‘You can’t be strong all the time...’ Dandenong resident encourages others to reach out for help

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

“I know things are going to get better, it’s just really rough right now”, says Chez through tears. Chez was at a point of despair in her relationship – she was worried about how much her partner was drinking, smoking and gambling, and how she felt when her partner would drink too much and yell at her. 

“I couldn’t cope,” she said. “I’m 47 years old and I know so many things, but I didn’t know how to deal with that,” she describes. ‘I’d been single for 18 and a half years before this relationship, but here I was with a partner who was selfish, disrespectful, dishonest and getting nasty. I just didn’t want that.” 

Recognising that she wanted help with her relationship and her feelings, Chez saw an ad about beyondblue on TV, then went online and found beyondblue Connect – a free peer-support service that puts people in Greater Dandenong in touch with mentors. One phone call was all it took to set up an appointment with a mentor. 

“I wanted help for myself – and for my relationship,” Chez recalls. “Unfortunately, I was willing, but he wasn’t.” Chez has since broken up with her partner, but she’s confident she’s made the right decision. “Even though we’re no longer together, getting help was definitely worth it,” she says. Chez’s mentor at beyondblue Connect helped her sort through her feelings, and listen without judgement. 

“We know that people who get help early when they’re struggling with challenging or stressful situations are able to cope better, and they’re less likely to experience mental health problems later on,” says Chez’s beyondblue Connect mentor. 

“The break-up is still fresh, and it hurts a lot, but I know I can turn to beyondblue Connect anytime for help,” Chez says. “You can’t be strong all the time. It’s OK to get help - I’m so glad I did.”

beyondblue Connect is funded by South Eastern Melbourne PHN (SEMPHN) and is part of SEMPHN’s Mental Health Stepped Care. Stepped Care offers flexible treatment and support in line with people’s needs, with the ability to ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ to different intensity support as people's needs change over time. To find out more, call 1800 862 363 (9am-5pm weekdays). 

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