In 2014 I had the opportunity to spend a week at a place called Emmaus Community in Perth. Emmaus Community, run by the amazing Brother Al (pictured above), provides long term independent community living for adults who live with mental health issues. Brother Al was once a fast-living music producer working in Los Angeles. These days he lives quietly and humbly at Emmaus Community where he oversees the day to day running of this truly incredible home that has changed the lives of so many.
It was the first time I had an opportunity to spend time with people tackling serious mental health issues. They welcomed me into their community, their lives and some shared their stories. It was the first time my eyes were really opened to what it’s like to live with mental illness. It was also a great opportunity to hear some amazing stories of hope and change -lives that have been turned around by one humble man.
Spending time at Emmaus Community made me understand how important a sense of family and community to good mental health and recovery is. Brother Al uses simple principles to create miracles: treat people with honesty; show them love; give them freedom and provide a nurturing space to live. It’s truly amazing what Brother Al has achieved through Emmaus Community and a shining example of how mental illness can be better understood and embraced.
To watch the short film I made for Emmaus Community, click here.
To find out more about Brother Al and Emmaus Community, click here.