In 2010, Bek sustained a disability after she survived a near-fatal car accident that dramatically changed her life.

Nothing could have prepared me for how my life would change after the accident; I suddenly found myself having to learn how to walk, feed, wash and dress, as well as be a mum to my son Harry.

I underwent months of rehabilitation and countless physical and neurological therapies to regain my physical abilities. On top of restoring my physical health, my mental health was also significantly impacted.

Since the accident, I now live with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and an acquired brain injury. I only have recently begun driving again after not having done so for more than 14 years since the crash, as I have PTSD, which significantly impacts me. It was scary at first, but I have been well supported by my occupational therapist and now feel so empowered. It has really helped my confidence and independence.

I’m proud to say that I am now managing my anxiety and depression with the help of mental health professionals and support networks; I have improved my mental health and prioritised my wellbeing.

I have a life coach, occupational therapist, a psychologist and psychiatrist that I meet with regularly, and I make myself a priority. Walking and staying active helps, so that is why I have pledged to walk 40km during Mental Health Month for One Foot Forward this October!

Taking part in One Foot Forward is a challenge that my son Harry and I love being a part of each year. This October, we’re aiming to walk 80km (Harry has a goal of 40km too!), and we hope to raise $500 to help other people impacted by mental illness.

“Having a diagnosis and accessing professional help was a critical part of my mental health journey. It really was the defining moment when things began to change for the better.”

When I received my diagnosis, I finally understood why I was experiencing emotions to extremes. In the past, it had often felt like I was riding a never-ending rollercoaster, where I had no control. My diagnosis provided me with a positive way of approaching my mental health so I could manage and live with bipolar effectively.

At that time, my clinicians recommended that I establish a day-to-day routine, including exercise, prioritising sleep, as well as taking the medication prescribed to me. Since then, I’ve also learnt how to look for my triggers and how to recognise when I’m heading towards a high or a low, as well as educating my family and friends more. It has been a slow process, and lots of work and trial and error, But through working with my psychologist and psychiatrist, I was able to start repairing relationships, refocus on my education and move forward. Focusing on the future was and is really important to me.

“If I could say anything to anyone currently struggling or supporting someone they love, remember, whatever you are going through or whoever you're walking for, you are not alone.

Harry and I hope to see our community all join together, so we can show the 1 in 5 Australians living with mental illness that they are not alone. 

If you or anyone you know needs help: