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Christal and Carmelo gain confidence thanks to Partners in Recovery (PIR) program in NSW

Carmelo (left) and Christal (right) both found helpful support for managing schizophrenia via Partners in Recovery program in New South Wales.

Christal and Carmelo come from different backgrounds, but they experience the same mental health issue, schizophrenia.

Christal, who is 33-years old, finds it difficult to manage day-to-day tasks such as walking, communicating and eating due to her condition. Before she became involved with WISE Employment through Partners in Recovery (PIR), a program that provides wide-ranging support services to people with a long-term, persistent and severe mental illness, she was very isolated, depressed and heavily reliant on her Aunt, Rose.

With the help of the WISE PIR program, Christal has seen enormous improvement, she now feels more confident and likes to help around the house, she takes daily walks and also spends more time with her daughter. Her Aunt Rose has also been able to increase her own quality of life as a result of the care organised by Rachel, Christal’s Support Facilitator.

Christal explains that the assistance from the WISE, PIR program has changed her life.

“I used to be extremely isolated and wouldn’t socialise outside of a small circle of people I know. The WISE PIR program has helped me become more independent,” she said. 

Her Support Facilitator, Rachel, describes her as a more motivated, happy and strong lady now.

Similarly, Carmelo has had a diagnosis of schizophrenia for 25 years. He was referred to the service by Housing NSW due to concerns about his well-being and a potential risk to losing his tenancy. His Support Facilitator, Mitra, remembers how nervous and anxious Carmelo was when she first met him.

After receiving support from the WISE PIR program in a number of ways, including being referred to a mental health nurse, receiving a sim card for his phone, learning how to use a phone and having someone to talk to and guide him when issues arise, Carmelo has changed his life around at the age of 50.

Carmelo goes to Mitra when problems arise and they work together to solve the issue.  He keeps his home and garden tidy, has the confidence to exercise again, and is living a meaningful life with his diagnosis.

“I’m not as worried, I wish I had this support 25 years ago,” he said. “The family think I’m ten times better and they can’t believe the change. I can now call them using my phone.”

Carmelo believes that the transformation in his life is thanks to the support he receives from services such as the WISE PIR program, regular therapy, and a change of medication that is better suited to him.

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