Western Sydney Local Health District mental health consumer says “thank you for helping me become capable and confident in managing my mental health”

Hiro and her daughter

Hiro’s mental health journey began when she was 15 years old. 

After experiencing negative life events that led to an eating disorder, Hiro spent several years going in and out of hospital due to her “mental health challenges”.

It was at this point that she was introduced to the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Perinatal, Child and Youth Mental Health Service (PCYMHS). PCYMHS provide services to children, adolescents and their families with a range of difficulties that help improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Hiro shares with us her personal mental health journey, experience with PCYMHS and wants everyone to know that “you are not alone”.

“My personal mental health journey has been like that of many, with its ups and downs.

I’ve met some amazing people who are passionate in helping improve the lives of others and although I had times when I didn’t engage, especially during my lowest points, I’m forever grateful for these people for never giving up on me.

When you’re not in a good place, it can be hard to ask for help or accept that you aren’t alone. But you are not alone. There are so many services and support persons out there who want the best for you and who want to help you live a life of meaning and hope.

As hard as it can be, lean on those supports because together you can get through times that seem impossible. During my hard times, I leant on the people around me who supported and validated my feelings. This is where the PCYMHS services really helped me.

They helped me with things such as focussing on getting through each day and trying to find things that lifted my spirits, even if it was only for a mere 10 seconds. I found it hard to think too far into the future, so being kind to myself and setting small goals really helped me.

I can say from experience that things may seem extremely difficult, but the recovery journey is so worth it.”

Today, Hiro works as a peer worker and is a lived-experience partner with the Western Sydney Local Health District Towards Zero Suicide Safe Haven and Suicide Prevention Outreach Team (SPOT) services which she finds rewarding as she is part of teams that “can really make changes and a difference to mental health services”.

I am proud of where I am right now with a beautiful daughter and working as a peer worker, both of which I love very much!

I’m proud of how far I have come, what I have achieved and that I’ve been able to recognise that my perseverance toward recovery has really paid off.

I would like to say thank you to the staff and services who have helped me on my recovery journey. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today. You have helped me become capable and confident in managing my mental health, something I wouldn’t have thought possible all those years ago.”

Hiro wants everyone to know that they are not alone and there are many great services out there to help those who need it.

“If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or situational distress, WSLHD has a great service, Safe Haven located at 26 Grand Avenue Westmead. The service is open from Sunday to Wednesday, 3:30pm – 9:30pm. No referrals or appointments are needed and its completely free. The service is open to people of all ages.

The service is co-designed by people with a lived experience and supported by peer workers who are there to listen to you, support you and provide compassionate non-judgemental care.

You are not alone.”