'I've probably been with Neami since 2005, when they had the one office at Port Adelaide. I was pretty unwell, wound up living in a hostel, I had no finances left and they put me onto Neami. I'd never heard of them before but they've been a good support for a lot of years and now nine years later, I'm married, I've got my own house.
They just sent someone around to see me and help me with doing shopping and doing appointments and gaining confidence and all that kind of stuff. Helping me to believe in yourself that you're capable of doing it, when you don't think much of yourself to start with.
I was a die setter for eight years, in senior positions. I like working on the automatic presses and that kind of thing. You get a sheet of metal and then stamp it out. It’s a bit technical, not too hard though…but that would be going back 20 years since I had a permanent job.
Going back to any kind of school or training is something that I didn't think that I'd ever do again...I'm looking at getting into a course... I like getting dirty and greasy and a bit of exercise at work.
I did Launching Pad and [was on] interview panels for Neami. You get to have your say in who you think was good and who you didn't, your opinion is appreciated. You feel a little bit important being asked to do that kind of stuff, well I do anyway. I'm probably just as nervous as the person getting interviewed but I still enjoy it.
I don't think I'd call myself a great achiever but I've definitely got more confidence and I'm able to do quite a bit more than I used to and a lot more independent.
It's the support that I get better on, yeah, the more supports I've got the better. If I've got supports set up, then more people I've got to fall back on, the better I seem to stay on my feet.
Driving the car, I do that a little bit more by myself now, getting me back used to it. Just driving down to Bunnings, down the road, to doctor’s appointments.
They're your goals not theirs and you can take it where ever you want to really. One of the things, my goals at the moment, is exercise and health, even if it's just going for a walk, taking the dog out.
I'm a bit of a home body, just keep doing little bits to this place I suppose. One of my workers came with me to Bunnings and I got all taps and bits and pieces and we did one of the bathrooms and that kind of thing, yeah I did it myself. Kim went away for the weekend and I did it while she was gone.'
Mark and Kim
We met in a hospital eight years ago, I've got a mental illness too. We built a house first in Andrews Farm and then got married in 2010. Had to move out of that house as it wasn't safe for Mark. Mark didn't feel safe around that area, it was a new area, not an established area.
There's a lot of pressure on everybody, it is, you know a big part of this world, so there's a lot of pressure but the support that I've seen Mark get it just fantastic.
I’ve just seen Mark grow in confidence and do things that he normally wouldn't have done, like driving by himself or going for a walk with a worker.
A Neami worker which would come around and get involved " you've done this" and “that looks good, you've done it all yourself” and “people don't get this far that quick” he really kind of gave Mark a bit of pride to get it all done.
The bathroom, yeah, it was a surprise...a big surprise. It was great, he did a fantastic job.'
Pictured top: Todd, Neami Elizabeth and Mark