Tommy's story

Tommy's story

Over the past 20 years, Tommy (name changed for privacy reasons) has received treatment for mental health issues in both the public and forensic mental health systems.

He says receiving support and sharing experiences with his peers has been an important part of his recovery.

Tommy says peer-run support groups and networks should be available in all parts of Victoria’s mental health system.

‘One of the best things I did was talking to my peers about similar things that have put us here.

Talking about how the mental illness has affected us and how we got here and all that sort of thing.

I think a peer program would be really helpful for people who are just starting to get unwell to sit down and talk with someone who has been through the system a whole bunch.

You know, if I could sit down and talk to someone and tell this story to someone who is just starting to get unwell, and point out the things that work and what helps and what doesn’t. I think a really good peer program would be very helpful.

If someone could tell me that, when I was younger that if you don’t do this, kiss 20 years goodbye.

Even if you tell someone that if you don’t do this, you’re going to lose 5 or 10 years that you won’t get back. They’re the kind of words that would have got through to me.’

More information

Read more about Roads to Recovery – Building a Better System for People Experiencing Mental Health Issues in Victoria

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