Health challenges faced by people in south eastern Melbourne





Ahmed is a 28-year-old refugee who lives in Dandenong. He is experiencing the challenges of schizophrenia and homelessness. The hospital’s emergency department is his first point of call when he is feeling unwell because he ‘finds the nurses and doctors very friendly’ and he appreciates how seriously they monitor his conditions.









Cassandra is a 34-year-old mum from Pakenham. Cassandra cares for many people, including her children who have special needs, and her mother with dementia. It’s hard for her to find time to take care of her own health as she juggles the needs of those around her. Cassandra’s personal challenges include anxiety and being overweight.








Jade is a 34-year-old mum from Frankston who has a complex relationship with prescription and illicit drugs. She is in unstable housing and believes she has Borderline Personality Disorder but is waiting on a formal diagnosis. Jade is well connected to health and community services but lacks support from friends or family.









Nicholas is a 48-year-old man from St Kilda who has gone through several periods of being homeless. Nicholas has been unemployed for a long time and has no support from family or friends. He is currently seeing a psychologist for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has challenges with substance mis-use and gambling, and feels he needs better support. He is finding it hard to change his ways.










Kay is 40 years old, intersex, and lives in St Kilda. They have been diagnosed with multiple mental health illnesses, including an eating disorder. When looking for support, Kay has experienced discrimination, rejection and confusion. They know their situation is complicated, but not impossible.









Sam is a 19-year-old female from Berwick who recently recovered from cancer treatment. The past year has been challenging for her physical health, mental health and family relationships. Sam is grateful for all the mental health support she’s had during her adolescence but is unsure what supports she will have as she transitions to adulthood. Sam hopes that new routines from a university course will help her cope better in the future.





SEMPHN personas combine personal stories and real-life experiences with data from our Needs Assessment to communicate areas of high need in south eastern Melbourne. Each of our personas show the stories of real people and their personal journeys. Our real-lived experience people give their time and stories generously – we have provided them with alternative names to protect their privacy.