Universal stories of healing from depression (Sudanese)

S1: Look at all the money we've been given.

S2: A gift from the community has helped you, to do whatever you want.

S1: This is the kind of help we need. We've been forced out a long way, far away from our home.

S2: It's like those stories told to us by community leaders, about the pressure we feel.

S1: Tell me about those stories.

S2: Sudanese invest in the community. When one person is under pressure, it is the whole community's job to help them and deal with that pressure. Our capital is in the community. That is why when one person in the community has problems, it becomes the responsibility of all the community to help them out of those problems.

S1: That's exactly how we help one another, collecting this money. Here in Australia, it seems the other way around. Here it seems the individual is responsible for everything. There seems to be no pressure or responsibility on the community here.

S2: You are right. There are differences in cultures.

S1: Yes. I feel very fortunate to be here. We are safe. Remember the hard life we lived before we came here? Life is so much better now.

S2: Yes, Australia's the best place we could've chosen. You know many were worried about encountering racism and hardship, but Australia has a good health and education system. The government help people here from poverty. It helps people to get on their feet, to start a new life.

[phone ringing]

S1: Hello. What? She's sick? Which hospital? We're coming now.

S1: Now, I have money to do whatever I want. I can support this young woman in hospital, but look at all our community visiting here. We support each other, not just in financial ways.

S3: You have visitors.

[sobbing]

S3: Would you like to see them?

S4: Yes, I won't be long.

S3: Can we have no more than two people at a time please?

S5: Yes, that'll be no problem at all.

S2: It is good to see one of our community leaders here. We are all here to support her.

S5: She is sick, and her kids are here with her.

S1: We could look after the children, until she's okay.

S2: What happened that she ended up in hospital?

S1: She feels angry all the time. She feels uncomfortable all the time. She can't welcome people into her home, and she feels that she can't control her life or her children's lives.

S5: It has become all too much for her, and now she has a problem with her husband. He has left the home.

S1: That is shameful. We must be of one hand. To be united, we must solve the problems of each other. If you have a problem, you shouldn't run away from it. We should get together and resolve it.

S5: Yes, we're going to find that man and then, we'll talk with him. We'll talk with him about leaving his wife in the hospital like this, and his kids in the care of someone else.

S1: I can see her now. I hope you get well soon.

S4: Thank you.

S1: How are you feeling now?

S4: My body is feeling really tired and really sick. All the problems are coming out at once. All the problems in my mind are coming at once, but now, I'm happy to see you.

S1: Don't worry, all your problems can be solved.

S4: That can't be possible, when I hold all my problems on my own.

S1: We are with you. Don't be afraid. All the problems will be solved. Just take care of your health. All the big problems will become smaller and go away. I am here to stand with you and we will solve all the problems that you have. Before we go, we will take the children with us and tomorrow we will come to visit you with them. All your community is with you, so everyone can help in different ways.

S4: Thank you, that is what I am waiting for, from my community.

S1: I know one organisation that can help to find work, and help with looking after your kids. I'll make an appointment for you with the social worker at the health center near my home. That will look at helping you with your depression.

S4: It would be good, very good I think, to have someone to talk to about this.

S1: I have to go now. I'll take your children home with me and visit you with them tomorrow. We'll get through this together.

S4: Thank you, I'll see you tomorrow.

S1: Thank God you are safe, and home now with your children. Remember the social worker will continue to see you, and all of us are here for you too, until your husband comes home. So, we'll leave you now to rest and we'll see you soon.

S1: For more stories visit the italklibrary.

[pause]

S1: Universal stories of healing from depression. With investment from the Australian Center for Social Innovation, in association with Foundation Health, Melaleuca Refugee Centre and beyondblue, the National Depression Initiative.