Just a few months ago I moved into a new role at Ontario Shores.
I now work as a Peer Support Specialist supporting patients throughout different points of their recovery journey. It’s quite different than previous roles I have had in my career. I am still helping people, but in a much different way.
It’s very freeing to be in a group setting with people who have all experienced mental illness. Our diagnoses are often different and our situations individually are unique, but there are common elements we can all relate to.
We have all felt hopeless at one time or another. We have all wondered what was wrong with us. We have all had good days followed by bad ones.
The opportunity we have to support and understand each other makes us stronger and the more we learn about recovery the more resilient we become to the challenges we face each day.
Similarly, participating in the #5in5 series on #MindVine for National Mental Health Week has strengthened my commitment to maintain my health and help others do the same.
While it was, at times, uncomfortable being the centre of attention, I am proud to have been a part of creating conversations during National Mental Health Week.
Before I volunteered to share my story I read the patient and family stories on #MindVine that had been published previously wondering what it would be like to open up. I wondered what the reaction would be and if my story could make a difference.
Over the long haul we will have to wait and see the impact. But in the short term I am grateful for the kind words and messages I have received from colleagues, friends and family who have read my stories or have seen them promoted on social media this week.
I hope my recovery journey and my experience as a mental health nurse living with mental illness inspires someone to share their unique story next year.
Katie Enright has worked at Ontario Shores as an RPN for more than 10 years. She is sharing her experience as a mother and mental health nurse living with mental illness as part of our #5in5 series on #MindVine. Each weekday during National Mental Health Week Katie will post a new blog about her experiences in an effort to create conversations and eliminate stigma.