For one Wesley Brighter Futures family, an Iraqi family who sought refuge in Australia–the expected challenges of moving to a new country were compounded when the boat they travelled in to Australia sank. The whole family–Zainab*, her husband Kasim* and their two children at the time, survived this traumatic experience but are still dealing with the effects of the trauma.
After arriving in Australia, Zainab gave birth to twin girls, and when Wesley Brighter Futures began working with them, she was suffering from chronic post natal depression, marked by psychotic episodes and thoughts of suicide. Zainab could no longer care for her children and spent her days either in bed sleeping or under a quilt, lying on the lounge room floor. Kasim had to take on all responsibility for looking after his wife and four children.
Wesley Brighter Futures supported the family by enrolling the three youngest children in family day care five days a week, so Zainab could rest and Kasim could attend English classes.
Eventually, Zainab and Kasim separated because Zainab believed she needed to be alone with her children to recover. She started caring for the children, but Kasim continued to visit the home and provide daily support.
Unfortunately, Zainab attempted suicide again and when this happened, her oldest child called the Wesley Brighter Futures caseworker for help. Their caseworker taught the children how to access emergency services and arranged for Zainab to attend counselling for support.
The family has since reunited and continued to be involved with Wesley Brighter Futures, who helped them access a range of services and programs to support them and strengthen their relationships. For example, Zainab attended a Wesley Brighter Futures Stress Management group. Their twelve year old daughter attended several of our groups and activities including, Wesley Brighter Futures Art Therapy, Wesley Brighter Futures Art Group and Wesley Brighter Futures Stay Safe Kid. And, Kasim joined the Wesley Brighter Futures Dad’s group, and with his four year old son they participated in Sing and Grow.
The highlight for the family was their three day Wesley Brighter Futures holiday package at Wesley Vision Valley. It was the family’s first holiday since arriving in Australia and it proved to be a wonderful time for Zainab and Kasim to have fun and relax together with their children.
*Names and image have been changed to protect the identity of clients.