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mental health

Mental Health

Successful first steps to Support Worker career


Rise Mental Health Services latest Peer Work Course came to a successful conclusion last week with all seven participants graduating.

The course allows people with a lived mental health experience to learn skills and develop an understanding about the mental health industry so that they can start their journey into work as a Peer Support Worker.  Topics included:

  • Goal Setting
  • The Peer Worker–Client Relationship
  • Conducting a Presentation
  • Looking After Your Health

The 6 week course was facilitated by Michael and work placement student Andrea. Michael said

It was amazing to work with seven great students and see their passion for Peer Work. It was a privilege to hear their stories and help them to start their journey as a Peer Worker. I was lucky to have the support of Andrea in co-facilitating the course she was an amazing asset.

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

If you’d like further information about the next Peer Work course, please contact:

Michael at michael.akkermans@risenetwork.com.au or 0417 857 735

R U OK? – Meaningful conversations about mental health

R U OK? Day is all about staying connected and having meaningful conversations with people who may be having a tough time – and that includes work colleagues.

R U OK? road show

To raise awareness and start some conversations, last week Rise invited the whole team to wear yellow for R U OK? Day and attend a session to learn more about mental health.

Workplace Health and Safety Officer Julie Exeter, along with our Mental Health team, hit the road visiting Rise sites for the whole week.

At the sessions we talked about what RU OK? is all about and the four steps that could save a life:

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Follow up

We also learned how to listen and look out for signs that someone we work with is struggling.

Starting conversations

We all need to be confident to ask someone R U OK?  So each session included role-playing where we explored ways to start the conversation and how to be prepared for the response we may get.

CEO Justine Colyer said Rise offers a range of flexible and tailored support for when ever people need it.

I want to thank you all for being part of supportive and open communication with your teams and making sure you take care of yourselves so we can all look out for each other.

It was an important reminder to take care of our own mental health as well as look out for how others are doing.

If you missed the session at your work site, there is a load of excellent information and resources on the R U OK? website.

Big thank you to Julie for organising the seriously yummy R U OK? cakes!

Rise Mental Health

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

Darnell mental health recovery

Helping others helps Darnell on her road to recovery

Talking about mental health is a great way to break down barriers and stigma surrounding it.
That’s why Darnell is telling her story.
She hopes that it might help someone.
She hopes that it might help encourage someone to get help.
She hopes that they may be able to feel useful and productive again, just like she is.

Darnell’s life

Darnell was born in California and raised in the Midwest. Her accent is soft and mild after so many years living in Australia.
Darnell is a mother to four grown children. She’s also mum to two dogs – lab crosses. All six of her babies got her through her darkest days.

I was in psychiatric care for four weeks. It wasn’t a wonderful place to be, but on the other hand you heard stories just like yours and could relate.

I was referred to Rise from Community Health while in hospital. I was put in touch with support worker Paul. We met twice a week to start, and then once a week.

After being released from hospital, Darnell wasn’t in a good place mentally.

I didn’t want to be around people, I didn’t want to go out. I wouldn’t leave the house at all.

Some days I would call Paul and tell him I wasn’t well because I just didn’t want to interact with anyone.

When you feel lousy it’s a bad feeling. My dogs were very protective of me and were never far from my side.

Road to recovery

A change in medication dosage was the catalyst for Darnell to start feeling more like herself.

She was keen to contribute to society and give back. Darnell started looking for opportunities, and connected with the Swan Volunteer Resource Centre.

I thought that if I can’t work for someone, I’ll work in a different capacity.

I looked through the files and found People Who Care who needed volunteers urgently. I made a decision and took an opportunity – I haven’t looked back.

Darnell drives people to activities and also provides one-on-one support to clients. Initially she was rostered to help for two days a week, but often volunteers up to four days a week.

Before I used to avoid people but now I look forward to it. Just last week I found myself telling a joke to everyone on the bus. That’s something I wouldn’t have done before.

I’m interacting with people more and getting back into my hobbies. I like charcoal drawings and my dogs are happy I have more energy.

Helping others

For Darnell, the act of helping others has helped with her journey to recovery.

I’m one of the lucky ones who has seen the light. Even when I finished my support with Rise, it could have gone either way with my path in life.

I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing now. My challenge now is working to keep my mental health at that level.

I like helping people and I hope by sharing my story it can help someone else.

Darnell has now be exited from Rise services and we are so pleased to see how well she is doing. We wish you all the best for a healthy and happy life as you balance volunteering with your many hobbies!

Rise services

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

NDIS psychosocial roundtable

Rise clients help inform NDIS psychosocial support

Rise clients have played a big part in helping to design NDIS psychosocial support for people around the country.

Three of our Psychosocial NDIS participants were invited to take part in a workshop at Duxton Hotel in Perth.

NDIS psychosocial workshop

Graeme, Ian and Saul took part in the NDIS round table. It was run by the National NDIS. The aim is to use the feedback from the workshop to design new protocols for people with psychosocial disability to access NDIS funding.

Rise Mental Health Coordinators Nina and Emma went along too. Nina said it was a fantastic day out.

We turned up and had valet parking, plus they put on a great lunch, so everyone felt like royalty! But the real reason our clients were there was to give their feedback. And it was great for them to be heard, and to help others in the future.

It was made clear to us that the feedback would be taken on board and used to roll out a national program. Everyone went home feeling really valued and useful.

It’s wonderful for our people to be valued and their opinion heard. What a great day out!

Rise mental health services

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.


ice addict peer work course

Former ice addict Leesa now helps others

Sometimes all people need is a little bit of help so that they can turn their lives around.

This is certainly the case for former Rise client Leesa, who has gone from ice addict to assisting others.

Leesa and her story

Leesa was originally diagnosed with post natal depression after the birth of her first son in 2001.

Her depression excelled following the birth of two more sons in 2010 and 2011, along with drug addiction and domestic violence in her marriage.

In 2012 she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, post natal depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder.

My drug addiction excelled further and I was in denial. In August 2013 started my recovery of addiction, however I handed my children to DCP in December 2013 due to their father and myself being unfit.

All of 2014 I worked with multiple organisations to help better myself as a parent and to understand why I had an addiction and all these ‘medical/mental illness’.

A turn for the better

It’s around this time that Leesa was put in touch with Rise.  Leesa had a house through our Supported Landlord Service.

She received support from our psychosocial support workers and also took part in our Peer Work Course. This is for people who have lived experiences with mental illness who want to help others.

At the beginning of 2015 my two younger boys returned home to me. Throughout 2016 and 2017 I have been on the school P&C and been the Auskick Coordinator for the boys’ club.

Yes it has been tough being a single parent with a lived experience, but with that I have been able to help get early intervention for my boys suffering PTSD, ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder).

I am now four years clean, starting a new role with PCYC Ice Breakers Program to help pay forward to other addicts and families.

I’m thankful for the support Rise gave me in encouraging me to go work with my passion.

What a great story of Leesa turning her story around and now being able to help others!

Rise mental health services

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

Rise celebrates Christmas in style

Rise has been getting into the festive spirit, celebrating Christmas in style!

Rise Christmas

There have been lots of activities happening all over Perth for Rise clients.

Here are some highlights:

Our Mental Health team had an end of year BBQ in Bassendean. More than 30 people enjoyed a sausage sizzle, biscuits, and a chance to meet other people. There was also a spot of fishing had in the Swan River!

Some of our clients visited Santa’s Magical Kingdom! Jason, Stefano and Johnny live in Aubin Grove and travelled to Burswood for the special Christmas event. The night was filled with magic and wonder as the guys enjoyed the food, fun and festivities of the night.

Our young people at Peter Anderton Centre in Forrestfield put on a show for friends and family. The group sang two songs and performed two belly dancing routines. There was plenty of punch and nibbles, and a slideshow showing photos of all the fun we’ve had this year!

Those who attend Creative Arts by Rise in Warwick enjoyed a Christmas lunch last week at Greenwood Hotel! The group celebrated a fun year together. They also presented coordinator Skye with a beautiful card made by clients and signed by all, wishing her all the best for her new baby. All the best, Skye!

You can see more pictures from our Christmas fun on our Facebook page!

Rise services

Rise provides services for the aged, youth, people with a disability and those facing mental health challenges. For more information visit the website.

Homeless connect

Rise helps homeless connect to services

Rise has been helping the homeless connect to essential services in Perth.

This week Rise was part of the Homeless Connect Perth event in the city.

Homeless Connect

The event is a partnership between Volunteering WA and the City of Perth. It is a one-stop-shop of services for homeless people.

Homeless Connect brings together volunteers, government, community groups and businesses. They provide a range of free essential services to people who are or who are at risk of homelessness.

This includes

  • accommodation assistance
  • counselling
  • legal advice
  • free GP, dental, podiatry and optometry services
  • financial counselling
  • free shop facility with food, clothing, and toiletries
  • personal hygiene – haircuts and showers)
  • meal service
  • sporting and arts activities.

The Rise Mental Health team was involved in the event and had a stall. Many of the people we support are at risk of homelessness.

Mental Health Service Coordinator Nina Martin said it was a wonderful day out for everyone.

There was such a buzz at our stall and it was great to see so many people helped. We handed out mini toiletries and had the chance for lots of meaningful connections and sharing information about our services.

Rise helps the homeless

This year Rise staff helped to collect items which were handed out on the day. Keryn from the Mental Health Team was part of the Essentials for Women campaign.

Donations of new women’s underwear, sanitary items and toiletries were collected and handed out at Homeless Connect.

For the first time, some of our clients across the mental health and youth divisions benefited from the donations.

Keryn said she it was the second year she had been involved. She was impressed by the number of donations from Rise staff.

Thanks again to everyone who donated items, with so many essential Essential for Women goodies helping our clients.

Essentials for women

Rise services

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.


Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week full of colour and fun

Mental Health Week 2017 was full of colour and fun as Rise took part in several events.

Rise has a Mental Health Team who support people to live a great life.

During Mental Health Week Rise was at many events, talking about our services and promoting ways to stay healthy.

Mental Health Week

The week began with a stand at Midland Community Mental Health. Here there was a big focus on the importance of peer work and mental health recovery.

On World Mental Health Day, Rise sponsored a Celebration stall in Forrest Place. It was a colourful stand complete with giant Jenga, fresh flowers, fake grass and a wellness activity.

Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health Deborah O’Neill stopped by to learn more about Rise and all that we do. We spoke to hundreds of people over the day and we hope our stand made them smile.

Zoo visit

On Wednesday our Mental Health Explore Group took a special visit to Perth Zoo! This event was generously funded by WAAMH. Support worker Kerryn said it was a great day out for both the staff and clients, with the weather holding out.

The highlights were definitely the elephants and the meerkats. Some of our clients hadn’t been to the zoo since they were kids. The longest was 25 years for one client!

Mindfulness event

Rise staff focused on being mentally healthy by having a mindfulness session. Many staff really appreciated this and the mental health team will do this together once a month going forward.

Rise staff also joined Midland Community Mental Health for lunch, where some of the team won prizes in a raffle. There was a speech from the Psychiatrist at MCMH focusing on recovery and how we all need to have hope in our recovery journey.

later in the week we also had a stall set up at St John of God in Midland where again there was a lot of interest in what we do. What a busy week!

Rise Mental Health

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

Rod Thiel Mental Health Week

Student takes part in Mental Health Week

A student currently on a placement with Rise’s Mental Health Team is excited to be part of Mental Health Week.

Mental Health Week runs from 7-14th October and Rise is taking part in several events.

Peer Worker course

Rod Thiel attended an information session about our Peer Work course last year.

He said he started the course with little knowledge about peer work or mental health.

The facilitation and group discussion made it a wonderful learning environment.

This course gave me the knowledge and motivation to go on and study for my Certificate IV in Mental Health.

During my studies l was able to refer back to knowledge gained during Peer Work course which reinforced my understanding, allowing me to apply these principles to new learning situations.

Mental Health Week

Rod has been helping us man stalls as part of Mental Health Week. He said he was looking forward to meeting new people and providing information that could help them.

Currently l am doing my work placement with Rise which coincides with October Peer Work course commencing. This will allow me to attend the information day being on hand to answer any questions and generally chat with those attending.

If someone had said to me 12 months ago l would be here now, l would have said ‘not possible’, but here we are.

Rise Mental Health Services

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.

Rahul Seth Pioneer program

Support worker Rahul nominated for pioneer program

A Rise support worker has been selected from hundreds of applicants to take part in a social pioneer program.

Outreach support worker Rahul Seth began working for Rise in January.

Rahul helping people

Working for Rise’s Mental Health team followed a career change from chartered accounting. Rahul had a strong desire to help people so studied a Certificate IV in Mental Health.

I get satisfaction from helping people improve their lives on a daily basis. I also like empowering people to go on and do things that make them happy. It’s very rewarding.

Social pioneer program

Rahul was recently selected to take part in the Foundation for Young Australians Young Social Pioneer Program (YSP).

With around 400 applications to the national program, Rahul was successful in the shortlist round, and then made the final 60.

This group of 16 to 30 year olds will take part in discussions over east between September and November.

Rahul also has a 1-in-10 shot at winning $10,000 prize money to develop his initiative.

He said this would go towards expanding his support group, Perth Active Depression Support Group, which began in June 2016.

Mental Health Service Coordinator Nina Martin said she was proud of Rahul’s achievement.

Congratulations Rahul you have worked so hard with your groups and are deserving of this achievement and opportunity.

Rise Mental Health

Rise provides a number of mental health services. This includes individual support, peer support and housing. For more information click here.