Bruce. Consumer. Pioneer Clubhouse member. Poet. Budding author

“Everyone is entitled to be happy. If you're not happy in life then things aren't good, are they? You've got to have hope, if you lose hope, then what do you have?”

There are so many characteristics that make up who you are, because your illness doesn’t define you; so tell us a little bit more about yourself. 

I’m a poet. I've written two or three short stories. I'd like to write a novel one day, so you could say I’m a budding author. I’m also a self-confessed football tragic. I had the attributes to become one of the best rugby league players ever but my schizophrenia got in the way between the ages of 15 and 18, a vital time. I took a heavy fall on the field one day and I knew after that that I wasn't going to make it. I’m still very passionate about the sport though. 

How do you think your fellowship at Pioneer has supported you most?

At Pioneer you can just be yourself and no one judges you or anything. I've been able to write poems and stories. I think it’s also helped me with my relationships. You see, I don't think I could have a relationship before, a verbal relationship. I think they taught me how to have a verbal conversation with a female or a male, if you know what I mean.

What changes would you like to see for people living with mental illness in Australia?

Carers that are interested in you, personally, you don't just want to be a number. You want to be treated with respect and dignity. Everyone wants to be, and is entitled to be, happy. If you're not happy in life, then, things aren't good, are they?