For as long as she can remember, Nat Warn has dealt with mental health problems.
Treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Generalised Anxiety have followed her every single day through all the ups and downs of motherhood and life's uncertainties.
In 2013, the Mandurah local was organising fundraising events for Peel Youth Medical Services through her page Wear Bright To Fight Depression, hosting quizzes and bingo.
Nat said after about five years, the fundraising started to slow before the pandemic fully put a stop to things, with financial difficulty affecting businesses and individuals, keeping wallets shut.
But in this time, Nat had created a strong community of online followers of her page, sticking around for inspirational quotes, updates on Nat's different treatments and finding shared experiences in the Facebook comments.
Recently her Australia-wide community reached 25,000 followers.
"I get as much out of it as people say they get from it.
"I feel like I know them because people engage so much," Nat said.
After many unsuccessful treatments trialling a range of medication, having psychology appointments and more, Nat is on a new treatment which is showing glimmers of hope.
Tired of wasting time and money on treatments, Nat took a DNA test that focusses on mental health and suggests the treatments that are most likely or less likely to work.
It was a moment of relief knowing that some treatments simply weren't going to be helpful, and having some new options to try.
TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, uses electromagnetic waves to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
It's a treatment requiring five sessions per week, for seven weeks, and is recently being offered in Mandurah.
With 10 sessions to go, Nat said she was trying to stay optimistic.
"I'm noticing things, but I'm also hesitant, so many treatments haven't worked before and I don't want to get excited."
When asked if she thought the lack of therapy options and available psychologists was a local problem, she said the same problem was happening around Perth, and she was considering moving to an eastern state for treatment.
"It's worse for children too, trying to access psychology for them.
"It's especially hard when it comes to kids, because they're our future. Why are we not doing more to help their future?"
Nat said that she was a passionate advocate for children's mental health.
"If you can understand it more, you can work through it, whereas when you're a kid you don't know what is going on.
"If we can help them now that is benefiting them and everyone in the long run.
"Kids don't get to be kids anymore, they have a lot to deal with."
In an ideal world, Nat said teachers would be more trained in mental health issues. But she said she recognised with an increase in diagnosed learning difficulties, teachers already had a lot on their plate.
She said she hoped programs which can encourage children to accept and learn about their feelings would positively contribute to a mentally healthier future.
Nat said being a mum of three was the greatest joy and gave her life purpose, but she dealt with the guilt of not being an income earner for her family.
"I keep reminding myself that it is a job, and a very, very hard one.
"It's taking some time to deal with, but the most important thing in my life is being a mum.
"I get up every day for them, everything I do is for them."
She said she wished more people talked about the struggles of motherhood, as well as parenting with mental illness.
Being the person that typically holds the family together, while working on keeping yourself together, according to Nat, feels like a full time job.
Nat said she was grateful to her husband and the way they had maintained their relationship through it all.
"I got through it, and our relationship got through it. We've got to communicate.
"You look back and you go, 'How?' but everything I do is for my kids, I've been doing that for 19 years and I'm still doing it, and I really should be proud of that."
Nat said she wished more people knew that mental illness wasn't always visible and that sufferers could still be high functioning.
She noted from her experience and feedback from others that asking for help could be the hardest thing to do.
"Let them know its okay, let them know you're here for them.
"And if you're a person struggling with mental health, accept that sometimes you need to ask for help."
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