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‘Empowered’ Rhys, working towards a better life following Young Adult Program

Rhys 19, was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder aged 9, with the severity of his depression and anxiety escalating when he was 14.

Rhys was referred to a psychiatrist in 2018, whom informed him about the inpatient program at The Hills Clinic. He decided to admit himself to the Young Adults 3 week inpatient program because he felt ‘unsafe in the real world.’

“I admitted myself for 2 reasons, to keep myself alive, as well as to provide me with the safest space possible to work through the monstrosity that is my mind and work towards a better life.

“When I started the program, I was so relieved to start getting better after living on the edge of suicide for 5 years. The staff were very comforting and all the other patients were very friendly.

“The program helped me in many ways. Being in hospital allows your medication to be altered at a quicker rate so that plays into it. The set schedule around sleeping and eating was great, but I found the therapy groups were what really helped me. With the right mindset, I was able to unpack the years of bad thinking patterns and how to best change them using the strategies I learnt in therapy.

Since finishing the program Rhys has been much better. “The most important message I’ve taken from the program is that the only one who can fix your problems is yourself. That might sound harsh but even if your problems aren’t your fault, you’re the one suffering from them. I find this really empowering.

Rhys saw an increase in peers struggling throughout the COVID lockdowns. “People had a lot more free time to be thinking and for many, thoughts that enter their head can be terrifying.

Rhys’ advice to anyone struggling with their mental health is; “It gets better, it just takes work. There are still days where I struggle but it’s far from where I was when I was struggling every day. Depression, anxiety, bipolar, they are called mental ‘illness’ for a reason. They are treatable. They can get better.

Click here for more information about The Hills Clinic Young Adult Program