John and Mary's Story*

"We first became aware of Bradfield Park when our two granddaughters, aged 5 and 6, were taken from their mother (our daughter) because of her inability to care for them due to her bipolar disorder. The older child began to suffer from panic attacks and was sent to Hornsby Mental Health. They in turn recommended us to Bradfield Park and we will be eternally grateful to them for their support, care and recommendations for dealing with both children.

They benefited greatly from the various programs which were held during the school holidays. These programs were extremely varied and very imaginative. We have no doubts whatever that these programs were MASSIVELY beneficial to the girls and are eternally grateful to the staff of Bradfield Park for helping them through these very difficult times.

As carers we also received excellent understanding of mental conditions by attending various Forums and other activities accessed through Bradfield Park. These have helped with understanding our daughter's condition and therefore allowed us to be able to help her in many ways which had not previously occurred to us. The Carers Program has also given us many opportunities to socialise with other carers in similar circumstances."

 

 * The names and picture in this story have been changed.

Belinda's Story*

I have had a wonderful 2010 enjoying the various programs I have attended with the Bradfield Park Carers Program. The main advantage has been a much better understanding of Joanna's problems which in turn has enabled me to accept the eccentricities of her bi-polar disorder. The workshop on Borderline Personality Disorder was excellent, as I had always disregarded this element of her mental problem as inconsequential and was stunned to discover that this belief was completely incorrect. 

I must add that the social gatherings have been extremely beneficial to me personally, as I have made two close new friends who have adult children with mental issues and I have found it very cathartic to be able to talk frankly about problems that can make you cry in frustration at times and even sometimes laugh at the more ridiculous things that can happen.  Joanna is still promising that she will come with me to the end of year celebration which will be a very significant achievement as it will get her out of her very small "comfort zone" for the first time in about three years.

A big thank you for running the gentle exercise classes again next year, as it is the first time in MANY years that I have attended exercise classes and enjoyed (and been able to cope with) the program.

* The names and picture in this story have been changed. 

 

Susan's Story*

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Life with Kylie is still pretty much the same. She is out of hospital but I don't see any real changes for her unfortunately. I do see changes in the rest of our family and in particular I feel somewhat more able to manage my own emotions and behaviour. In a nutshell it doesn't seem to make as much of an impact on my day to day life. I know that your support has helped enormously in my journey to get to this stage. I know that the journey is never over but at least I have a better understanding of myself as a result. So thank you!

* The names and picture in this story have been changed.  

Peter's Story*

I've found the programs to be very uplifting and most informative. Experts in their field - psychologists and medical people - have been very generous and forthcoming with their knowledge of mental health issues and have brought us up to date with what's happening in this neglected area. The team at Bradfield Park have recognised the importance of the expression 'Knowledge is Power', and with greater knowledge we, the carers, are in a better position to make decisions which we hope will benefit our family members.

The programs have enabled carers to come together and share in an atmosphere that is non-threatening. The creative activities provide a welcome contrast in our lives. If we are refreshed, then this automatically sustains us in our role of carer. The carer and consumer both benefit.

Another initiative has been the encouragement given by the Bradfield Park team to carers to explore and share their hidden talents. Too often, we see ourselves only as carers. To discover through these programs the many talents we possess is to give ourselves confidence and self worth.

 

* The names and picture in this story have been changed.