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

Topic: Introducing...the community champions

28 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.
    41 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
    9174 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

    38 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
    3058 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 =) 

     

     

    15 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
    10225 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

    35 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
    11988 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

    16 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
    5623 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.

    20 people found this helpful
  7. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2459 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

    17 people found this helpful
  8. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    786 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 :)

    17 people found this helpful
  9. 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
    8943 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..

    18 people found this helpful
  10. 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
    2936 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

    14 people found this helpful
  11. Gabs_
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    26 June 2021

    Hello all,

    I'm so honoured to be joining as a community champion, as like most of you, these forums have provided comfort to me in the past, and I look forward to paying it forward.

    I am in my 30's, live in (bloody cold) Melbourne, but grew up in (warm) Perth. My family is from Central Europe and that very much led to a strict and high-expectation childhood.... needless to say, this resulted in perfectionism, anxiety and depression manifesting themselves as an eating disorder (ED) through my teens and my twenties. But turns out just when I thought I was "healed", the ED was just covering up the real issues of a compulsive need to achieve and seek worth through my accomplishments. Cue the burnout where I stopped being able to read/write/work/leave the house.... But it was what I needed to really focus on dealing with what was a vicious cycle of unrelenting standards fuelling anxiety, fuelling more achievement, fuelling more anxiety and, depression and panic...leading to the big burnout.

    Since then, I have left my demanding corporate life and returned to my studies and am studying post grad Psych. I am passionate about providing psychological safety to employees and preventing burnout (especially in COVID times when we are just expected to be available 24/7 when working from home). I'm also a bit of a nerd on attachment theory. Love it.

    In my spare time, I absolutely love my dog (mini schnauzer) and I have started a blog because, it turns out my psychologist was right, writing things down is actually therapeutic! Who would have thought it?? I love books and I love learning - my nickname at Uni and work was "Hermione Granger" (from Harry Potter) and I've been described as embarrassing in courses (because I sit up the front, do all the pre-reading, put my hand up). Clearly, I am still working through the perfectionism bit...

    I guess, at the heart of it all, I just want to make the world a better place, and, when I'm well, I am forever an optimist that hopes kindness and love prevails. Equally, though, I understand how that spark and hope can diminish when you fall into the darkness of your mental illness and how hard it is to get out of it. But you can get out of it - it's not always easy and sometimes you will relapse, but you can find your way out.

    I look forward to speaking to you on the forums.

    G

    12 people found this helpful
  12. Learn to Fly
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Learn to Fly avatar
    149 posts
    30 June 2021

    Hello Everyone,

    I would like to introduce myself: I'm a mother of two boys, happily married for nearly 25 years. (just counted the years and this sounds both: happy and scary! Time really flies...)

    My husband and I arrived in Australia nearly 20 years ago. We came here for a year or two, to study the language and see the country. One thing led to another and we are still here, absolutely loving Australia, its culture, people's openness and friendliness and a fantastic sense of humour.

    I'm here to hopefully give back to the community and people in true need. In the past, I studied psychology and now doing counselling.

    Love it.

    I hope I can utilise my knowledge and experience and help those who truly need it. Even, if to make someone smile and appreciate him/herself.

    In the past, at various points in my life, I suffered from anxiety and went through post-natal after my first son was born.

    As others said: I feel quite privileged to be given a chance to join this group of pretty amazing people. Sharing, giving, helping and learning from others can be so enriching and rewarding for both: the giver and the receiver.

    I will see you around Guys.

    Have a good one!

    7 people found this helpful
  13. Isabella_
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Isabella_ avatar
    76 posts
    29 July 2021

    Hello everyone,

    I've read through everyones introductions, and wow.. What an amazing group of people. So many different ages, cultures, life experiences and journeys. It's an honour to be apart of that.

    My name is Isabella, I'm 18 and in my first year of Psychology. I've grown up as what I and others have considered "painfully sensitive" or "shy". I've forever considered this a strong weakness, since this part of me has been taken advantage of many times, leaving a very low self esteem and pretty severe social anxiety. During my high school years I struggled with social anxiety, wavering depression with suicidal tendencies and self harm, which was boiled down to an adjustment disorder.

    I've had a lot of people around me battle with mental illness, and I've been the crutch in their lives to let everything out. I've learned that my sensitivity isn't a weakness, it is a strength, giving me what feels like a subconscious ability to understand what people are going through and a strong desire to be the person they come to for help. Selfishly, it brings me a sense of fulfilment and purpose, quite much so that I couldn't imagine not dedicating my life to mental health care and research.

    The forums feel like a little corner in the world seperate from our own lives, where vulnerability and openness is loved, and we're all safe to be authentic and genuine and connect with people. I love this community and think it's so important, and it's been amazing to be apart of that. Being welcomed as a Community Champion is a huge honour.

    I don't think there's many other ways to get to know someone that's quite like someone anonymously pouring their heart out in their words - I think quite rarely do people express the same amount of vulnerability in their own lives, face to face or over the phone to their loved ones. It's both beautiful and unfortunate, and I wish we lived in a world where people were more comfortable seeking help and being transparent with their mental health to the people in their lives.

    Again, it's been amazing reading everyones stories. I'm really excited to start my journey here.

    Much love, Isabella.

    4 people found this helpful
  14. Pumpkinella
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Pumpkinella avatar
    96 posts
    4 August 2021

    Hi All,

    So excellent to be joining this wonderful little community. I feel very lucky to be a part of this.

    Reading through all your introductions, its apparent how we all have a story or experience that has led us to wanting to help and support others. It goes to show that the so called negative experiences we have actually make us relate and connect with other human beings in deeper ways, ways that perhaps we wouldn't have if things had been different.

    I am still in the process of trying to be more engaged in the world of mental health. I have a very avoidant style of dealing with my anxiety so it can be hard to get in there but I think this is a great beginning. I have just finished honours in psychology in 2020 which nearly demolished me. I noticed some psych students in the forum who I would be happy to chat to if they have any queries about their studies. Its a tough degree!

    I have a partner and we live by the beach which is lovely but we are in the process of moving to the inner north because we miss our families and friends. I am NOT looking forward to house hunting.

    I so look forward to getting to know all of you more!

    See you around!

    Natalie

    4 people found this helpful
  15. Miz
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Miz avatar
    36 posts
    10 August 2021

    Hi everyone,

    Very excited to be joining this lovely community! Everyone sounds wonderful and I'm looking forward to seeing you around the forums.

    A little bit about me. I'm a psychology student in my final year (currently getting demolished by honours, can relate Natalie!) I'm very interested in mental health and learning a bit more about it (both in myself and other people). At the moment I'm really looking forward to connecting with other people and learning how to support people when they really need someone to talk to.

    I'm currently living in Sydney and love to bake and practice yoga in my spare time. Really excited to meet you all.

    See you around!

    Amira

    3 people found this helpful
  16. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1171 posts
    10 August 2021

    Hi everyone! 😊

    Thank you so much for having me as one of your Community Champions I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity…

    Im a happily married wife and mum from WA 😊

    I have a real passion for helping people with their mental health, this passion has stemmed from my own mental health journey with OCD.. Which I am very grateful to say I have now recovered from thanks to the help of health professionals….

    I believe I have come out the other side of the tunnel to help others with their mental health and to give them HOPE.

    I also like to share my positivity with others, having a positive mindset is a very powerful tool to have.

    Sometimes you need to remind yourself that your a warrior

    and warriors don’t give up ❤️💪

    Im here to chat and support you …. Please ask me any questions and drop me a line any time 😊

    3 people found this helpful
  17. jaz28
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    jaz28 avatar
    135 posts
    11 August 2021 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you so much for having me as a Community Champion!

    My name is Jasmine, AKA. Jaz or Jas! I am a psychology student, currently in my third year, and I just love to help people. I want to see people be the best they can be. This is why I became a community champion.

    I am looking to study for my Honours next year and then Master's within the next few years, hopefully in Health Psychology. I have experience with illness so I am wanting to help others through that. I also have experienced GAD, so I can understand what it feels like to have anxiety as well.

    I love to practice mindfulness and have a keen interest in spirituality/tarot as well as music. I also love to exercise and find exciting walks/hikes to go on. I am living in South Australia, which has some beautiful walking trails.

    I am excited to learn more about mental health whilst also helping others on the forums. I believe we all have a story and there are tough times along the way. I want to be able to help others through those tough times.

    Look forward to engaging with everyone!

    Jaz.

    3 people found this helpful
  18. Sophia16
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Sophia16 avatar
    112 posts
    12 August 2021

    Hi guys,

    I'm Sophia, and I am so grateful for being here and having me as a Community Champion.

    I am currently in my second year studying a bachelor of psychology. I am hoping to become a forensic psychologist in a few years time.

    One thing about me is that I love listening and talking to people. Though I give people admirable advice sometimes, I’m not sure I’m capable of taking them.

    Things I do in my spare time include working out, playing the piano and spending money on my cat.

    Everyone goes through tough times and I know how hard it can be. I know you will get through the obstacles and come back from them to become your best self.

    I hope everyone has an amazing day and am hoping to support most of you,

    Sophia

    3 people found this helpful
  19. HappyHelper88
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    HappyHelper88 avatar
    83 posts
    24 August 2021

    Hi All

    I am so happy to be apart of the team and make a difference. I am a BPD PTSD sufferer who is 1 year away from finishing Bachelor of Psychological Science and Counselling.

    i love talking and I always love doing things on my own. I have been through my fair share of hard times so I would really love to help people and offer my advise

    I hope everyone had a good day and I can’t wait to see you all on the forum

    4 people found this helpful
  20. Positive_vibes89
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Positive_vibes89  avatar
    80 posts
    27 August 2021

    Greetings all,

    I am honoured to be apart of an online community that empowers and supports individual in their mental health journeys. I am very big on mental health. I joined beyond blue champions to be involved with mental health and get some volunteer experience because I want to become a mental health nurse when I finish my degree. Im doing some self development, I attended a mental health conference this year. I learnt alot about how a illness should be treated as a whole. The whole person not just the illness needs to be considered especially when we are supporting them. I want to work in child abd adolescent mental health when I graduate.

    I have been though struggles too in my life depression, anxiety and ptsd. Having these experiences, I feel empathetic towards those who are experiencing mental illness and struggles. If I can help empower others, save a life or make a positive impact on somebody my life has value.

    Thank you to everyone for such a warm welcome. Im proud to be a champion.

    2 people found this helpful
  21. sbella02
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    sbella02 avatar
    39 posts
    1 September 2021

    Hi all!

    My name is Steph, and it's a pleasure to be joining the Beyond Blue community! Thank you all for the warm welcom.

    Just a bit of background on me and my interests, I'm a very creative person, and enjoy writing, singing, painting, drawing etc. I'm a second-year psychology student and plan to become a clinical psychologist, pursuing research and possibly lecturing on the side. In addition to my course, taking part in volunteering is recommended to enhance our understanding of human behaviour, help make a valuable contribution to the lives of others, and prepare us for interacting with community members from all walks of life. I've heard of Beyond Blue before and upon further research, I fell in love with their mission of helping Australians achieve their best possible mental health.

    Throughout high school and in recent years, I've struggled with my mental health, particularly as I come to terms with my own sexuality. I currently openly identify as a cisgender bisexual woman (pronouns: she/her), and would love to empower other young queer individuals to accept and appreciate their identities as well. I feel as if I can begin to achieve this goal through these online forums, as they offer a personal, anonymous, and interactive format for community interaction and sharing of experiences/advice.

    I've always loved the English language, and seeing it used as a tool to empower or support people is amazing to me. My hope as a Community Champion is that my lived experiences and advice can help people on this forum through their own struggles.

    SB

    4 people found this helpful
  22. Banksy92
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Banksy92 avatar
    62 posts
    6 September 2021

    Hi Champs,

    New to the gang, so here to introduce myself.

    I live with my partner of 5 years and our spotty pup. For my day job, I work full time as a digital marketer in the education sector. Then earlier this year I realised I wanted to expand into more ethical and fulfilling work, so I've started volunteering here and in the Blue Voices committee to start my journey towards a role in NFP one day. I love the work Beyond Blue do so much and I'm really grateful to be involved in some way :)

    In my spare time I like to do yoga, sew, cook and play piano. I also love reading.

    My own mental health journey is still a work in progress, but I've come a long way through therapy. I live with anxiety, PTSD and at times depression. I also manage some physical health conditions as a result of my high-stress levels.

    I am very passionate mental health, wellness and accessibility to all Australians to quality care. This community is a brilliant asset and I've been really touched by the threads I've read and the support being given.

    Thanks for letting me play a small part in all this.

    3 people found this helpful
  23. 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
    11988 posts
    7 September 2021 in reply to Banksy92

    welcome Banksy

    congratulations. I am sure your lived experience will help you on the forum.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Mk2692
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mk2692 avatar
    52 posts
    15 September 2021

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Merna and I'm so excited and honoured to join the community. I work as a pharmacist in both community and hospital setting. I started working recently at the COVID vaccine hub, which has been extremely rewarding and challenging. I am passionate about helping people and making a difference.

    I didn't think mental health was important until my brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It allowed me to learn more about mental health and have a better understanding of my own mental health struggles. Since then, I've been interested in mental health and I wanted to help people with their mental health and provide them with support to deal with their current issues.

    I have been monitoring the Beyond Blue forums for quite some time and I have known friends who have used the services provided by the organisation. I am very pleased to be part of the team and hopefully help others on the forums with their own mental health struggles.

    4 people found this helpful
  25. Mark Z.
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mark Z. avatar
    40 posts
    21 September 2021

    Hi all,

    I joined BB forum recently as a new champ. I have replied several posts, and read some of yours. You guys are so empathetic, patient, supportive, knowledgeable and experienced. I'm so proud to join this community. And I'm ready to contribute.

    I have asian background, have worked in many European countries for around 10 years, and moved to Australia in 2018. I'm a human resource professional and have been working in this area all my life. My current role is head of HR of a logistics company in Melbourne. I also have passion in mental health and have completed Certificate IV courses in mental health last year. I'm here with hope to contribute, especially to support people from multicultural background, or with stress at work.

    I believe all of you, no matter the great champs, or people seeking help are inspiring. Each of us has our own challenges, but we all have hope for a better life. I feel lucky to be part of the community.

    Warmly,

    Mark Z.

    6 people found this helpful
  26. Ric65
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Ric65 avatar
    3 posts
    30 September 2021

    Hey all,

    Have just signed up to be a champ so yes am a newbie. I have read quite a few of your posts and know that I am in the right place and boy I am so excited to contribute.

    A little bit about myself: I am an Anglo Indian born and raised in India before migrating to Australia about 22 yrs back. Was working in the oil and gas industry as an operation manager before life threw a curve ball my way. I had a major heart attack which eventually led to a below knee amputation. Was declared dead, had an out of body experience. I believe I was sent back with a reason/purpose. So I retrained and I do life coaching now. My life's journey has shown me that we need to understand, support and help others smile in their time of need.

    All we need is a shift in mindset from negative to positive which can be done with love care and understanding.

    Warm regards

    Ric

    4 people found this helpful
  27. chadicha
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    chadicha avatar
    20 posts
    9 October 2021

    Hey guys!

    I'm really grateful to be on board of such an amazing and kind online community who are so committed to making a positive impact. I am a first year university student studying pre-medicine with hopes to one day become a doctor. A few facts about me- I love getting out into nature, listening to music, sometimes playing guitar (not the best though) & I have a passion for makeup/fashion which I use as my creative outlet.

    I'm probably not your typical 18 year old girl- on the outside it looked like I had it all together, but the past few years have been mental turmoil for me, it was hard to feel any light or joy. Being excluded and bullied, inability to truly connect with people, never-ending academic pressure, depressive episodes, social anxiety, ongoing rejections with guys, living in my fears daily, believing I'm not worthy, very strained and draining family issues and sometimes it would all be at once. It was hard to embrace my youth when all I felt was burdened and withered by my own head. I felt so alone inside and broken so many times, but that was the time that really made me aware of my mental health and how real it is.

    It's really been tough, but its helped me to grow closer to myself and show myself more kindness as a human to others. I'm so glad I can say I have healed soo much and yes even though I do have my moments of low states, I am no longer dealing with many of those issues! Covid and it's affect on the mental health of those around me has also led me to joining Beyond Blue. I believe its so important people have somewhat of a support system or place to connect with others in their struggles and this is exactly what the online forums provide and I couldn't be more happy to be apart of this.

    I'm really honoured to be taken on board as a Community Champion and I can't wait to help people who are facing their own challenges. I felt such a strong desire to share my own experience, lend an ear and provide any source of hope I can because there is always hope even when the tunnel looks so dark! I really resonate with a lot of the posts on here (particularly identity issues, youth, anxiety, depression, self-care), and helping others really does help me tremendously too.

    I can't wait to get more involved on the forums, to give hope and love and to connect with you guys too!

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Baljit
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Baljit avatar
    14 posts
    13 October 2021

    Hi Fellow Champions.

    Firstly, I just wanted to say how honoured I am to be joining such a great group of individuals and team.

    My name is Baljit, and I am a 49 year old Sikh male born and bred in the UK, who emigrated to Australia in 2015, with my wife and 2 kids.

    Over that past 12 months I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety and during my darkest days I suffered from suicide ideation, from the moment I got up to the moment I went to sleep. I just could not see any reason to continue.

    However, I was lucky that this did not manifest into an attempt. During a non related medical check-up my GP asked me if I was OK, as he felt that I was not my normal self and when I opened up to him and told him that I felt suicidal the support mechanism kicked in.

    While going through my treatment and in particular the counselling sessions I did not realise how many individuals were suffering in silence, and one of the main reasons why individuals were not asking for help was the negative stigma associated with mental health.

    Therefore, it’s quite simple for me in regards to why I want to be a Champion.

    I just want to give something back to the wider community and to support others by removing the stigma, and the best way I can do this is to reach out and share my own personal story.

    Also, I want to increase the awareness in my own cultural community as the stigma associated with mental health is twice as bad and it really is a taboo subject.

    Therefore, there are so many individuals within my own community that are suffering in silence. This is the main reason why I have kept my forum username as Baljit, as I want to encourage others from my community to reach out and say to them it’s OK and this is my small way of supporting them and encouraging them to open up.

    I look forward to working with you all.

    5 people found this helpful

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