Mother-of-two Rachel Gill still remembers the moment she was told her daughter needed help for mental illness.
Her world was flipped on its head and the weeks that followed were tough.
“It was very hard to hear that your child requires a long term stay in hospital but I am grateful at the same time that she has the care she needs,” she said.
Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show one in five young people, aged 11 to 17, have either high or very high levels of psychological distress.
Mrs Gill, 47, who lives in Gympie and requested for her daughter not to be named said staying at Wishlist accommodation near the Sunshine Coast University Hospital offered the pair the support they needed.
“When she was admitted I was advised that I would need to visit a few times a day to support my child which was fine by me but it meant I needed to be close by in order to achieve that,” she said.
“I soon realised it was going to be very expensive so I was put in touch with Wishlist where I stayed at the Wishlist House for a week before I was offered this beautiful opportunity to take up this flat that has been donated by an amazing individual to families who need accommodation.”
The Sunshine Coast Daily donated $10,000 worth of proceeds from the first weekly print edition sold on August 27 to Wishlist for Wishlist Centre – which has equated to 500 virtual bricks.
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said she was thrilled to receive the donation.
“These funds will help us immensely as we fundraise to make Wishlist Centre all it must be for patients and their families,” Ms Rowe said.
“We have an ambitious goal of raising $2 million by 2022 and we need all the help we can get.
Wishlist Centre will be Australia’s first facility to offer patient accommodation, primary healthcare and complementary therapies under one roof.
“Wishlist Centre is a unique facility delivering affordable accommodation and crucial support services for patients while they receive ongoing treatment or are transitioning to and from hospital, as well as their families,” Mr Rowe added.
“We know that being close to a local hospital or having a loved one close during or after a medical crisis is critical to enhancing a patient’s wellbeing.”
Wishlist Centre is currently under construction opposite the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and is expected to open in mid-2022.
It will provide accommodation for patients and their families plus wrap-around services such as cancer care services, youth mental health programs, music therapy, laughter therapy to brighten a guest’s stay and so much more.
Mrs Gill said she was grateful for support and care from the charity.
“Although she is a teenager and has greater independence there’s still this need for her to be connected with me and it helps us both to recuperate and to recover,” she said.
Written in part by Eddie Franklin – Sunshine Coast Daily – Full story here.