The Shed is a safe, welcoming environment where people can share their stories in a non-judgemental setting. The service assists with mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and connects people to mental health services, Centrelink, housing, legal and therapeutic services. The WentWest Commissioning Team has worked with The Shed for over five years, supporting Western Sydney’s regional objective of improving Aboriginal health.
Jerry* is a mature age Aboriginal male who had been dealing with eating problems, anger management and issues socialising. He was reluctant to talk to a support service worker but did want another man’s opinion on why life was so hard and how he could start to turn his life around. He shared his belief that he is too old to continue to hate life. The Shed provided him with a non-judgemental, friendly space for him to talk.
The Shed began by asking Jerry simple questions about how he was feeling and what made him happy. They then discussed diet, including his thoughts on eating a variety of foods rather than just fast food. The Shed also gave Jerry the space to open up about his anger issues and triggers and provided him with strategies on how to better manage these.
Jerry was not socializing a lot due to his poor self-image, but he was motivated to make a change. The Shed provided tools for Jerry to create a daily schedule so they could support him in looking at changes that would suit his lifestyle and bring him more happiness.
Today, Jerry is eating different foods and is constantly talking about how much better he feels because of his new diet. He now enjoys being more active outdoors which has given him space to reflect on his past anger issues. He is working on having more appropriate responses to challenges. He is a much happier person and is asking for more strategies to change his life. He can reflect on the past month and see that by changing his habits he can change himself for the better.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client
Contact The Shed Mt Druitt: 02 9628 6317
Read more stories from the WW Stories project.