Lisa Forrest talks about her role at FSG Australia and her personal journey, which led her to work in the community services sector.
My name's Lisa Forrest and I'm an intentional peer support worker at FSG. We use a particular model of peer support which involves lived experience and a lot of conversations with people in a way that can value their uniqueness and individualism.
The group that we're working with in the community will be people who were vulnerable or disadvantaged, people who experience mental health issues, in particular.
So, basically I had worked for 12 years, 13 years, in retail and hospitality and I had a breakdown, had a major breakdown in my life. I had a spinal condition, which is a chronic condition, a disability, it is classified as a disability.
I also have my own mental health issues and I really struggled on my journey to overcome the challenges I faced so I really depended on the support within the community to help me overcome and I realised, the one, the biggest thing for me that was lacking was connection and being able to have someone I could identify with and talk through some of the challenges I've faced with, without people wanting to come in and fix and you know and once I got that connection and a mutually respectful relationship, with a friend in my community, I realised how much faster my recovery journey became.
I also knew that I wanted to help people due to my experiences so after my breakdown I decided to change careers, a big change, I wanted to work in community services and assist others to be the best versions of themselves. I believe we weren't born to suffer but I didn't know how to live and thrive in a way that felt purposeful and gave me satisfaction in life and learning all the reasons behind why that was, made me passionate about wanting to work in community sector.