GenWhy? fills a gap

GenWhy? founder Amanda Stephenson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d440860
GenWhy? fills a gap
GenWhy? founder Amanda Stephenson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        d440860

GenWhy? was founded in 2009 by Balcatta resident Amanda Stephenson after her own battle with depression and fruitless attempts to find support.

Ms Stephenson was diagnosed with depression when she was 27, beginning a sequence of events she described as the hardest and most frustrating process she has ever been through.

�My friends and family were a great support but it was very difficult for them to really understand what I was going through, which added to the burden of experiencing a mental illness. �I felt isolated, alone, frustrated and the only person who was going through something like this.�

Ms Stephenson began seeing a psychologist, regulated her sleep, exercised and ate healthily. She was willing to do anything to get better.

�Eventually after making some really good friends I started to tell people about my depression,� she said.

�But I really wanted to find other people just like me I could talk to, people who would really understand and relate.�

Her search for people in a similar situation went unrewarded until a column she wrote appeared in a Perth newspaper.

Ms Stephenson said she was inundated by people just like her sharing their story, people who had also been searching for the same thing.

It was at that point she realised she was not alone and she needed to do something to fill the gap in services.

And so GenWhy? was founded.

Since 2009, with initial seed funding from WA Charity Direct, Ms Stephenson�s support group has become a self-funded charity.

Meetings are chaired by a qualified psychologist and offer participants the chance to meet other people who are experiencing similar issues. For details phone 9364 6909 or visit www.depressionwa.org.