'It Was a Turning Point'

Jacob needed help.

Struggling with both schizophrenia and polysubstance abuse as a teenager, his mental health was deteriorating rapidly when he hit rock-bottom in November, 2014.

An incident with his step-father led to police involvement which, ultimately, saw Jacob enter the forensic mental health system.


“A lot of times we deal with individuals at their worst,” says Inspector Todd Rollauer of the Durham Regional Police Service’s Central West Division. “Our job in the moment is public safety and we don’t have the opportunity to see people once they have received the help they needed.”

Thanks to Jacob’s willingness to share his story, Rollauer and other members of DRPS are getting the opportunity to see the person Jacob is and wants to be.

During his stay at Ontario Shores, Jacob, through a combination of medication and therapy, has learned how to manage his illness.

“They were really patient with me,” Jacob says of the staff at Ontario Shores. “I learned what my triggers are and how to stay healthy.”

During his recovery, Jacob has been busy rebuilding relationships, including the one with his step-father.

“I go to his house all the time,” he says.

He’s also been making up for lost time in the classroom. Jacob has been earning credits for high school and has his eye on attending college to earn a trade in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning world.

He’s focused, healthy and learning more about himself each day. “I want to work,” says the now 20-year-old. “I want to live a healthy life.”

While he wishes his recovery from mental illness may have taken a slightly different route, Jacob views his interaction with police as a necessary step in his life.

“It was a turning point,” he says. “I needed help.”

From a police perspective, Rollauer says the opportunity to share stories such as Jacob’s is an important one.

“There is incredible value in our officers seeing what a person who has struggled is capable of,” says Rollauer.  “It is very rewarding to see someone healthy and see what they can contribute once they have received the appropriate support.”

- This is one of several recovery stories featured in our 2015-16 Annual Report.