Accessing help is hard when you don;t fit the stereotype – professionals with mental illness

An honest and insightful look into a difficult domain. Thank you, Jeanette Purkis!


I work full time in the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra. I have done this since 2007. I have a very good income, an education and a mortgage. I wear suits to work. Money is not an issue for me and has not been an issue for a good while. I also have a severe mental illness.  When I moved to Canberra in 2007 I decided – after years of seeing a psychiatrist – that I would access my medication through a GP and not find myself a psychiatrist. I had been ‘well’ for many years at that point and imagined that I would continue to be so into the future.

Fast forward a few years and I had a year of stresses. Firstly I applied for a promotion at work and was successful. For some reason I became extremely anxious about the application and the anxiety took on a…

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