A LITTLE FROM DR WARD
Hi, I’m Susannah,
I am a doctor training in rehabilitation medicine and currently working in the Newcastle area of New South Wales, Australia. I am passionate about contributing to a medical culture that: values and supports the holistic health of the community, including health professionals and health industry staff themselves; values compassion and mindfulness as core therapeutic skills; destigmatises mental illness and fosters a safe, nurturing and healing environment.
In addition to fulfilling my various professional roles, I have a special interest in wellness, mindfulness and yoga, which I speak on and teach. I am also involved in wellbeing research.
Downtime for me consists of beach runs, listening to house music, practicing yoga, and enjoying time with my two Shih-tzu dogs (Bhava and Vibhi) and wonderful husband, Andrew.
I have struggled for years with anxiety and mental illness, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having successfully completed most of my specialist medical training, I now feel safe enough professionally to disclose my personal story in the hope of promoting a societal culture that destigmatises mental illness from something to be hidden, ashamed of and deemed incompatible with success and wellness, to a condition faced and accepted by many people who are capable of being well and contributing to society.
Living with and experiencing ill health and adversity does not make anyone invalid; rather it can be richly rewarding and add meaning and value to living. My suffering has enabled me to experience firsthand being truly unwell and the subsequent journey to wellness. I now know personally the powerful benefits of holistic health interventions, like self-enquiry, yoga and mindfulness. Through experimentation with and consistent practice of such skills, I learnt my way to wellness and I am proud say I live a successful and happy life, on my terms and in a way where I am able to meet my needs, embody my values and contribute to the service of others.
The knowledge I have learnt from my training as a scientist and doctor combined with this personal experience of suffering has provided me with a lived understanding of how and why wellness tools work, contribute to wellbeing & serve as perfect health adjuncts to other medical interventions. I hope to raise awareness of this knowledge and support others to a life of wellness by sharing what I know and continue to learn.
I hope to meet and collaborate with you someday.
Visit Dr Ward’s LinkedIn Page