Just a few months ago I moved into a new role at Ontario Shores.
I now work as a Peer Support Specialist supporting patients throughout different points of their recovery journey. It’s quite different than previous roles I have had in my career. I am still helping people, but in a much different way.
It’s very freeing to be in a group setting with people who have all experienced mental illness. Our diagnoses are often different and our situations individually are unique, but there are common elements we can all relate to.
It’s heartbreaking for me to think about it, but my children may have to walk in my shoes one day.
They are still very much babies at the moment, but as they grow I will be watching them closely. Mental illness runs in my family and the possibility they will have their own struggles at some point in their lives is the biggest reason why I participated in the #5in5 series on #MindVine for National Mental Health Week.
I get emotional just thinking about that possibility.
It has taken time for me to become comfortable with everyone at Ontario Shores knowing about my life living with mental illness.
I have been a mental health nurse for more than 10 years and I have worked in almost every area of the hospital at one point or another. But, I have not made a habit of sharing my story with everyone.
My friends in Occupational Health at Ontario Shores know my story. They have been my rock throughout my career and have always been there for me. They have played a huge role in my well-being and I am forever grateful for their support.