Five years ago, Bob* was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and spent nearly a year receiving intensive clinical support at Baillie Henderson mental health hospital. At this point, his whole life changed. Not by choice, he was relocated to Toowoomba from the South Burnett, separating him from his family and community.
Bob’s driver licence was taken off him due to medical reasons. He became too unwell to work and due to medication and idleness, he became obese. Like many people who experience a lifechanging illness, Bob had lost so many essential aspects of his life.
Mental health recovery is not about a cure. It is about regaining volition, renewing identity and acquiring strengths through experiences. Bob is on a recovery journey and TASC National is walking this path with him.
Through Bob’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, a TASC National Support Coordinator has been able to assist Bob with acquiring a medical waiver for driving. He is now able to drive independently to visit his family in the South Burnett and does so once every three months. This has become a very important part of Bob regaining his identity and improving his social connectedness.
The NDIS has allowed Bob to work with an exercise physiologist and occupational therapist to regain his driving skills, become more independent at home and lose some weight. Bob now feels empowered.
People with a disability deserve the same rights as everyone else and that includes going on a holiday. During a six-day holiday this year, Bob will go four-wheel driving in the sands of Fraser Island, enjoy a river cruise and experience the Reef world Aquarium on the Fraser Coast. This is the first holiday that Bob has been on since experiencing mental illness. The next step for TASC National's Support Coordination is to assist Bob to achieve his goal of securing employment in landscaping.
Thanks to the NDIS and Support Coordination through TASC National, Bob can begin to live a 'typical life' again!
(*not their real name)