To create a holistic place of support for people diagnosed with a Life Changing condition or have been affected by a Life Changing event. The 'I'm Still Me' center is for people of all ages a place of calm & support. A place they are still themselves

As a person who's been through 4 major life changing events, loss of husband and sister in law to cancer and loss of close girlfriend to MND as well as a grandson who is living with Type 1 Diabetes I know the emotional support needed during times like these. The person diagnosed and their family are sucked into a Vortex of unknowing, fear, grief,tests, treatments and during this whole time they feel like they have lost their identity and who they truly are. They become known as the patient 'with cancer', their family become known as their 'carers', this shouldn't be how it is. The 'I'm Still Me' center will be a holistic place of calm providing support for people affected by life changing events as well as their families and friends,a place where they'll be known by their names not their conditions, hence why I have chosen the name 'I'm Still Me' The center will have certified and trained practitioners to provide support - sometimes as simply as providing an ear to listen, a hand to hold or provide tools and techniques, such as relaxation methods, for the person to use anytime and anywhere they feel overwhelmed, fearful or need some internal emotional support. I envisage the center to have an outdoor garden for contemplation, an Infra red sauna to reduce the cold and numbness caused by poor circulation, as is common in a lot of chronic conditions and treatment rooms for massage etc. The center will also have a kitchen to prepare meals together and teach healthy cooking and modified menus that may be required, a common room to meet others and share stories for support and which will also double as a training room for yoga, exercise and teaching groups and individuals on methods that will assist them on their journey. Modalities to be provided, as a guide only, are Life Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, Sand Play for children and other methods designed to support and provide relief from the emotions and physical effects that arise from these difficult times. Also provided will be resources such as accountants and solicitors for financial and legal advice if required or requested. Working with associations such as Cancer council, MND Australia etc ensures support and resources are provided which provides people with current research and advice. In addition self contained accommodation could be provided to allow families to have some 'Me time' to plan for the future and allow time together in specially designed disable friendly accomodation. A photographer will also be available to take photos for treasured keepsakes and memories. The most important support people who are going through these situations is time, time to take it all in, time to plan, time to decide on next steps, time for themselves and family discussions, time simply time and support. The 'I'm Still Me' Center will provide this as I know I've been there. I see I'm Still Me' centers as a place that can be replicated nationally and is something that should be provided nationially.

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