Estrella’s journey from patient to mental health advocate

Stories | April 5, 2024

Had you asked Estrella from the Philippines what her future looked like five years ago, she would never have guessed that she would have been thrown into a situation where she needed care from others, or that she would become a person supporting others in need. But life is unpredictable and that is exactly what happened.

Estrella has survived both a stroke and a motorbike accident. She has been left with a physical disability and mobility challenges which has made her feel anxious, depressed, and discriminated against.  According to Estrella, it was through the support of her family and her unwavering faith that she got through the most challenging period in her life.

Fast forward five years, Estrella is now the president of a local community group supporting people with disabilities in the Philippines. Having experienced mental health conditions herself, Estrella can relate and empathise deeply with the families she supports who are dealing with mental health conditions.

A turning point in Estrella’s journey was her involvement in a community mental health project supported by CBM Australia. Working through a local partner, this project aims to support local service providers to improve inclusive community mental health services and outcomes for people experiencing mental health conditions, as well as their families.  

Through this project, Estrella has been able to participate in several trainings which have given her a deeper understanding of mental health and relevant issues, including mental health policies and protecting the rights of people with disabilities. These sessions have equipped and transformed Estrella into a capable and qualified service provider, enabling her to pursue her passion for assisting individuals with mental health conditions.

Estrella has come a long way in her journey of healing, wellness, and service. She is now one of the service providers for almost 500 recorded patients with mental health conditions in her local government area.

Estrella standing and smiling

Image caption: Through training, Estrella has gained the confidence and skills to effectively manage mental health cases in her community.

CBM Australia would like to thank our implementing partner for their support in this project.

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