Pauline has emerged from the storm with no visible scars, but a head full of hard-fought lessons. She’s tapped into the tenacity needed to carry her through future challenges and is keen to share her learnings with others.
With a construction trade under his belt and six years’ experience on the slopes of Canada, Seamus‘ path to the mental health sector was far from conventional. Yet a formative conversation with a mate five years ago started the wheels turning on what would become a fulfilling and natural career for Seamus.
“By working at RFQ, I do feel that I’ve grown as a person in my understanding that life is complex; it has shades of grey. I don’t believe someone is a bad person because they’ve made a particular choice. There are things in your life that might lead you down a certain path. Everyone deserves support and respect.”
Having worked in mental health for nearly a decade, Ai has become highly adept in supporting others through their struggles. Compassion and empathy come naturally to her, yet being kind to herself has proved more of a challenge.
“You don’t need to have a comprehensive understanding of mental health; you don’t need to be an expert in the field – you just need to have empathy for what others are going through and care enough to find out more. That’s how we normalise this topic and avoid feelings of isolation and shame that can accompany mental illness.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a warmer, kinder person than Anna. Affectionately known as the ‘birthday girl’ around RFQ for her determination to celebrate her birthday in outrageous style every year at the End of Year party, Anna has been a fixture on the RFQ scene for almost 20 years.
After a lifetime spent in the shadows surviving her painful past, Sam has courageously forged a new path forward. Coming to terms with complex childhood trauma has been far from easy for Sam, but she’s put in the hard work to unearth a strong, resilient woman who’s now living fully.
Mark knows first-hand what it’s like to reach rock bottom and begin the enormous task of rebuilding your life – one step at a time. His mental health journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster, as he experienced the false highs and earth-shattering lows of psychosis.
Fatih had just moved to Australia from Turkey for a fresh start when his mental health took a downward turn and he found himself in hospital. Exhausted and struggling with inertia, Fatih battled to find the momentum to move forward in his recovery journey.
Against enormous odds, Vincent is getting his life back on track following 20+ years of alcohol and drug dependency. Three debilitating strokes in 2019 were the catalyst Vincent needed to change his life and adopt healthy coping mechanisms.
To say Joni is passionate about her work is an understatement. One of our incredible Recovery Mentors, Joni tears up while reflecting on her lived experience and how it has led her to a job that she loves – walking alongside and supporting Peers through their mental health challenges.