I never thought I would make it to 18.
For as long as I can remember, mental illness has been a big part of my life. At 15 I recognized something was wrong with me. Just getting out of bed and going to school was a difficult task.
I met a pediatrician who told me I was working too much and that everything was fine. A few months passed and my struggles became unmanageable. I began to self-harm and shut people out.
I’m a separated, 37 year old father living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and chronic depression.
Growing up, I was abused mentally, physically and sexually by people I thought I could trust.
Mental illness controlled my life until I asked for help following a suicide attempt 10 years ago.
Growing up as a girl of Jamaican descent in a predominantly white community, I had a difficult time in school and at home.
In grade 7, my family moved from Ajax to Whitby. Leaving my friends behind was difficult. My anxiety and depression controlled me so much that I began secluding myself. I was feeling so many emotions that I didn’t know how to release in healthy matter and I began to self harm.
I went to high school and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) offered a mental health summit for select students to attend and I was chosen.