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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Introducing...the community champions

Topic: Introducing...the community champions

12 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
    17 February 2015

    Hi everyone,

    Some of you may have noticed that a few of our members are labelled ‘Community champion’ and have a beyondblue National Roadshow bus badge, like this:

     comm-champ

    This thread explains who these members are and what they do.

    Community champions are volunteers within the forums who:

    • Have the time, skills and empathy to support other members
    • Make an effort to welcome new members
    • Are regularly and actively engaged members  that help set the tone of our community as a place of hope and recovery. 

    Click here to find out more about how you can become a Community Champion!  As this is a peer support community that includes members under the age of 18, it is important that we ensure our peer support community leaders have a current 'working with children' check as part of due diligence.  In an online environment with anonymous posters, it also provides Beyond Blue (and the community) with some security as to the identity of who is posting as a community champion.

    We ask our community champions to spend at least 2-3 hours a week posting and responding in the forums, but in reality they go far above and beyond this. 

    Like me, they’re not psychologists or counsellors, just regular folk like yourselves who have experience with anxiety and depression. I’ll leave it to our champion volunteers to reply below and let you know a bit about themselves.

    PS. If this is your first time on the forums and you'd like to introduce yourself, please start a new thread rather than replying in here.
    38 people found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8863 posts
    17 February 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Hi all,

    I'm 59yo and now forcibly retired due to my issues being bipolar 2, dysthymia, depression and anxiety. The anxiety has been licked after 25 years.

    I grew up in Melbournes western suburbs but my family came from Tasmania. I was deeply unhappy as a child,cried a lot and didnt understand why. I joined the RAAF at 17 and didnt understand why I'd buy and sell cars so often and didnt fit in with the other guys. I was manic and it wasnt detected. I was suffering from the dysthymia but I wasnt diagnosed fully until 2009 at 54 years old. So I know the feeling of endurance with mental illness, the struggles and the plans to end my life.

    Thankfully I also had a positive attitude that arose from motivation lectures and I kind of sprung back into life again.But those 90 cars and 60 jobs with many professions along the way gave me KNOWLEDGE, that I cherish. I may not be able to work but I have this information to spread and assist if I can. Having mental illnesses doesnt mean its all bad news.Mental illness has provided me with empathy, kindness and care, these are the things I can do without feeling drained and tested.Yet if two bills come in the mail at a time I am thrown overboard and need to overcome the stress which takes time.

    I've learned that being fickle doesnt mean you are an idiot. Not fitting into groups doesnt mean as you are not a member of a clique you're are abnormal. It all means that that is you and being yourself is ok.You are unique and you are wonderful and too bad for those that think and judge you otherwise.

    And it's not all about me.

    One of my articles I written here is called "what life's like at the end of the tunnel". It explains the euphoria of surviving into a better world where your illness is managed ok, that your relationship is steady and your day to day life is bordering on normal.

    I've also learned a lot since being here on this forum. Some threads rock me, spark me into enthusiasm or make me realise I'm lucky to have "made it".Such a thread was "think b4 you act" by another member.It was a guys great struggle to endure many operations after a suicide attempt.What a member to share it.

    So making it to the end of that "tunnel" has it many facets - fun, happiness, reminders of the past and what could have been.

    In 2003 I was falsely diagnosed and took the wrong medication for 6 years.Then in 2009 I got a second opinion and never looked back. Life turned around. It can for you to. Here we can be one link in that chain of recovery..

    Tony  WK

    36 people found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2921 posts
    14 July 2015 in reply to Chris B

    Hi guys,

    I'm so honoured to be here in this little goodness of the internet.

    I haven't made many posts in the forum (yet) but I've been a BlueVoices member for some time helping out with behind the scenes stuff like doing surveys and voicing my story and things like that.

    There are a couple of reasons that I really want to be here; and the biggest reason is that I know what it's like.  Ever since I can remember I've dealt with various health issues and mental health issues.  I've had depression, anxiety, PTSD and a small number of physical issues including Epilepsy which still affects me today.  I've had to jump through some pretty big hoops to get to where I am and even though I'm still in 'recovery' mode I know that I can help offer a little bit of insight and optimism knowing that there is truly a light at the end of the tunnel. (as much as I dislike cliches sometimes).

    I also have a bit of experience in working with people with mental health issues; ever since I was little I was always volunteering left right and centre trying to get my foot in the door.  I'm also studying to be a counsellor and super excited about where that's going to take me.

    Looking forward to getting to know all of you - you all sound like incredible people with incredible stories.

    Cheers =) 

     

     

    11 people found this helpful
  4. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    9757 posts
    12 January 2017

    Dear All~
    I stumbled across this place a couple of years ago, not knowing what to expect, and never left. I found it to be a deep well of kindness and experience. Now I’m here to try to give back in addition to continuing to receive.

    About myself: I’m male, born in the late 40’s in the UK, to a clergyman and a nurse, with whom I had extremely strained relations. I was educated in England, France for a short while, and then Australia, going to a total of 8 different schools, a journey that tended to teach me a little about independence.

    I’ve been married twice, the first time to a marvelous lady for 25 years, and then when she passed away I remarried another equally lovely person. We are still in love after 20+ years. I have one grown-up son and a grandson too.

    I am an ex-policeman. Over 30 years ago, after being subject to an increasing number of physical and mental symptoms I was invalided out of the force with what was called at the time stress-related disorders (now known as PTSD, Chronic Anxiety and Depression).

    While not completely cured, subject to ongoing symptoms and occasional setbacks, I cope and am able to lead a pretty good useful and enjoyable life.

    When I was retired I was in a bad way and my wife had to shoulder the burdens of family, child, work and myself. It is in no small part due to her love and support that I am here today.

    Thanks to her suggestion I eventually undertook a course of study and ended up in an honorary teaching position at a university, specializing in IT. Around 15 years later I switched to another honorary position where I use IT, practicing what I previously taught. I also use my skills to assist the physically disabled.

    My interests are reading – which I’ve done avidly all my life - old TV shows & movies. (Nowadays I insist on a happy ending). My family life is a blessing.

    If anyone sees anything in my history that might ease their path I’d be privileged to try to assist.

    Thank you,

    Croix

    31 people found this helpful
  5. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    10194 posts
    14 November 2017 in reply to Doolhof

    I will introduce myself in twenty nouns.

    I have been or still am a daughter, mother, sister, niece, aunt, student,teacher, opera extra, health educator, speaker, babysitter, teacher's aide, retailer, motelier, blogger, waitress, tutor.

    I am so honoured to be a community champion and humble.

    As I usually ask questions feel free to ask me any questions.

    I have spent over 40 years living with a diagnosis so now I am pleased to be able share my experience and keep on learning.

    Thanks to everyone who has been so kind and patient with me.

    Quirky

    14 people found this helpful
  6. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    5074 posts
    5 April 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Ahoy there. Well, I appear to have made it into a trusted community. I had to read through the previous posts to get some ideas what to write. So who am I? (One of life's eternal questions!)

    Father of 2 teens (son and daughter), brother, uncle, son, married, have a pet cat.

    I work as a software developer. Late last year, things at work got the better of me, and I turned into the mental mess. The funny thing (not in a haha way) was that it started on the day my kids were getting awards at highschool. I did not realise how bad I was until I was referred to a psych. I would eventually find out I had sever depression and anxiety. So now I am in this recovery phase.... however long that takes.

    I area(s) that I think I might be able to help others with is my own experience. That others might see part of themselves in my story. And to know they are not alone in this crazy journey called life. And most importantly, I really do not want others to have to get to the depth that I went before seeking help. We (or I) have one mind, one life, one body, and need to be able to attempt to make the most of it, as best we can.

    And as Quirky said... "I am so honoured to be a community champion and humble." If you have questions feel free to ask me (hint: if not posted in my thread, just give me a gentle nudge) and thanks to everyone who has been kind and offering or providing support to me.

    16 people found this helpful
  7. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2276 posts
    10 December 2019

    Hello BB family

    My name is Aaronsis, which is a merge of Aaron and sister...I am pretty new to both the forum and the Community Champion role, which by the way is an outstanding privileged for me. I credit my mental health healing to the Beyond Blue forum and am not quite sure what I would have done without the support from the community at my time of grief.

    What brought me to the forum was my desperate search for the answer on why people die by suicide and how they come to a point in which this is the only choice. I wanted answers and I wanted to know why...I lost my brother (Aaron) who was 19 years old only 4 months ago to suicide and it tore me apart. With the amazing people here I am put back together....not the same as before..a new me...but I am loving who I am now. I learnt here that suicide is no one's fault, there is no one to blame, that suicide happens out of pain wanting to end not necessarily life, I have learnt that people can move past the stage of wanting to die by suicide and go on to live happy lives, I have learnt that people can heal from being effected by a death by suicide and that together if we can reach out to people who are thinking about suicide we can make a difference in their life, and hopefully help them choose life, that they do matter and that they are worth it..suicide is never the answer.

    I am a 44 yo mother of two teen children and have three cats, I work full time as a Facilities Coordinator and Reception Administrator and love my AFL. I adore camping and am currently studying Psychology and Mental Health part time at Uni.....the rest of my time I am on the BB Forums...it is my happy place, my second family.

    Great to meet you and welcome to the most amazing place of peace, support, love and compassion I have known.

    Huge Hugs

    AS

    12 people found this helpful
  8. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    565 posts
    1 May 2020 in reply to Chris B

    Hi everybody!

    I am a newbie Community Champion :)

    I love supporting people and just being there for them. I have studied Psychology for many years so you could say that I am very passionate about mental health and wellbeing! I have lived experience with anxiety and stress (especially during my studies!). I really align with Positive Psychology so really helping people to see their strengths and the positive aspects about them.

    I have a wide range of interests from Netflix, reading, cooking, travelling, video games...the list goes on! I look forward to speaking to you all on the forums :)

    11 people found this helpful
  9. CalmCat
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CalmCat avatar
    312 posts
    19 May 2020 in reply to Chris B
    Hi everybody!

    I am newbie community champion.

    I'm a 34 year old male that works in the health care, dealing with medical and ancillary providers daily. My core values are grit and kindness.

    My hobbies are cooking, politics, economics and cats. I’ve been to 49 countries, with my favourite city being Bangkok (the street food), favourite beach located in El Nido, Philippines and the country I want to go back to being Russia.

    I’m surrounded by mental health successes and struggles. I look forward to sharing my stories with yours, and most importantly grow off each other. As I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all your inspiring messages.

    From my heart to yours,

    Doz
    7 people found this helpful
  10. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    8300 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to Emmen

    Hello everyone...

    I’m very happy to be given this opportunity to be able to join the amazing Community Champions in helping out on the forums...

    I came on these forums in 2017..a very confused and mixed up person...With the help of the wonderful people on these forums I started my way back to wellness..Now I want to give back as much of me as I can...

    I haven’t had such a good life...having narcissistic parents then marring a narcissistic man...He passed away 7 years ago, and now I’m trying to find out who I am... Living my life for other people’s wants and needs... I lost my identity along the way...I have 3 sons...I was tricked into adopting my middle son out by my husband and father in law...My other 2 sons live 7 hours away...

    I love helping people and caring for people..and hope I’m an asset to Beyond Blue...and hope we all continue to grow along side each other...

    I live with 2 little dogs and a bird..they keep me active while I’m caring for them...

    I try many things..including, knitting, croteching,drawing, colouring in...My favourite of all things to do..is to sit on my front veranda, watching the clouds, feeling the sun, looking at the big old gum tree opposite my home..listening and watching the birds and the cows when they venture down my way...

    I feel so very honoured to be a Community Champion and looking forward to my new role here..

    The forums is an amazing community with everyone helping and supporting each other..

    I hope everyone can benefit from them as I have..

    Wishing everyone a great day..

    Sending my care, love and hugs to everyone..🦋💜🤗..

    Grandy..

    11 people found this helpful
  11. CalmCat
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CalmCat avatar
    312 posts
    15 July 2020

    Hi Ggrand,

    Such a heartfelt and humbling introduction post.

    You write with such clarity and unity, and have such a inspiring story to tell.

    See you on the formus!

    Regards,

    Doz

    5 people found this helpful
  12. james1
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • China
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    james1 avatar
    2828 posts
    2 August 2020 in reply to golden82

    Hello everyone,

    It's nice to rejoin this community again after a few years.

    I joined these BeyondBlue forums originally as I was suffering quite badly from depression and after a bit of time talking to the many great people, I thought I wanted to be able to help others who suffer from mental health issues.

    I took a bit of a break when my own life got really busy, but I'm really excited to have some time again to speak to posters here again and hopefully make some people's days and lives just a little bit easier.

    I hope you all have a wonderful day!

    James

    8 people found this helpful

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