'Mental Illness is Only One Part of My Life, Not My Life.'

I have experienced a lot of things in my life and because of this I want to help others by sharing my story of recovery and rehabilitation. 

From as early as I can remember, family has been a big part of my life.  Growing up in London with my three brothers, I remember that my family was very open-minded and taught us to see each experience as an opportunity for growth.  I have embraced this idea and I want to pass it along to others that I meet on my journey. When I see others succeed, it gives me a good feeling.  I am always encouraging people to go higher, while also challenging myself to do better.

My parents were very focused on academia, with my father being a lecturer and having multiple degrees and my mother a geriatric nurse her entire career.  I think that’s the reason I became so focused on my own education.  I graduated from London University with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology and two masters degrees, the latest being a Masters of Science in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management.  Education is important to me.

I am grateful that I now have the opportunity to combine these two important things in my life.  I have been placed in the centre of a large family, with everyone at Ontario Shores being my brother and sister.  As a result of my stay here, I am able to pass on some sense of what I have learned to my newly extended family and I try to help them in any way I can. I am happy to share any insight with others on the importance of family, my values, my culture or my illness.

I am a full advocate for the work that is being done here at Ontario Shores, as I have seen it in my own life. I live with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and believe that the team here genuinely cares about what you are going through and your recovery journey.

The journey that took me to this new role began when I moved to Canada to start a new life with my wife and young daughter. Shortly after settling in Canada I started hearing voices, became delusional and having false beliefs. I became a patient through the forensic system.

Being here has really helped me to be well. My doctors were able to get my medication right from early on and that has done wonders for me.  I am a full advocate of mental health psychiatric drugs.  We should let the professionals do what they do.

Sharing my story is a big part of my recovery.  As I work to get well and have hope for my future, I am ready to embark on the next phase of my life and hope to attend a local university soon to complete a post grad certification in personnel management and human resources.  I am looking forward to receiving my first Canadian certification.

I believe that getting well is a team effort and I want to continue working with my team to make this happen.  As I wait to hear confirmation about moving to a group home, I am positive that I can make a meaningful contribution to society.

Mental illness is only one part of my life, not my life. When you have a mental illness, it may seem like doom and gloom and it always seems like a long journey ahead of you, but this journey can be fruitful and have positive outcomes.