I joined the volunteer team at Ontario Shores without realizing how impactful the experience would be on my personal life.
I began volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Gift Shop, Drop-in Centre and at Coffee Hour. The pandemic has had an impact on my own mental health due to the social restrictions, but being able to come to the hospital and share stories with the patients was a great experience that helped uplift my spirits.
I began volunteering at Ontario Shores three years ago without any clear goals of where I wanted to end up or what area I would fit best in. Eventually, I began volunteering in Recovery College which focuses on providing education about mental illness, treatment, passion, hope and meaning.
This is where I began my mental health storytelling journey.
People struggling with mental illness are often getting their story told for them by their family member, friend or a medical professional.
My journey with Ontario Shores began eight years ago when my son was admitted after struggling with mental health problems.
Shane took his own life just one year later.
I was searching for ways to show my compassion for others dealing with mental illness. I decided that the only way to move forward in memory of my son is to bring a positive impact to someone else’s life.