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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Meet our beyondblue Connect Peer Mentors

Topic: Meet our beyondblue Connect Peer Mentors

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    7 June 2017

    Hi everyone,

    We're pleased to announce the launch of a new peer support service, beyondblue Connect, based in Victoria's Greater Dandenong region.

    You can read more about this free service here.

    beyondblue Connect combines telephone, email, face-to-face and support here on our forums. The purpose of this thread is to introduce our Peer Mentors, and answer any questions about beyondblue Connect that aren't already answered on the FAQ page

    beyondblue Connect mentors have backgrounds in health, community and peer support services. They draw on their own personal experience to offer caring, evidence-based interventions to improve wellbeing, decrease emotional distress and improve connections to your community.

    You may also see Peer Mentors responding in threads here from time to time.

    Please note: At the moment, beyondblue Connect services are only available if you are living in the Greater Dandenong region.


    7 people found this helpful
  2. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
    • beyondblue Connect is a FREE service that puts people living in Victoria's Greater Dandenong community, in touch with mentors. They can support your wellbeing and help you achieve your goals.
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Lebanon
    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    7 June 2017
    My name is Haifa, I had been a carer to my father who suffered chronic illness for 20 years, my dad sadly passed away from cancer in August of 2016. I am the eldest child of four from an ethnic family, in my culture it is somehow expected that children particularly the eldest assists in looking after parents. For me this was something I loved doing and I became conditioned in helping my family in any way I could.

    During my dad’s illness I felt it integral to accompany him to every specialist appointment since his English was fair and understanding medical jargon is difficult for anyone let alone someone with poor English. During this journey with my dad I tried to learn everything I could about diagnosis, prognosis and treatment so I could explain and try to fill him with hope. It was not easy to feel heavy with worry and stress about your family and fear of the unknown, certainly stress and depression over this consumed me and of course, my parents, however I knew that I had to get it together and climb out of this abyss otherwise we were all going to suffer.

    At the time, it did not occur to me to speak to anyone, in fact I don’t think I knew that what I was experiencing was depression and anxiety until I started to read literature about it, from there I began reading self-help and philosophy related books which helped me immensely to feel better and understand the amazing work of the Universe and man’s place in it.

    I began to develop an interest in supported recovery specifically for people from cultural backgrounds who like my dad, came to this country and could not quite fit in with where everything was in the medical and services domain. I realised when I spoke to people about their stressors they felt better and hopeful and I realised that essentially that’s what it took, someone to listen and understand and really offer some constructive assistance even if that meant navigating a service, explaining in their language or just telling them that they are not alone.

    Assisting in this way is sometimes enough to help someone understand and see things from a different perspective which is enough to make a difference in how that person sees the situation with hope and strength.
    4 people found this helpful
  3. Anton!
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
    • beyondblue Connect is a FREE service that puts people living in Victoria's Greater Dandenong community, in touch with mentors. They can support your wellbeing and help you achieve your goals.
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    Anton! avatar
    12 posts
    20 June 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I joined BeyondblueConnect as a positive step to contribute to mental health and wellbeing by sharing my lived experience and recovery journey.

    I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression about 12 years ago back in my country. The first half of this period was very fragile, overflown with emotions, negative experiences, medication and its usual side-effects and finally an epiphany moment. This epiphany moment led me to the second half of this emotional, personal experience that is called depression. The realisation that I could be the driving force behind potential changes in my life empowered me and set the starting point for another personal journey. In that journey I went deep within me and explored what was hidden for years and unleashed it to become my reality; This spiritual boot camp as I call it helped me cope with other changes in my life such as the migration to another country, leaving my family and friends behind, having to deal with many insecurities and a new reality; and here I am now, trying to be the positive example for others.

    Four years ago I started working in the mental health field promoting hope and self-awareness through training programs and one-on-one support. I'm very interested in connecting with anyone experiencing early signs of anxiety or depression (stress, sadness, frustration, withdrawal etc), willing to create a meaningful and purposeful life for themselves. I’m keen in working with people holistically focusing on the spiritual aspect of the self –values – virtues – strengths.

    I'm looking forward to connecting with you to unleash all the hidden treasures.

    Be happy

    Anton
    2 people found this helpful
  4. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    22 December 2017 in reply to Anton!

    Hi Anton,

    What a beautiful way to look at the experience of depression, as a hidden treasure that brings us to so many new levels of self-awareness and realizations that enrich our life and foster growth and ultimately lead us to positive change. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to more enriching experiences through this forum.

    Kind regards

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    22 December 2017 in reply to Hayfa

    Hello Haifa, what a journey! Thank you for sharing. Your story is so relevant to many in culturally and linguistically diverse communities as they become carers for their parents who age and are in need of language and other assistance and support which adds an additional level of complexity to already challenging and difficult situations like diagnosis and prognosis of life-limiting or terminal illness. Looking forward to sharing with you through this forum.

    Kindest regards

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3398 posts
    22 December 2017

    Thankyou so much Dante for revamping this thread;

    Anton and Hayfa are no doubt invaluable assets to BeyondBlue Connect Peer Support Service. Hey guys, welcome aboard! Thanks for your insightful intro's!

    Thanks also to Chris B for this introduction thread. It's great to know Mental Health Services are expanding to include mentorship and peer support to an ever increasing national portfolio of sufferers. BeyondBlue rocks!!

    I applaud you all for your courage and determination in supporting others with your valuable knowledge and experience. Thankyou for your service..

    Kind regards;

    Sez

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
    • beyondblue Connect is a FREE service that puts people living in Victoria's Greater Dandenong community, in touch with mentors. They can support your wellbeing and help you achieve your goals.
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Lebanon
    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    23 December 2017 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    Thank you so much for the kind words of appreciation.
    It is so amazing to be a part of this and be able to try to support others so that they don't have to feel what we felt during difficult times.
    More importantly it is great to be able to do something you love doing with others like yourself who have the same goals for supporting people.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    Hayfa

    3 people found this helpful

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