Family Start helps Tiana and Elijah look forward to a happier future.
Tiana’s struggles began when she was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. She spent a few years in and out of hospital but sadly, soon after she went into remission, her mum died.
No one in the family spoke about their grief or struggles, and when her older sister left for university, 15-year-old Tiana stepped up to manage the household.
It’s thanks to supporters like you that we are able to provide wrap-around services to help connect and strengthen families like Tiana’s.
When Tiana was molested by an adult she had trusted, she had nowhere to turn and tried several times to end her life. She was admitted to hospital after one attempt and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Tiana ended up with a partner who hit her while she was pregnant. After being elated about becoming a mother, she was distraught when she lost her child and would numb her pain however she could.
When she became pregnant with her son Elijah, Tiana thought she would feel excited but instead became depressed and worried she would not be mentally well enough to care properly for him. Tiana consulted her GP and Maternal Mental Health professional, who introduced her to Dayspring, a group of mothers who meet regularly to give each other psychological support. Dayspring referred her to Anna, one of our Family Works’ family workers who are part of a Family Start team, for extra support.
Tiana knew at once that meeting Anna could start a new chapter in her life. “From the start she was just perfect. She was empathetic and understanding. She didn’t judge me. She was just helpful in so many ways.”
Tiana learnt good parenting skills by taking part in a parenting programme, and has become more self-aware, analysing her parenting style and learning how her own reactions affect Elijah.
Tiana now wants to help others. She has been accepted into a Certificate in Community Skills course of study – her first step to someday becoming a support worker.
“I’m confident. I’m excited. I have a healthy and happy son. I’m doing something for myself that will also help my son.
It’s a new beginning for me. “