When Michael Clancy bought Archie as a companion bird, he could not have known his own mental health journey would end up helping others, something he attributes to the support he receives from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Michael experiences post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety, as a result of witnessing a tragic incident. He finds it difficult to leave the house to socialise with family and friends or simply walk the dog.
“So I thought to myself, what about a bird?” Michael said. “We got Archie and I can tell you now, as bizarre as it sounds, he gave me a reason to get up.”
Archie the parrot has given Michael companionship and an unexpected new purpose with the establishment of his charity, Parrots for Purpose, which aims to support others living with anxiety, depression and PTSD.
“I could have stopped at Archie and just enjoyed Archie, but along my journey I’ve had some amazing therapists and people assisting.
“Without the support of the NDIS and my therapies, I wouldn’t be here today telling you about this. I’m a living, walking, breathing example of how it can benefit the community because from this, a charity has grown,” Michael said.
With the help of his family, Michael breeds and hand raises Conures, Cockatiels, Quakers and Indian Ringneck Parrots, and matches them to people who have completed an application form and received a referral from a medical professional.
Michael has set himself a goal to give away 50 hand-raised birds, and has recruited foster parents to help raise the chicks.
“I’m not getting carried away, I’m targeting 50 (birds) at the moment, that’s my first milestone to make 50 people really, really happy. And after that, it’ll be the next 120.”
Michael received assistance to implement NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Gold Coast region.
With his NDIS funding, Michael has been able to access a range of therapies including psychology, art therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org.