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Talking mental health & disability EP 28: Lived Experience series - Susan Berg, The Girl Who Lived

In this powerful and moving episode of GET REAL, the first in our Lived Experience series for this year, we are joined by special guest Susan Berg.

At 15, Susan Berg was the sole survivor of a boating accident that claimed the lives of her Mum, Dad and 16-year old brother, Bill. Suffering from survivor guilt, she delved into a miserable life of self-loathing, anxiety and despair. It took Susan decades to learn the tools to heal her heart and find peace and happiness within herself.

In 2015 Susan’s autobiography "The Girl Who Lived", was published. Then in 2017, as part of her ongoing recovery journey - and after 14 months of intense training - she faced her 30-year crippling fear of water and swam the 1.2km Lorne Pier to Pub. Susan is now an ultra-marathon swimmer, training for a solo crossing of the English Channel!

Susan is passionate about helping others overcome personal obstacles and has developed "Dare the Impossible", weekend getaways, retreats and workshops, providing people with the tools for resilience, and inspiring them to heal their lives and fulfil their dreams.

Susan chats with Georgia Symmons - ermha365’s Victorian State Manager of Strategy and Service Transformation - about her life; her recovery; the challenges she has faced; and the ones she is looking forward to in the future.

Susan also shares her thoughts on the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, in particular, the importance of infusing lived experience into every aspect of the mental health system, including the delivery of mental health services and responding to people in appropriate and effective ways.

If you have found any of this discussion distressing, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

To learn more about Susan, her work, and her journey, please visit

For more about ermha365’s mental health programs and services, go to


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