David has suffered with depression for more than a decade; that’s a long time. It took years for him to receive an official diagnosis and even longer than that for him to understand that depression is a serious condition that affects both mental and physical health.
It wasn’t until he was in his mid-20s that David began receiving the support he really needed. In 2014, he first encountered the services of Nextt with the help of a staff member from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). David vividly remembers the day his NDIS caseworker took him to several different disability service providers near his home, so he could choose which one he liked best.
He remembers the staff at Nextt gave him a pamphlet detailing the skill building program they offer, but mostly he remembers how the staff made him feel.
I was most relaxed talking to Nextt staff and after thinking about things for a few days, I decided they were the right fit for me.
David knew he needed support to become the best version of himself because for a long time he’d been drifting.
I was kind of lost and didn’t know where I was going.
At Nextt, David found what he was looking for. During the initial meeting and assessment period, David’s Program Supervisor encouraged him to learn more about his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, which she thought might provide David with a framework for understanding why he viewed the world a bit differently. She thought it might help him understand why he sometimes had difficulty with his social, emotional and communication skills. She was right, it really helped.
This proved a good starting point and together they created a comprehensive list of goals for David. At the top of this list, was David’s aspiration to live independently and in late 2018, after four years of hard work, he achieved his objective. With the support of his Nextt team, David has also ticked off many other significant achievements along the way.
Nextt provided the toolkit, but David has done all the hard work.
I’ve noticed how advanced I’ve become over the last few years. I wouldn’t be able to speak like this to you if it wasn’t for Nextt.
Nextt also encouraged David to learn how to play lawn bowls. He had been a lifelong fan of the game but lacked the self-confidence to give it a go. David is now a skilled and happy member of the Ocean Grove Bowling Club where he plays with his friends most Tuesdays.
They’re such great people… I’ve made great friends. I feel like bowls has really helped me get out there and develop a social network. They treat me like a normal human being which is what I’ve always wanted.
With support, David is also recovering from substance abuse and has just recently celebrated 12 months of sobriety.
Nextt has helped me figure things out…together (we’ve) worked on solutions. I have a wonderful quality of life now, I’ve come a long way.
It certainly hasn’t all been smooth sailing. There have been some difficult and dark days. David is in no doubt that Nextt saved his life.
I’ll never forget that.
David clearly remembers Christmas 2017 for all the wrong reasons. He was self-harming and as he says, he had hit rock bottom.
Nextt got someone to come (and see me) on Christmas day. They went above and beyond to make sure I was OK. It was very overwhelming. The one thing (the staff) are all doing great…the thing they all have in common is that they care about my health and wellbeing and they want what is best for me.
David has a fantastic support network coordinated by his team at Nextt including an occupational therapist, a psychologist and a general practitioner who all understand where he is on his journey.
He has new goals now, including being open about his sexuality. He also wants to increase his fitness and is determined to keep improving in all areas of his life.
Overall, Nextt has been the best part of my life. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without their support.
For more information about how we can help you take the Nextt steps toward a fulfilling and independent future, please call us on 1300 369 568.