News • 09 Jan 2023

Perseverance and plans to pay it forward

A young woman is watching an educational video on her laptop and listening using ear phones.

Emily* is a young woman who recently completed her high school education despite many challenges, including depression and domestic violence. With support from her school and Open Minds’ Woolloongabba team, Emily is entering tertiary education with a view to pay it forward so that others can share the same hope and perseverance for a brighter future.

Emily said paying it forward means dedicating her studies to youth work or exercise physiology.

‘I want to help kids and teenagers who, like me, are facing challenges with their mental health or home life,” said Emily.

“My goal is to help them navigate challenges so that they can have a better life when they finish school. I can show them there is still hope.”

Emily enjoys being part of a gym group. She believes exercise is an important part of recovery and wants to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all people to achieve their health and fitness goals.

Emily came to Open Minds for support in 2020 experiencing early youth trauma and depression. She had limited self-care and daily living skills, and the impact of domestic violence was disrupting Emily’s schooling.

Half-way through year 11, Emily’s home environment deteriorated, and she had to move out. At that point Emily decided to stop school.

Open Minds Care Leader Madeline said Emily’s support workers Beatrice, Anushka and Anya played a huge part in keeping Emily motivated during this difficult time.

“Emily’s support team made sure she had access to tutoring and treated Emily with trauma-informed care,” Madeline said.

“Emily’s school was very supportive and understanding. They did an amazing job enabling remote learning opportunities earlier this year when Emily decided to reenrol in year 12.”

In addition to supporting Emily to achieve her education goals, Open Minds has supported Emily to do what she enjoys such as volunteering at the RSPCA and having coffee with her cat, Billy*, at cat cafes.

Open Minds is experienced in providing support for clients with previous or current domestic violence trauma. This can include counselling, community access and specialised youth supports. To find out more about our services, please visit our website.

Help is also available 24/7 through 1800 RESPECT(1800 737 732) if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our client.

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