Customer

Stories

 

“It’s just the best!”

As a sponsored professional surfer in her teenage years, Shelise Hunter moved around Australia, predominantly throughout New South Wales.

Shelise expressed that because she was always moving around so much, she found it easy to get involved in drugs and excessive drinking as it was pretty big in the surf communities at that time. Her addictions led to psychosis and a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder at a young age between 18 and 22. Shelise’s numerous admissions to mental health units throughout New South Wales meant that she lost her sponsorship and had to give up her beloved sport of surfing. 

Due to her young age, Shelise did not understand the importance of stability and correct handling of medication. Ongoing mismanagement and abuse of her medication led to a period of depression, where she ended up in Townsville, Queensland.

hiding

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Read more about Shelise' Story
After lengthy periods of admissions, Shelise decided a change was necessary, and made the move into a Level III Supported Accommodation setting. Here, her medication could be maintained, and she could be in a caring, positive environment. In 2016, Shelise was moved to Brisbane and into Clayfield House. A further breakdown resulted in her attending a community care unit that she was desperate to leave. Shelise stated that life improved for her in 2018 when she moved into Greenslopes House in Brisbane. For the first time she was stable and made some great friends. Shelise discussed how important the connections she made were for her own personal growth, as she also began to be supported by the NDIS.

When Shelise was asked to join the new facility at Caloundra House her first comment was – “will I be able to surf again?”. Shelise rang her Support Coordinator that same day and was approved to be one of our first residents at Caloundra House in late 2019.

The Caloundra House Manager at the time mentioned that Shelise had responded well to the environment created within the house, and that her newfound stability and eagerness to engage in the community was very noticeable. Shelise’s supports fit her needs, her medication is stable, she accesses the community with her on-site support workers and attends Waves of Wellness surfing program on the coast. Shelise discusses her time at Caloundra House in one small sentence:
“It’s just the best!

When asked what has been great about Caloundra House, Shelise stated;

“Caloundra House is a one of a kind supported accommodation facility. I think no other accommodation compares. I love the food and care I receive… the supported care staff helped me to find Waves of Wellness, have started me on my fitness journey and have encouraged my interests.”

“Life has been so much better in supported accommodation,” she stated, “I can always find someone to help me through bad days.”

Donalee Woods

“The staff really care, I think most people would really like it here.”

Donnalee was first diagnosed with schizophrenia over 20 years ago.

Having lived on her own for many years with little support she described living on her own with schizophrenia as, “a bit overwhelming and lonely, I was often depressed.” Donnalee felt others, including her family, had little understanding of her illness and that she had nowhere to turn. A long history of depression led to substance abuse and admissions to various mental health wards.

Unfortunately for Donnalee, her living conditions and accommodation provider in Brisbane resulted in her experiencing violence and mismanagement of medication. The accommodation provider that was supposed to help her made her life significantly worse. She explained how she had not made any new friends, and often felt scared, anxious and depressed.

hiding

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Read more about Donnalee's Story

Donnalee moved into Caloundra House in early 2020 where she would be closer to family. At first, she did not engage well or trust her mental health team, other residents or staff, nor did she participate in any activities or community outings. 

However, with the support of the staff and residents at Caloundra House, over time and with gentle encouragement, Donnalee is often seen smiling. She now responds well to her mental health team, and enjoys spending time with other residents, staff and other supports. 

“I am not afraid anymore,” she said, “People here understand me and it’s a really good feeling.”

What excites Donnalee the most is her regular outings to the shopping centre in Caloundra and walks along the beach. The feeling of comfort the support gives her allows her to participate in group and house activities. This is a personal development she is proud of. Her favourite activities are the in-house groups such as art and gardening, house BBQ’s and going out with supports to enjoy new sights. Donnalee wants to volunteer at an aged respite home and recently requested to be enrolled in tie-dying classes that she will be supported to attend.

 

When asked what she thinks about Caloundra House, Donnalee stated;

“It’s great, enjoyable. The staff really care, I think most people would really like it here.”

I get cared for and the beautiful people feel like family. 

Pete and Jayne

Pete moved to Caloundra House in November 2019, to be helped by a Level III supported accommodation facility.

Prior to being in any supported accommodation houses, Pete lived in boarding houses, with no food or medication management.

Pete moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1985 and has faced unfortunate circumstances since. 

After a serious head injury, he was admitted to the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital for a month with bleeding and concussion. This triggered a mental breakdown. He had lost his job, saw a huge decline in his wellbeing and his medication was not being managed correctly.

He was fending for himself and not coping. He was then able to move into Clayfield House. The staff cared for him and ensured he was in good health. Here, he met Jayne, another resident, who is now his partner. 

Jayne moved to Australia from New Zealand when she was four years old to live in New South Wales. She struggled with alcohol addiction and was living with people who fuelled her bad habits of eating fast food and drinking alcohol. She was a mild schizophrenic. There have been some very low points in her life.

hiding

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Read more about Pete and Jayne's Story

“I was a heroin addict in the 80’s,” she said. “It all came down on me all at once as I was pregnant. I had a break down. There was not much support back then especially in Coffs Harbour.” Jayne gave birth to a son.

She originally moved to Clayfield House. Once her son had seen her in there, she vowed to break her habits. She has overcome her addiction and gave up drinking. This is due to the help she receives in the Level III Supported Accommodation. 

“My supports are excellent,” she says.

Pete stated that “[Jayne and I] decided to move to the coast together. We wanted to be by the water.” 

So, they moved to Caloundra House and have said the change has been fantastic. Pete has said that the fresh air is good for him and he “feels like there is no pollution up here.” The relaxing and calming atmosphere of Caloundra House also makes it easier for Pete to get along with others. 

Jayne loves the weather in Caloundra. She enjoys the weekly house BBQ and has found a community which encourages her to make the right decisions about her health and wellbeing.

Since living in supported accommodation, in particular Caloundra House, Pete has been receiving the care he requires. The staff have attended to his every need, improving his quality and outlook on life. Caloundra House has given Pete a second chance at living the dignified life he strives for.

Jayne is very interested in arts and crafts. She paints and creates cards, and it keeps her busy. 

“I’ve always liked painting,” she says. Continuing a hobby can be a helpful step to overcoming hardship and living with mental illness. Caloundra House supports our residents to live independently, continuing to pursue their passions while receiving the necessary care.

When asked what he thinks about Caloundra House, Pete stated;

“I get cared for and the beautiful people feel like family.”