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Compass -

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(generated from captions) So, Dad, what now? What now? I'm going to have my cake...

..and eat it. (Giggles) Closed Captions by CSI

? Theme music just a normal thing at first, Well, I thought it was having these voices in my head. I was getting panic attacks One of the things was all of a sudden. and they just come on This is a story all too real in Australia today. for many young men and women and very aggressive I became pretty deluded in general. and lost a very good hold on reality they lose their way completely Too often, and the streets. and bounce between psychiatric wards I was very sad, I must say, In the very beginning, and I was very unhappy with my life, and I must admit that I cried a lot but things have really improved that this has happened. and I'm very, very thankful for these three young men Despair has turned to hope into the world of the mentally ill. whose stories offer an insight They're a part of a unique program their illness, that's helping them manage get jobs and live independent lives. it's about a roof over their heads. But most of all, any other 27-year-old, Ben may look like a terribly distorted world. but inside his head can be have these massive mood swings They call it bipolar because you do and the extreme lows. between the extreme highs still freaks me out a bit, It still freaks me out, because it's not like... It's not like a broken arm to heal. that takes a certain amount of time which I gotta work on It's something for the rest of my life probably. reality was no-one else's reality. Ben was 25 when he noticed his he wasn't all that concerned. At first, a special gift. In fact, he thought he'd been given is kind of there for you. You just feel like the whole world You are the centre of everything sort of, a Christ complex. and there was even a bit of, it feels bad. It's only retrospectively going through it yourself, When you're actually you feel completely indestructible. kind of poetic journey I was kind of on my own creative, was part of that and everything around me and fitted into it perfectly. but it almost feels like I know it happened gradually, that I just woke up one day when I look back on that, and was like, I knew, you know. I knew that big question. I had no doubt in my mind anymore. obviously pretty devastating And it feels amazing, but then that that's not actually true. when you get told you're not doing really good, You don't feel really good, you're actually crazy. will experience mental illness Around one in five Australians in hospital. and many like Ben will wind up Caritas facility at St Vincent's, I was admitted to the the psychiatric hospital. as having a manic episode. And I was diagnosed with bipolar, Oh, I stayed in there for a month. for about a month. I was getting treatment I got discharged out of hospital, Pretty much right up until I was playing a game I kind of felt like 'cause it wasn't a nice place to be. to just get out of there, basically, was just the beginning. But getting out of hospital to cope with. Ben now had a whole new world

sort of two months - I went from, in a space of the secrets of the whole universe I went from feeling like I knew I'd learned absolutely nothing to feeling like from my 25 years of life. That I was completely at square one. sort of... But I was somehow still supposed to a functioning member of society know, be a man or be when I... Yeah, I had these major doubts anything from... whether I had actually learned know, my entire life. Ben's first step out - Medication would be for life. a new lesson he had to learn that has diabetes. It's the same as someone and if you are not diligent You can't help having diabetes if you have diabetes, about taking your medication you don't blame the diabetes for it. then you can get sick but It's your own management of it. (Man singing and playing guitar) his life. Oliver's illness also derailed Oliver had nowhere to live, By his mid-30s, he'd been in trouble with the law. his friends had disowned him and of jail a couple of times. Five years ago, I was in and out I did some really silly things. the clothes that I was wearing There was a stage where I had only like, and I did something really silly, I couldn't be bothered picking it up just dumped all my gear somewhere - some sort of mental thing. 'cause I was going through and all my clothes and everything And I lost all my stuff in hospital. and that's when I ended up So I had nothing. through my whole life I've always thought, like, a little bit strange about me, that there was something especially the hearing of voices. Like, I sometimes hear voices what they're saying to me, and I can barely hear what they're doing there. but they're voices and I don't know at times, They were really annoying me a normal thing at first, but I thought it was just for all those years. having these voices in my head there's a thing called schizophrenia But apparently it's not normal and and I just didn't know. and that's what I had what I was going through, I found it really strange it all started in my mid-30s. and it's probably... to the hospital So I eventually just went up and just asked them for some help. It was quite good in a way that I had a mental illness 'cause they eventually found out and I now take medication for it. different types of medication too. It took me about four or five they found the right one. Eventually that one called Risperidone The first time I was on and it ended up making me worse. like this storm trooper, I'd just be walking around just being a zombie. not talking to anyone, differently. Medication affects everyone And often it takes time to find the right one. I take a certain medication. It's a very new one from Japan and it's one of the best medications I could get and I want to stay on this medication because it helps me quite a lot. It was in 1995, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and it was during the time shortly before I finished my apprenticeship. My father was a professor at the ANU, the Australian National University in Canberra. And my mother is a Japanese lady. My mother got the Alzheimer's disease

and I had many hardships to face at that time. In the early days, Henry found himself struggling to find somewhere to live. Like so many in his situation, he ended up in a cheap boarding house. In the first time, I was very anxious to live there. I didn't feel safe at the very beginning. Very small rooms and I did not have a proper flooring. There were some gaps in the wood where some tiny little creatures - all of Sydney people know them, they are the cockroaches - where they go from the lower deck to the upper deck. I had to spray them most of the time. Also, I'm a very, very tidy person. I try to maintain cleanliness that they won't get into this place. But it was not possible to get rid of them. Henry's fortunes changed when he was referred to the Inner City Housing Project. It's a small, modestly-budgeted program run in Sydney by Mission Australia, a charity, Christian and non-denominational, that helps people in need. The accommodation is crucial to mental health recovery. When we're with clients and they see a terrace house in an average street, we see lights going on about what a stable base would mean, about what a chance it provides them... A chance of something different to what they've had in the past, a chance for a new start, a new beginning. A chance to leave the life that they had before behind and move on in life, get ahead. Mission Australia has six houses in Sydney and manages about 20 mentally ill people at a time. It was into one of these houses that Henry's caseworker offered to place him. Ben was his new flatmate. Weighing up benefits and the cost of a boarding house in comparison to living in a house which has got support and which is actually quite reasonable to rent as well just seemed like almost too good to be true, really. This is my nice mess of a section. Yeah, and Henry has his upstairs computer room. Um, everything should be I like it very orderly. And this is all the files. I try to clean my room as good as I could. This is marine electronics. I like this junk. (Laughs) Ben has lived in this inner-Sydney terrace for two years. Henry moved in just a few months ago and is still coming to terms with Ben's somewhat relaxed attitude towards housekeeping. This house in the beginning was very hard again. It was a new situation so I started to clean up the house. Probably, I have something like a compulsory cleaning disorder, but I clean this house and clean this house and even, I must say, I wanted to convince Ben that he must be very clean too and very tidy and partly persuaded him to make this house very clean. Ben and Henry pay a modest rent - about a quarter of their weekly income and a service fee to cover power bills. And they do their own shopping and cooking. This is just my kitchen where I cook stuff... ..and eat it. Gas stove - very important, very good. I don't really come out here a hell of a lot 'cause it's a bit cold. Every now and then during summer. Since Henry came in, he's been rampaging through it, actually. Looks great. It used to just pretty much just be covered in leaves. Henry's got it looking really nice. I'm pretty laid-back. Oh, let's face it, I'm a bit dirty. And so I don't really mind, you know. I don't mind so much, but it's not such a bad thing to get a bit of a, you know, to get a bit of a kick up the arse to be a bit cleaner, to be a bit tidier. Henry and I are very different people. He's really easy to share with. We're different people, but we're both very respectful of each other's space and each other's way of living. I think the fact that we've both got a mental illness is actually just... I just think that there's just a little bit of solace in it. You're around someone that is going through something which is very similar. Oliver's been in HIS share house for about a year, which accommodates up to four people at a time. The kitchen. Not a bad kitchen, nice, big kitchen for all of us. Yeah, we've all got separate drawers. This is Sagossi's, that's Tim's and this is mine. It's a bit bare at the moment. (Laughs) Living here, I've had a lot more control of my life because it's just a nicer place in general and also it's a big house, it's spacious. Just having a little bit more control over my own personal wellbeing and just how I'm feeling, I just feel a lot more comfortable and a lot more healthier. Being in a nice house rather than living on someone's couch or something like that. It gets to you after a while. And just knowing that, 'OK, I've got somewhere to go. This is my house.' Everyone in the Inner City Housing Project is assigned a caseworker. At least once a week they'll drop by to see how things are going. How are you guys? Good. There's two things on the list, but Tim's just... They help with practicalities, and also help navigate relationships between people who are essentially strangers to each other. How are you going with the washing up? Is there less of it at night or are you feeling comfortable prompting each other? Everyone in the program is required to attend the house meeting. Basically, just to, like any shared house, just deal with the normal sort of shared house issues that come up. Basically, just to try and address things so they don't become a big issue.

The housing scheme also helps those in the program get jobs. I've had a lot of part-time jobs, but the last job I had was unpacking hammocks from a container terminal, so I have those types of jobs. Mainly just labouring sort of jobs. Mainly because I haven't got that much experience. I haven't really been doing much over the years. At the moment I'm just busking, doing my own thing, playing myself. I've written lots of music, and I'm quite comfortable with just getting up every day playing my music and just getting into that. Eventually, I'd like to get into a good solid rock'n'roll band

that plays regular gigs. Ben's been in the scheme for nearly two years, and is now well enough to go back to his previous job as a barista. It's been difficult to go back into work 'cause it... I mean, even now it still kind of takes quite a bit out of me to do. I think customer service, it's not the easiest job in the world, but if you're in the right mindset then it can be really good I think for getting a bit of confidence back. And to be constantly in a job where you have to make, you know, little connections with people and you have to look after people a little bit, then it actually is a really good therapeutic thing.

To kind of know that there's people out there that do things that are a fair bit differently as well makes you kind of realise that maybe, maybe you're being a bit too hard on yourself sometimes. Being depressed and feeling lonely and even suicidal at certain points, a big part of that is not feeling like you have anything to offer

or that you can't be connected to anyone. Quite often I come home because in my job I've got to be personable and I've got to talk to people all day. It can be really good, making you feel less of a freak. Henry is putting his energies into volunteering. Today he's at his local ham radio club. VK100 WIA... I am dedicated geek, a real computer freak and I participate mostly in things like electronic transmissions with radio, amateur radio. I'm a ham. All is going well and it will improve all the time. And I am fighting every day for it, that things will improve further on. And I want to make friends. I want to participate more in the community. Even if it is not possible at this stage to get work as a part-time engineer, I want to participate at the Sydney Heritage Fleet where I am working too,

and to repair some boats, to help manoeuvring ships, something like that. Just to do something. Just to help the people in the community. That's most important thing for me. Ben's time in the Inner City Housing Project has changed his life. He's told his caseworker he now feels confident enough to move on. I've sort of had a bit of a rethink and realised that I think I might go with my sister to India. Ah, OK. At the end of September. The plan is to go overseas for the next up to about a year or so. Go into, like, India and south-east Asia and Europe and South America and have a big adventure. I feel like my journey over the last couple of years, because of my illness, I've become quite good at talking about myself and quite good at constantly thinking about myself. And I really hope that the whole broadening of the horizons will kind of make me a little bit less internal and a bit more external if that makes sense. Henry's on the move too. Hey, man. Hi, Ben. How are ya? I have a nice story. Oh, really? Yes. I've got a new place now to stay. Oh, really? Yes. Whereabouts? It's in Waterloo. Excellent. And it's right in the corner of a bus stop. Oh, I think that's excellent, dude. I think that's unreal. It'll do you good to have your own space. Henry's new home is this one-bedroom Housing Department flat. His move today is an important milestone in his recovery and a chance to set up house just the way he likes. Well, I have to sort things out now and I have to arrange things in a good manner. But I do not know where to start now directly. It's not very simple. When the clients leave the Inner City Housing Project accommodation and move into their own accommodation, we provide three months support in their new community, in their new accommodation to make sure that that tenancy is a success and the client's continuing to build on that solid foundation they have made with the program. Oliver meanwhile has had a tragic setback. Two days ago his flatmate died in the house, and Oliver was the one who found him. I had a massive panic attack when I found Dave. I'm feeling guilty that I didn't do anything about Dave. I didn't give him mouth to mouth or anything like that, but his lips were blue. He had this really full-on... It's like a bruise on his face sort of thing 'cause of the way he was on the ground. His nose was, like, to the ground. It's the first time I've ever seen someone pass on, so I'm a bit distraught today. When one of our clients passed away in ICHP, it was incredibly sad news. We were there straightaway - as soon as we received the phone call, we were there within ten minutes. We were there to make sure that there was somebody to talk to, there was somebody there to share that experience, they weren't alone, that they weren't isolated, that they weren't abandoned. Over 15 years, the Inner City Housing Project has helped around 200 people in Sydney. And almost three quarters have not needed further hospital treatment. I've really sort of gone through a pretty big transformation, actually. It's given me a stable, nice environment to live in during a time when I was extremely vulnerable. And to not have to worry about that aspect of it was just huge. The changes that I've had have been quite dramatic lately and if you met me, like, five years ago, you'd see the difference, you'd understand it's a big change in me compared to what I was like then. If you have a support and you have a stable and a good place where you can live in and where the surroundings and the neighbours are all OK and a good place to stay, then I think the mental health, for me myself - I can talk only from my point of view - has increased and it will increase all the time because I feel in a very stable condition, in a good condition. I feel like I'm sort of just starting. I almost feel like if my life was a novel, that I'm coming up to the end of the prologue and that the first chapter is just sort of starting to start. As much as I'd like to say that yeah, I'm going to miss it heaps, I'm so excited to just, like, begin the first chapter that I, yeah... Like I just can't think of anything better in a sense, you know. GERALDINE DOOGUE: Next week on Compass... Reverend Loy Thompson was once a Catholic nun, but has just been ordained an Anglican priest. THOMPSON: It has been difficult for some people in the Catholic community to come to terms with what I have done. There is something about Franciscan spirituality which I find deeply attractive. Think about it - it's a very odd thing to do in the 21st century. I said, 'Well, in fact, Your Holiness, I'm going to study for the priesthood.' 'You?!' he said. I said, 'Yes, Your Holi...' 'You?!' He then said, 'This is what we call a late vocation.' I said, 'No, Your Holiness. It was an early vocation long deferred.' That's next week on Compass. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI - Jacqui Mapoon 8 *

WOMAN: The telly's even worse! You've got to do something about that aerial. They've charged us interest on the interest. I told you to pay it, didn't I? "Oh, we've plenty of time," you said! Now we're paying interest on the interest. Any chance of a lift? No. Go into the bank and pay it today, and get some money for the plaster cos it's coming this weekend. I thought you were getting a man in. I thought I married one. Put the bacon on about four o'clock, and it's bin day today. That's not an instruction. What? "It's bin day today." It's not an instruction, it's a statement. Put the bin out. Thank you. GIRL: Give us a lift, Dad. Five minutes. If you're giving them a lift, you might as well pick up a cabbage. It's called multitasking. Oh! See you later, kids. DOOR CLICKS I'm up for sentencing now. Sentencing! Not trial. Bleeding sentencing! Expect four years, hope for two. That's what my brief said. "Hope for two!" SIREN WAILS Wouldn't you have done a bunk? Anyone would do a bleeding bunk! If they catch you, though? You what? Well, if they catch you, they'll add time on. Yeah, if I get caught, but I'm not gonna get caught, am I, eh? The only way I'm gonna get caught is through my kids, and, well, I'm not gonna stop seeing my kids. I'm gonna see my kids, and they know that. I'm just gonna have to watch my back, that's all. Er, I'm not being funny, Sean, but could you open a window, mate? I did it all for my kids, do you know what I mean? Once upon a time, you'd be respected, wouldn't you, robbing for your family and that. You'd get respect! Not these days, though. We get trapped, I'm telling you. Do you ever feel trapped, Ed, yeah? Yeah? Feel trapped? Yeah. We're too bleeding responsible, mate, I'm telling you. Yeah. I'll box you off when I see you next, Ed. What? I'm skint, mate. Don't slam the...door. ED: Er, 22 Crine Street? He's coming now, mate. Taxi's here! I were born here, mate. It were posh then. Women out doing their step. You know where we went wrong? No. Letting them in. Taxi's here! Housing associations. As soon as you let them in, that's it. They tin one house up, then another. People start to leave, so they tin their houses up, then they bring in asylum seekers. Why are you bringing in asylum seekers? Cos no-one else wants to live here. No-one else wants to live here cos you're tinning everything up! Taxi's here! Heartbroken, mate. I was born here and I'm heartbroken. In here! It's on account, yeah? Right. In! Here! Yeah, don't, er, slam the... Cheers. EDDIE: Have I got a little sign here that says, "Will listen to anybody, anything," yeah? Have I got another that says, "If manages to speak, please ignore"? (SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (MAN SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Sorry, what? Football. Oh, yeah, football? Do you like football? Yeah? What team do you support? Er, which team, which team do you support? Man-kester. Oh, right, right! City or United? Ci... Man-kester City or Man-kester United? Man-kester City. Yeah! (CHEERS) (LAUGHS) Well done! Aye! Lying bastard. So, that's it there. That block of flats, yeah? Go in there, yeah? They'll sort you out, yeah? Go...go in there, yeah. Through that door there. Go through there, yeah? No, through... Oh, for... What do you mean there's no-one there? You're there! MAN ON INTERCOM: No-one. All gone home. All gone... What do you... Look, I was told to bring him here, there'd be somebody here. 'There is no-one here.' Look, can you just open this gate? 'Sorry.' No, just open the gate, yeah? 'I can't. Sorry.' I don't believe this. Right, I'm gonna leave the meter on, all right?! I'm leaving it on! Come on. Come on! Lesley, who booked that fare to Highdown? Have you got a number for them? WOMAN ON PHONE: 'You have reached a silent accommodation. We are sorry, but there is nobody here at the moment. If you would like...' MOBILE PHONE BEEPS Come on.

SIREN WAILS Problem solved. Oh, I was, erm... I was... Is it your wife and kids? Yours, yeah? (SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Just waiting for that light to come on. The light to come on! Jeremy will be saying goodnight. Paxman, that is, not Vine. She can't stand Jeremy Vine. "And now Newsnight with Jeremy..." If they say "Vine", she dies a little. (CHUCKLES MIRTHLESSLY) Oh, how we enjoy the little disappointments of those we love. I see it! Right, come on!