to talk a little bit more about how those things are actually related.

(music - Priscilla’s theme ends)

MARC
Welcome back, Dr. Grant.

GRANT
Thanks a lot, Marc.

MARC
With Priscilla’s story, one thing kind of stayed in the back of my mind as I was listening to her tell her story is, what exactly is the relationship between chronic pain and depression? Like how do those two things interact?

GRANT
Yeah, thanks, Marc. I mean, it was such a courageous story. And she had such a poetic way of viewing the world, it was really quite beautiful to listen how she put it all together. I thought that the pain, the chronic pain and depression that she talked about, this is not unusual. I mean, in her case, she had these extra ribs in her neck, which will causing all the pain.

And there’s quite a lot of links and evidence that people with chronic pain, not surprisingly, get exhausted and get depression. And this has a big impact on their lives, you know, that can cause withdrawal from usual activities. And I think what I see in my clinic, is it’s very important that we manage the pain as well as the depression. And I think that that was the approach that Priscilla took.

MARC
I love the concept of mental health first aid, like I love that concept, but where can you actually find that. Like, who teaches it? How can I convince my workplace to get it? Because I think it’s the idea that like, it’s a marriage of two really simple ideas, but it’d be nice to see it get wider take up.

GRANT
It’s really an extraordinary program, the Mental Health First Aid program, and probably your best bet is just to Google it. And you’ll see their website. It actually started in Australia, some decades ago, and is now in 25 countries around the world. And what it’s trying to do is give people the skills to have a safe conversation about mental health with someone. And it sort of makes sense when you think about the high prevalence of mental health issues in the community and workplaces, sports clubs, everywhere else.

One of the nice things I like about it is based on a whole lot of research. So it’s, what we call an evidence based program. So they don’t just make stuff up, they’ve actually looked at what works and how you can help someone who’s going through anxiety or depression or substance abuse problems or panic attacks.

So a great course to do. And they’ve got a whole lot of different modules. And I’m a big fan of it. I think it’s a good program.

MARC
One of the other things that I think that Priscilla’s story raises is the difficulty members of culturally and linguistically diverse communities have sometimes in accessing mental health services, and even sometimes even just knowing that those services exist. Are there particular organisations or services that you can point to that are equipped to deal with culturally and linguistically diverse people?

GRANT
Yeah, look, there are. And those values of different ethnic backgrounds come into it when you’re talking about mental health. There can be a lot of stigma. Some cultures will feel that if someone has a mental health problem that reflects poorly on their family, or that, you know, mental health could be a weakness. And I think that’s very important to try and get some accurate information.

An important free service is called the TIS. So that’s Translator and Interpreter Service. And you can contact this - best bet is to have a look on the website - and you can call them up. And you can use this to get translated information from your health provider or even our Beyond Blue support service. If you ring that up and say, “oh, can I have the translator service?” They’ll organise that for you. And we’re really want to make sure that in our very diverse Australian community that everybody gets a chance to get the help that they need.

MARC
Dr. Grant, thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me today.

GRANT
Great to chat, Marc.

(music - show theme)

V/O (MARC)
Thank you to Priscilla for sharing her story.

You can join the conversation and share your story at beyondblue.org.au/forums

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can visit our website or you can call our Support Service on 1300 22 46 36. We have also included some resources in our show notes.

Not Alone is a Beyond Blue podcast. It is hosted by me, my name’s been Marc Fennell; it is produced by Sam Loy, and executive produced by Darcy Sutton and Sarah Alexander. It was recorded by Ryan D’Sylva, with sound design and mixing by Que Nguyen.

This podcast was produced on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Boonwurrung, Gadigal and Dja Dja Wurrung Country, and we pay respect to the Traditional Owners of these lands.

Thank you for listening to Not Alone.

Auslan translation

Not Alone is hosted by Marc Fennell, produced by Sam Loy and executive produced by Darcy Sutton and Sarah Alexander.

Our theme song Sense of Home is by Australian artist Harrison Storm.


Helpful resources

Suicide and crisis support:

  • The Beyond Now suicide safety planning app helps you stay safe if you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis.
  • The Suicide Call Back Service provides professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. You can access this service by calling 1300 659 467.
  • Lifeline provide crisis support and suicide prevention services – they can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 13 11 14.
  • If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000

 

Back to Not Alone home page

 

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Season Two of Not Alone was made possible by Australia Post proudly supporting Beyond Blue.

 

Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include:

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