Finding work and actually keeping the work has been difficult for me. It was especially difficult in the lead up to being diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 27. At work I would either overdo or under do things. Part of the problem was also the lack of judgment from employment professionals who were supposedly trying to help me. They either overestimated or underestimated my ability to work. Finally in later life I found both good professionals and good disability support agencies that got my work capability and readiness right. Being given the appropriate doses of medication for my illness also helped.
The welfare system in Australia has been under review. The final report of this review has been released. It makes many suggestions for changing the system. This includes reducing the number of payments. Eligibility rules will also change. Five payment types are recommended. They include a Carer Payment and a Supported Living Pension. There are some good ideas in the report. But not everyone receiving welfare needs more encouragement to find work. Often the problem is that there are not enough available and accessible jobs. It is now up to the Australian Government to decide what changes it will make to the welfare system.
Bobby Bajram has had severe Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since he was 15 years old. Over the years it's been his strength of will that refuses to give way, despite relapses of the auto-immune disease. Last year Bobby climbed to the top of Nepal's Kaa Pattar peak. It was the result of his attitude, strength and training. When he was 20, Bobby was an MS ambassador for two years. Now aged 46, he is preparing for Mount Everest, his biggest challenge yet. The haul to the top is a test for him in both mind and body.
“Still Alice” is a recently-released movie about a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It tells the story of university professor Dr Alice Howland. The disease causes memory and thinking problems. Alice is ashamed of the effects the disease has on her. The movie is based on a novel by Lisa Genova, whose grandmother had dementia. Alice is realistically portrayed by Julianne Moore who has won many awards for her performance, including an Oscar. “Still Alice” is a sad movie that offers little hope to those with Alzheimer’s.
Seeing MS is an innovative project that launched in 2014. It aims to make visible some of the hidden symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Around 20,000 Australians live with MS. It affects the central nervous system. Many of its symptoms are invisible. Through this project, nine photographs were created. Each one shows a particular symptom. An app was also developed. It allows people to put special filters onto their photographs to show what it is like to have MS. This project has had many positive outcomes. People with MS say it’s easier now to explain their experience of the illness.
“The Theory of Everything” is an award-winning film about Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most-known scientists. He is also well known because he has motor neuron disease. The movie is based on a book written by his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking. The movie does not sensationalise his disability. Instead, it shows him and his wife facing life’s frustrations with optimism. Eddie Redmayne convincingly portrays Hawking. Redmayne and the movie have been nominated for a number of Academy Awards. It is a movie for those who enjoy entertaining biographical dramas.