‘I wouldn’t leave the house’: Loren’s journey out of despair
BATTLING anxiety and fear, 21-year-old Loren Del Signore was going into a spiral of despair just 12 months ago.
She suffered mental health issues.
She wouldn't leave the house.
But then Loren's dad encouraged her to go to Centrelink, where she learnt about the Transition to Work program.
"At the start I found it a bit challenging to attend appointments and to take care of myself," the Ballina woman said.
"My ETC Youth Advisor was amazing and gave me so much support.
"Just getting up every day and having a purpose made a real difference to how I felt about myself."
But it was when she was offered a job as a trainee receptionist at ETC's Ballina office that her life really started turning around.
"Working is great. Having a purpose is great," Loren said.
"Not having a purpose can really take its toll on you," she said.
"The support from ETC was amazing.
"They just want to help people.
"They helped me finish my Certificate III in Business and get a job as a medical receptionist at Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service.
"Now I have the skills to help my community and I'm so grateful to ETC."
ETC's North Coast Transition to Work operations manager, Sharon Power, said it was a pleasure to see Loren turn her life around.
"Loren has made many positive changes to her life since commencing her traineeship," Ms Power said.
"While working with us she received lots of support such as life advice, work tips and even academic help with her studies.
"She regularly pops into the ETC office now and says hello and thanks us for all the help she received during her time with us."
With her own life now well and truly back on track, Loren has advice for other young people who may be struggling.
"Take care of your future self," she said.
"Look at what you're doing now and how it's going to affect you later.
"Get some support. There are so many services out there to help you... I can't believe how far I've come.
"I've got some goals now and want to start my own business in the future."