How peer support has helped Tony become an extrovert

Tony has been attending Lorikeet Centre for a year. He says the peer support and recovery coaching he’s receiving have helped him gain the confidence to get out there, socialise, and teach his peers. He says he has become an extrovert, and now hopes to start volunteering soon.

Hi Tony. What prompted you to come to Lorikeet Centre?

I’m single, live in a one-bedroom apartment after moving out of my family house in 2021. I try and keep to myself, and that’s about it. I first started coming to Lorikeet in 2021. It’s a good place, I meet new people. We have different interactions, and we do from artwork to healthy eating. I like the sea and playing pool, socialising. It’s been good.

One of my support workers had mentioned Lorikeet Centre and that it would good as I needed to get more social and participate with more people. So, it’s a good way for me to get out and about and share different experiences because of mental health.

What support have you received so far through Lorikeet?

I’m getting support from MIFWA from a recovery coach, also getting support from a company called Suitsme. It’s used for transportation to appointments or events like go swimming, play squash, gym that sort of thing. My recovery coach organises things for me. Like I go to see a exercise physiologist, so she organised the different things that’s needed. She organised conversations with NDIS. She basically is another support worker that organises my supports basically.

What goals have the peer group helped you achieve?

More social presence. I can handle and sort of more communicate with different sorts of people. Everyone has good days and bad days. But it’s helped me somewhat in the way I communicate and talk to other people. And with my class that I’m doing, it helps me that everyone’s on the same the same level. Which is good.

What motivates you to keep coming back to Lorikeet?

Friends, company and somewhere to socialize, get ideas and give ideas. I also teach Italian a little bit here on Thursdays for about pretty close to an hour, which is good for me. It gives me a bit of self-confidence and I also help the other people too. Just teaching some language how to communicate in Italian, which has helped me sort of instead of being an introvert be an extrovert. So, it got me out and about and doing stuff. The next step would be volunteering.

And I like the events they have. Nice sort of thing for us. It’s good. Sometimes they have a clash because of my supports the way they are scheduled when they have events. But apart from that, it’s good.

Why should others give Lorikeet Centre a go?

Because the mental handicap, or the place to meet and meet different sorts of people, like some of the guys that I’ve been talking to before, that’s the reason why they’ve come here, the same platform as I’ve been. You don’t want to be self-isolated and being by yourself all the time. My peers make my day full, and we share common interests. So it’s good to have that peer group that you can share sometimes. Maybe share depending on the situation and just conversing past the day as well.


About Lorikeet Centre

Lorikeet Centre has been supporting people living with mental illness for 27 years. The centre is underpinned by the importance of peers, providing a place for people to go without judgment, and to be set up with supports if they are in need.

Lorikeet Centre is located at 104 Cambridge Street, West Leederville 6007. To find out more, call us on 9237 8951.

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