Paul’s story.

Published

July 30, 2021

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Social isolation is a crippling feeling.

Paul Camilleri knows this all too well.

Diagnosed with bipolar in 2001, Paul has battled the stigma attached with mental health for most of his life.

“I’ve always felt a bit different than other people,” Paul said.

“I was bullied a lot at school. And I was the outcast in my family growing up.

“And this caused tension, which came across as disappointment.

“After my diagnosis, people stopped reaching out.

“I used to go out walking my dog just to interact with others,” he added.

At his lowest, Paul found himself homeless, living in a friend’s shed for seven months.

Bad financial decisions and a workplace injury left him with little savings and income.

After reaching out for support, Paul was placed in transitional housing.

He has since found a public housing property and has used Uniting services to connect with people in his community.

Now the 54-year-old is turning his attention to helping others.

“I’m the best I’ve been ever,” he said.

“I’ve developed a newfound confidence and I’ve realised that I’ve got a voice and if I speak up, hopefully I can help others.”

Paul recently completed a course in public speaking.

When Paul was approached to speak at the Uniting Vic.Tas Winter Breakfast in May 2019, he didn’t hesitate.

“I’d like to be a stigma warrior and break down some of the barriers people face because of mental illness or disability,” he said.

“Everyone has a place and deserves to feel like they belong.”

You can support the most vulnerable in our community. Donate to Share Sunday now.

Related News

A little over a year ago, Cindy found herself with extra time on her hands and decided to make the most of …

National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday through to Sunday) to celebrate …

Uniting Vic.Tas fully supports the decision of the Tasmanian Government to raise the minimum age of detention to 14 years. While this …

At just 20 years old, Yasmin made the courageous decision to flee from Somalia with her two-year old son. Arriving in Australia …

“The voice for children that don’t have a voice”, is how Kris describes his role as an Intensive Family Support (IFS) Worker …

There are lots of reasons to start your career with Uniting. For Charmaine it was finding that work-life balance. Having worked as …