People with a lived experience of mental illness

  • “As I never participated in such events at school, this was a unique and enjoyable experience. I felt like an ordinary person, unlucky enough to be suffering from a mental illness, yet still capable in other ways, even ‘sane’ enough to offer useful advice and caring support to others. I was touched that my fellow campers believed in me, taking for granted that I could do whatever was needed for the moment. I have not experienced the joy of being connected to others in so many, many years.”
  • “I learnt to fully trust without fear or judgement.  I felt stronger leaving, I learnt to have faith, and on the last day I was able to be roped on to the giant swing… I felt I achieved something that day, and having everyone cheer me on, I have never felt so good about myself.”
  • “Honestly the happiest five days of my life.”
  • “I had a great time at the camp. I felt welcome and as though I was just like everyone else. No ‘them’ and ‘us,’ which doesn’t always happen. It was also the most fun I have had for such a long time. I wish the social part could be there all the time.”


  • “Thank you for the opportunity to attend the Recovery Camp. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would and I have learned so much. Any fear or doubt I had about mental health is gone as camp showed me just how caring and kind consumers can be. I’ve never met a more genuine bunch of people and was surprised at how quickly I felt at ease. I also felt supported by staff and it was reassuring to know you were there if I needed you.”
  • “We get fed a whole load of information about mental health, but nothing beats hands on experience. I found I learnt many invaluable lessons from being surrounded by other researchers, students from different faculties, and consumers.”
  • “I feel that the week away, working hand in hand with the consumers, gave me a better perspective on people living with a mental illness and how that would shape my practice in working with them. Not only that, but I feel I have become a more considerate, patient and understanding person – which for a week-long camp is a huge thing.”
  • “I have learnt a lot from Recovery Camp. I feel capable of being a mental health nurse, I want to be a mental health nurse, and I will be a mental health nurse.”

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