Home' Wairarapa News : August 28th 2013 Contents 24 WAIRARAPA NEWS, AUGUST 28, 2013
Deon has been employed at Breadcraft Wai Ltd since August 2011 and has
become an outstanding team member and an important part of the team.
In the last 8 weeks he has changed his shift to allow more exibility with
alternate products being produced.
Deon continues to improve the team by assisting with sta training at the mixer
end of the production line, and with the help of his team members ensures the
press production is of the highest quality of press tortilla for the country.
Deon likes a joke and at times you can hear him at the other end of the factory
happily laughing while working away and yes, every now and then we do have
to tell him to quiet it down!
Deon is a very happy guy that continues to work at a high standard.
Thank you for your support Deon.
or Tennis, Golf, Touch, Cycling, Swimming etc
Summer Sportacular is on again
book your space and editorial early.
Phone: 06 370 5690
Ads booked by :
IN THE SUMMER ?
L e g
www f c k c /L cyC ick kML
Wai a apa"
A i y L cy C ick k,
102 Li c l R M
More stories, photos and
discussion throughout the week on
Acceptance and care still needed
You are not alone -- you are part of a community and
there are people waiting to help.
Mental Health Helpline: 0508 432 432
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
Family Violence Information Line: 0800 456 450
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 TAUTOKO
Talk to your GP
thelowdown.co.nz youthline.co.nz depression.org.nz
Sadness: ''As far as we've come as a society, in terms of our understanding and acceptance of mental illness,
we still haven't come far enough.''
Harriet' doesn't want you to know
her real name. From experience,
she worries that you might judge
her negatively or have lowered
expectations of her behaviour and
abilities after reading this article.
And that's sad, because you'd
probably like her if you met her.
She's smart, funny, generous
and full of ideas. She's a wonder-
ful mum, partner and friend. She
has also struggled with mental ill-
ness for much of her life, and
that's where the stigma part
As far as we've come as a
society, in terms of our under-
standing and acceptance of mental
illness, we still haven't come far
enough,'' she says.
There's so much misunder-
standing out there and so often it's
seen as a weakness -- something
you just need to snap out of, cheer
yourself up and move on from.
And then there's the assump-
tion that if you're mentally ill,
then you are unsafe somehow and
that you're crazy and unpredict-
able. Maybe you're going to flip
out and start throwing pies and
taking your clothes off. People
watch these movies then expect
that everyone with a mental ill-
ness is just like that.
But mental illness is an illness.
And as with other conditions --
like asthma -- you can manage it.
And as with asthma, different
things can make it better or
worse, but most of the time it's
just about managing the condition
and getting on with things.''
Adverse events or experiences
can trigger some forms of mental
illness, and while Harriet suspects
she has a predisposition to mental
illness, she says being sexually
abused as a child has definitely
impacted on her mental health.
The sexual abuse by my grand-
father started when I was 11 and
it was then that I became a very
good mask wearer,'' she says. It
started with me not wanting to
know what was happening, then it
became not wanting other people
to know. Sadly, the story of a child
being sexually groomed is all too
common. It's haunted me and still
does, all these years later.''
The years of abuse left Harriet
with a cocktail of mental health
issues -- post-traumatic stress dis-
order, depression and anxiety.''
And when the abuse was dis-
covered and her grandfather jailed
for a short period, a whole new
level of distress resulted.
It affected my whole family and
I felt like I had caused them all
this pain and trouble. I was highly
sensitive and even the day-to-day
stuff just got all out of proportion.
I thought if I was gone then it
would be better for everyone.
It really saddens me now when
I hear of young people who have
committed suicide because of that
feeling. Of course they're wrong --
nobody is better off at all, but I
understand exactly how they feel.
It's the lowest of the low and a
hard feeling to shake.''
A stint in a secure psychiatric
unit opened Harriet's eyes to what
her life could be like if she didn't
get help and get better.
When I left, I told myself that
this kind of life was not going to be
my life, that this just CAN'T be
me,'' she says.
This determination, combined
with a supportive family, helped
her to make small steps toward
recovery. Though her progress
was sometimes derailed by self-
destructive behaviours like bing-
ing on drugs and alcohol, the
small steps added up and she
graduated from university, trav-
elled, met her husband and is now
raising a family and running a
That family and business are
also reasons why she doesn't want
to use her full name or put her
photo with this story.
I don't want people looking at
my children and saying, Oh those
are the kids with the crazy
mother.' And to be the face of a
business is hard enough without
generating further anxiety about
how people might perceive me.
Being unwell isn't an active
choice, though you can be active
about doing something about it.
Most of the time I'm doing okay,
and so are the family and so is the
business. I've lived with mental
illness for long enough that I know
when things are starting to go
wrong, and I put things in place to
deal with it.
People are naturally curious
about mental illness, and about
sexual abuse too. I don't mind tal-
king about it and I share my story
with the right people. Sometimes
people are uncomfortable with it.
Some people say, me too'. Oth-
ers think that you can just put it
all behind you. Don't you think
people would if they could, if it
was just that easy?''
While acknowledging that it's
not easy to live with or to work
through, Harriet strongly believes
that abuse victims and those
affected by mental illnesses must
be actively involved in their own
You have to be ready to do the
work -- and it really is hard work,
but it's essential. In some ways it's
probably easier to just stay forever
the victim, rather than do the
work, but that's no way to live.''
Counselling really can help.
Don't be put off if the first per-
son you try isn't right for you, just
keep trying as there are so many
out there. Different people are the
right fit at different stages of your
recovery, so don't stop looking
until you've found the right fit.''
So while it's not her shame to
bear, the stigma of sexual abuse
and the stigma of mental illness
means the damage endures. Talk-
ing to the right people can help.
Talking to the wrong people can
be damaging. Harriet wonders
what your response would be, if
you were to put a face to her
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