I have been receiving services from Bradfield Park Wellness Centre for just over a year now. When I first called I was actually looking for services to help out my sister and was not sure what the organisation provided. I was given with a few useful contacts for her then I was asked "And what about support for yourself?" Hmmm. Interesting thought. "We run a siblings group which might be a good place for you to meet other people in a similar situation to yourself."
It has not just been me that has benefited from the fantastic services at Bradfield Park Wellness Centre. Also my mother, husband and my sister have also received support. Not to mention that most time I go my little baby comes along with me because often it is just too tricky to get babysitting for him during the day. Never once has this been questioned. In fact it has been accomodated by providing him toys to play with or moving to larger rooms for him to run around.
So along I went a few weeks later not exactly sure about who the Centre is run by, who it caters for, if you pay for services or not, how much service they could provide for me or my sister and the list goes on. I walked out of the first siblings group having just realized that I was not the odd one out. I was not the only one who acts in unusual ways around my family at times. I was also not alone in fearing that I might just have a mental illness all of my own! There were so many similarities in thoughts, actions, feelings and worries about the future between me and the other siblings.
Since that first night I have been to several more siblings groups, a few open seminars, even disorder specific workshops and have frequently called up at times of need to get some expert advice from Mary Ann. When I call I am always greeted by a welcoming and flexible response. It usually goes something like "Yes, I am free tomorrow. Tell me a time in the afternoon that suits you and we can meet." Not only are they responsive but they are flexible too. I am often a little stretched to find babysitting for my little boy so along he comes to our appointments and is given toys to play with or we move rooms so he has space to run around. I always wonder to myself how many services there are that can provide tailored support with the flexibility to capture those moments when you are really in crisis. Bradfield Park does it in such a natural way. Not many!
Bradfield Park Wellness Centre has provided so much for me and my family. I just hope they continue to receive the appropriate funding to allow them to continue and grow to meet the needs of the people in the community.
* The names and picture in this story have been changed.