4 November 2022

Kenny wished to experience more connectedness and purpose.

Kenny pictured at a park in South Australia feeding ducks.

Kenny, 25, has extensive knowledge about nature and wildlife – and loves birds in particular. He lives with physical pain that impacts his mental health and quality of life. When Kenny’s support worker Mark met him, Kenny was withdrawn, isolated and not engaging in life.

Mark assisted Kenny with appointments and shopping. They also went for walks and drives, and Mark observed that Kenny came alive when he heard or saw birds.

Over time, a trusted relationship formed. 'I am very lonely,' Kenny confided during one of their walks. Mark told Kenny about a mental health program that offered social support.

Kenny took the brave step of attending the induction with Mark, then joined its two photography groups and an art group. Kenny was dedicated and never missed a session - he looked forward to them, even when he was in pain.

Kenny was using his iPhone to take pictures for the photography group. Mark asked Kenny for permission to apply for a small grant for him to purchase a camera. At first, Kenny thought the grant should go to others. After talking with Mark, Kenny realised that a camera would help him use his wildlife knowledge productively, increase his wellbeing, and possibly steer him toward a career one day.

The grant was quickly approved, and Kenny chose a camera that accommodated his accessibility needs. Kenny could now capture even better images, and this has empowered him to recognise his talent for photography.

Kenny had been looking for a connection, and he found it.

Mental Health services

Life Without Barriers offers a number of mental health services in select communities across Australia

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