ORANGE woman Patricia Stevenson stood proud yesterday and said she has proved people wrong thanks to the help of The O’Brien Centre.
Ms Stevenson has schizophrenia and bipolar and eight years ago was given three months to see if she could deal with leaving Bloomfield Hospital to live in the community.
“The psych nurses gave me three months to go into the community, they didn’t expect I’d last,” she said.
“It’s made me strong as a woman, it’s the positive support.
“I’d be in hospital if it wasn’t for The O’Brien Centre.”
With a tear in her eye and beaming with pride, Ms Stevenson said: “I’ve proved them all wrong.”
At yesterday’s O’Brien Centre open day Ms Stevenson caught up with long-time support person and satellite housing integrated project support registered nurse Margie Totten.
The women have known each other for 26 years since they first met when Mrs Totten was treating her at Macquarie Hospital in Sydney.
She said Ms Stevenson was since assessed and deemed appropriated to come out into the community.
“She’s really blossomed and has a lot of support to fulfil her dreams,” Mrs Totten said of Ms Stevenson.
“I’ve known her for 26 years and I’ve seen her blossom and The O’Brien Centre has given her the tools.
“They’ve give her a lot of empowerment and support.”
The O’Brien Centre is in Orange Health Service grounds and supports people living with a mental illness, their carers and families.
The centre is managed by the Mid-Western Consumer Advisory Group and run by volunteers.
It is open every Thursday and offers music, arts and crafts, a recovery garden, lunch and a chance to make new friendships.
For more information visit www.mwcag.org.au.