How Fernwood's supportive community changed Cassie's life

My mental health journey

"At 19 years old I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a mental illness, and I lost my job as a result of not being able to work at that time. I improve with every year that passes, but time at Fernwood has played a huge role in my recovery.

"Initially I was put on medication and my weight increased from 55kg to around 96kg over time. I have been at Fernwood Petrie since 2013 and it has been a big part of my physical, psychological and social recovery."

My Fernie community

"Joining Fernwood has helped me to manage my anxiety and mental health by providing me with a positive and uplifting atmosphere to do my exercise in. I find both the staff and members are supportive of me and my endeavours. I have been able to try out lots of different things from getting a referral to do exercise physiology, Food Coaching, small group and normal exercise classes. I also enjoy Barre and yoga. 

"The best thing about Fernwood is that holistic health is encouraged and that people in their various stages of fitness are supported. I don't think Fernwood is judgmental and all shapes and sizes are celebrated."

Joining Fernwood

"My sister and mum encouraged me to join Petrie in the beginning and then I decided that I wanted to join. It was at the gym that the enthusiasm from staff and members rubbed off on me and I started to feel very motivated again, after feeling unmotivated for many years.

"There's no doubt that joining Fernwood has changed my life for the better, I'd be lost if I didn't have a positive and uplifting environment to exercise in. I'm becoming a happier and healthier person. Working out at Fernwood and engaging in social outlets has really impacted on my life and mental health in a positive way.

"I've lost 10-16kgs during challenges, I have also experienced benefits socially. I participate in group social activities such as mountain climbing and dragon boat racing and have made friends as a by-product. I lost a lot of my social networks when I developed a mental illness initially and coming to Fernwood has helped me to re-build my confidence in a social sense."

My advice to anyone thinking of joining Fernwood

"Fernwood takes a non-judgmental and holistic approach to health. I would definitely recommend giving Fernwood a go if you are looking for a supportive, positive and uplifting environment with lots of professional services available. It has worked out well for me, and could be just what you need."

If you or someone you know needs support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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