By Theresia Titus
Moving to the Emmaus Community in March this year has had a significant impact on Anna’s life.
The Emmaus Community provides long term independent community living for people of adult age who live with mental health issues.
The Archdiocesan social service agency supports and encourages the independence of the individual to the best of each member’s ability, with thanks to funding from LifeLink, made possible by the generous support of the Perth Catholic community of the Archbishop’s annual Christmas Appeal.
Anna was diagnosed with depression before she joined Emmaus Community.
“My depression stemmed from the fact that I was sexually abused by my father continuously as a young child and it really started to affect me when I was about 17 years of age,” Anna told The Record.
“I became a heroin addict for a few years and then I was on methadone for about 10 years.”
During those times, Anna was married and had two children.
Struggling with depression, Anna said she had attempted suicide several times by taking an extremely large dose of mixed sedatives. Each time it happened, her son found her, called the ambulance, and brought her to the hospital.
The urge to attempt suicide again has gone the since she arrived at Emmaus.
“The last time I did try was about three, maybe four years ago,” she recalled.
“I don’t know what happened and that urge that I had to end my life, thinking I was just a burden for my family, is just gone.”
Anna said she has developed a closer relationship with her children, thanks to the help of support staff at Emmaus, who supplied her with a [electronic] tablet, enabling better communication with her son, who lives in Japan, and her daughter.
“I am in touch with my daughter again, she is coming over sometime next January and I can meet my grandchildren,” Anna was pleased to say.
“When I first arrived here I couldn’t get in touch with my son.
“I didn’t have my mobile phone and I was scared, I wanted to talk to him.
“I spoke to the staff and the next thing I knew, they supplied me with new tablet and showed me how to use it and I have been in touch with my son that way ever since and I feel much better,” she continued.
Anna explained that it took about four months before she finally started to feel at peace with her life, acknowledging her new surroundings, the people and the way her life was starting to change.
“About four months after I arrived, I just wrote down everything I was thinking. I poured my heart out and I felt great after that, it’s like my burden went away and I felt so much better,” she said.
With Anna’s new lease of life at Emmaus, she is also able to experiment with cooking, as well as being able to access public transport to visit the shops or medical facilities when necessary.
“It’s a relaxed place, there’s no pressure.
“If you want to do something, if you have a project in mind, you let the staff know and they will guide you and show you the way,” she said.
“The staff here are caring and kind.
“It’s an amazing place and I think the world should know about this place,” she concluded.
Watch Archbishop Costelloe’s 2018 Christmas Appeal for LifeLink Video by Clicking Here
Click Here to read the Special Edition of LIFELINKS
Donate to LifeLink by Clicking Here