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No one should ever lose hope.

Sadly, this sentiment is one that our psychologists and counsellors are all too familiar with as they work to provide support for people living with a disability.

This is how Brata Widjaja felt, until he was able to access support from Independence Australia’s psychology and counselling services, provided to him free of charge.

Life Can Change in an Instant

Since acquiring an incomplete spinal cord injury in 2018, Brata’s life has changed dramatically. Losing sensation in his lower limbs and spending more than eight months in hospital, across three different hospital locations, his mental health was severely impacted.

While the physical recovery was attended to by a range of doctors and specialists, Brata’s mental health support fell through the gaps and was severely neglected. That was, until Brata was connected with Independence Australia…

Learning New Skills

“Simply talking to someone new helps to provide a new perspective on life.”

The skills that Brata has learned from the team at Independence Australia have helped him to become more resilient and improved his overall mood, even throughout the stressful period of ongoing lockdowns. He finds he can more easily bounce back with a higher level of mental toughness and a more positive outlook on life.

“We have to keep not giving up, because eventually we will find that a new door will open, even if an old one closes.”

It’s about what you can do

For people living with a disability, feelings of helplessness and isolation have increased since the pandemic forced themto isolate, often to far stricter levels than those who do nothave underlying health concerns. For people like Brata, who in addition to his spinal cord injury lives with a compromisedimmune system and respiratory challenges, the need to isolate has been a serious everyday decision.
Brata describes the counselling support from Independence Australia during this difficult time as being “priceless.” Throughout 2021 he accessed fortnightly sessions with acounsellor or psychologist at no cost to him and from thecomfort and safety of his own home via telehealth.
He believes that anyone who needs help, just like he has needed it should be able to access it, sharing that “the impact it has is huge.” 

Independence Australia is one of only a handful of organisations offering a disability specific counselling and psychology service, so being able to continue offering these programs is vital.

The festive season can be an incredibly challenging time for people living with feelings of isolationor struggling to come to terms with a new diagnosis.

It is only through the ongoing support from our generous donors that we can truly make a difference and give the gift of resilience to those who need it most. Your donation will give meaningful impact to our community.

Know that when you make a purchase through Independence Australia, your money is also enhancing lives. As a social enterprise, shop with us to make a difference in your life and the lives of others in the community.