Jacinta, a former truck operator, arrived at Mind’s Step Up Step Down service in Mackay at the start of January and recently left with a new lease on life, a career change and, most importantly, hope.

In partnership with local hospital and health services, Mind offers recovery support in sub-acute residential units as an alternative to hospitalisation or to help people with mental ill-health transition from hospitalisation back into the community. Residents can use this service for up to 28 days where they have access to specialist staff 24 hours a day and can participate in one-on-one and group activities to improve their life skills.

“Recovering at Step Up Step Down has been an experience I will never forget – the staff played a big part in that. Having a place where I felt safe and comfortable to be myself and the positive energy and support from the staff helped make my recovery successful,” Jacinta says.

During her stay Jacinta, 28, was encouraged by staff to apply for a Mind scholarship, which provides current Mind clients with up to $1,500 for study-related expenses, such as education fees and books. The scholarship program is designed to improve participants’ employment prospects, help them get their life back on track and reclaim hope and purpose.

Jacinta’s application was successful, and she was so inspired by her stay at Mackay Step Up Step Down that she decided to study mental health.

“Getting the Mind scholarship meant so much to me. Changing careers from mining was not easy but I found my passion was to help others and decided to enrol in a Certificate IV in Mental Health. Getting the Mind scholarship was a sign that this is my destiny,” she says.

“I am proud of myself, it has made me positive and I am looking forward to completing the course. This will be the first time that I have accomplished something, so this means a lot to me. I know that I deserved this scholarship as I am making the right change in my life.”

Once she completes her Certificate IV in Mental Health Jacinta hopes to get a job with Mind.

For more information about Mind support services call Mind Connect on 1300 286 463.

Jacinta has found a new direction