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Mind matters: Kerry’s mental health story

Feros Care’s Kerry McKie knows what it’s like to have your life turned upside-down by mental health challenges.

And she knows how difficult and demanding it can be to face those battles, beat the barriers, and find strategies that can help you to live how you want.

Kerry is a mental health LAC with Feros Care. She also mentors at youth empowerment camps, has her own blog, and volunteers with South Australia’s Talk Out Loud Youth Mental Health Services.

Kerry believes the number of people seeking support for mental health issues has been increasing, but so has our awareness of mental health and our motivation to break down stigmas that can perpetuate the cycle of poor mental health in our communities.

Here’s more about Kerry, and the personal journey that led to the services she now offers in the mental health sector.

A personal journey…

Kerry’s energy and determination stems from her own journey.

“When I was 18, I attempted suicide and nearly passed away. My mum was told at that time that I would spend the rest of my life in the psychiatric hospital,” Kerry says.

“I was in psychosis for three months and they didn’t think they would get me out of it. They had tried everything and nothing was working.”

“My memories are quite horrific – my psychoses – I’ve had a number over the years. The best way to describe them would be a horror movie amplified by a million.”

After three and a half months, Kerry came out of her psychoses – but she continues to live with complex PTSD and other traumas, bipolar 1, and anxiety, and has learnt that she needs to employ calming strategies and coping techniques.

“Now, I meditate usually daily usually before I go to bed, I attend face-to-face meditations most Mondays, and I have a place on the verandah that my mum calls my ‘fairy grotto’ with fairy lights, a three-seater couch and couple of recliners.
I don’t usually watch TV.

“I’m in bed by 7.30/8pm every night on work nights and I spend a lot of time with my friends and family – it rejuvenates me. Once I’ve done all of that, I need some ‘me time’ to go and sit in my grotto and chill on
my own for a while.”

Kerry writes a blog post on the Talk Out Loud Facebook page which is published every Friday.

“This week is about exhaustion … it’s a big one. I’m covering that living with bipolar is very much like a mental triathlon, and how it’s perfectly normal to be exhausted.”

Click here to find out more about what Feros Care does in the community to support people with disability to live healthy, connected and fulfilling lives.

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