She did not expect her darkest days to arrive with the birth of her first child.
She certainly did not ask to become of a voice for mothers struggling with an illness that is often misunderstood and heavily stigmatized.
Tas was admitted into the Young Adults Transitional Services Unit, which focuses on concurrent treatment for alcohol/substance and mental illness for young adults aged 18 to 35 with severe mental illness.
Prior to his stay at Ontario Shores, Tas was living on his own and looking for work. But, he struggled with his mental illness, dealing with paranoia and substance abuse. Tas also had a difficult upbringing. Throughout his teen years, he has struggled with anger and the effects bullying has had on his life. In his early adult years, he also dealt with substance abuse.
Naturally soft-spoken and perhaps a little timid, Crysten has shown a determination that inspires others.
“She’s worked so hard,” notes Donna McAleer-Smith, a Registered Practical Nurse at Ontario Shores who supported Crysten through the Grove School. “She’s very kind and has that silent strength. She’s a great role model.”
Things didn’t always seem positive and promising in Crysten’s world.