Shannon: Reach out to other stroke survivors. You’re not alone.

Letisha: I think a lot of my rebuilding of myself was not physical but it was really mental and emotional. Because it was at a time where I really needed people and I really needed support, and I didn’t have it.

Kristie: I couldn’t talk to anyone who knew what I was talking about. I just have to try and explain it. But, no one will ever really, fully understand. So, it’s … yeah. I feel like I’ve been left in the dark and had not really any support. I’ve just been trying to navigate it myself. Yeah. It’s been pretty hard.

Kim: It’s so important to be able to speak to other people who are going through the same thing that you are. For your mental health as well as the mental health of the person. The stroke survivor.

Paul: The peer support of the people who have been there, done it, share the same values. They’ve been the biggest value to me. And continue to be.

Michael: You’re amongst your peers, so to speak. You don’t have to explain your deficiencies. You just socialise, you have a joke. You hear other stories. You hear how people deal with these things from their perspective.

Laine: Luckily there was also another stroke patient there. And she had the experience of being 2 years down the track. So again that was amazing. That was just really lucky. And I could ask her questions about “Is this normal? Is this what normally happens? Did you feel like this?” And it was really quite a safe space for me to ask those questions. That I wouldn’t have been able to ask of doctors and nurse and things, cos of lived experience.

Nichola: I would love to think that we can impact someone else’s life, by being vulnerable, talking about our experiences and maybe even just by someone hearing that story, whatever … that they can relate to you. Because we didn’t have anyone that we could relate to.