Jacqui’s story

Jacqui’s story

Jacqui’s experience shows how important it is for young people to have access to services that are tailored for their individual needs.

Young people need specialised support to help them recover from mental health issues, and to ensure they have a safe place to live well in the community. 

Read more about our recommendations for safe and secure housing and tailored services for young people as part of our roadmap to build a better system for people experiencing mental health issues in Victoria


‘If you’re a teenager struggling with your mental health, it’s hard to know where to get help.  

Kids don’t always know how to talk to adults about the way that they’re feeling. 

I was lucky to have amazing support at my school, with counsellors, psychologists and doctors who helped to save my life and keep me safe.  

Without them, I probably wouldn’t have accessed help at all. 

Every school should be equipped like that because the process of getting into services is so difficult. 

I was 16 when I first tried to get help from a hospital, but they didn’t think I needed that level of treatment. They didn’t listen to me properly and they didn’t respect my privacy. 

Young people should be taken seriously, and services should respect that you know yourself and what you’re feeling. 

Emergency departments never seem to have enough staff who know how to help people experiencing mental health issues. Once, it took me eight hours just to be seen by the psychiatric triage nurse. 

When I was admitted to hospital, I found it beneficial. I knew it’s what I needed to do to get past my issues. 

But leaving hospital was also hard. My home wasn’t a safe place for me, but I wasn’t unwell enough to stay in hospital. 

A couple of times I was fortunate to go to step-down facilities, and once my only option was to go to a homelessness service. I tried to talk to housing workers there about issues I was having but they said they weren’t equipped to deal with mental health. 

I ended up back in hospital and while I was there, the homelessness service said I was too much of a risk and I would be removed from their service.  

This left me feeling defeated and stressed because I would have to find somewhere else to live once I left hospital again. 

My recovery has been a long process, I was an outpatient for about two years, but I was lucky because my team recognised that I would need extra support once I left hospital. 

If I didn’t have that extra access to psychologists, I would have been going back to hospital over and over again. 

Not every kid gets that, but they should.  

Now, I have grown to be in a better place and while I still have difficulties, I know how to proactively manage my mental health.  

My faith has been a major factor in my continued recovery, and I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me.’

More information

Read more about our roadmap to building a better system for people experiencing mental health issues in Victoria

Get legal information about mental health and your rights

Get legal information about housing and tenancy.

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