It’s so important to connect with people who just “get it”

Young stroke survivors and their support crew share the importance of connecting with people who ‘get it’ – connecting with other young survivors and support crew.

Some of the topics discussed will get you thinking about your own experiences. If you feel any distress, talk with someone you trust—perhaps a family member, friend, or your doctor. If you need support, information or advice StrokeLine’s health professionals are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, AEST. Call StrokeLine on 1800 787 653 or email strokeline@strokefoundation.org.au. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 44.

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Video transcript

Shannon: Reach out. To other stroke survivors. You’re not alone.

Letisha: I think a lot of my rebuilding of myself was not physical, but it was really mental and emotional. Because it was at a time where I really needed people and I really needed support and I didn’t have it.

Kristie: I couldn’t talk to anyone who knew what I was talking about. I just have to try and explain it. But yeah, no one will ever really, fully understand. So yeah. I just feel like I’ve been left in the dark and had, like, not really any support. I’ve just been trying to navigate it myself. And yeah, it’s been pretty hard.

Kim: It’s so important to be able to speak to other people who are going through the same thing that you are for your mental health, as well as the mental health of the person. The stroke survivor.

Paul: The peer support of the people who have been there, done it, share the same values. They’ve been the biggest value to me. And continue to be.

Michael: You’re amongst your peers, so to speak. You know, you don’t have to explain your deficiencies. You know, you just you just socialise. You have a joke. You hear other other stories. You hear how people deal with these things from their perspective.

Laine: Luckily, there was also another stroke patient there. And she had the experience of being two years down the track. So again, that was amazing. That was just really lucky. And I could ask her questions about “Is this normal? Is this what normally happens? Did you feel like this?” And it was really quite a safe space for me to ask those questions that I wouldn’t have been able to ask of doctors and nurses and things because of lived experience.

Nichola: I would love to think that we can impact someone else’s life by being vulnerable. Talking about our experiences and maybe even just by someone hearing that story, whatever … that they can relate to you because we didn’t have anyone that we could relate to.