Personal Stories

Personal stories highlight the experiences of people just like you. You’ll find stories from people who experience mental health or substance use problems, people who support a loved one, and people who work in mental health or substance use fields. They share their own experiences and perspectives, and describe their personal journeys to understanding, health and well-being.

  1. Fighting 'Roadblocks' on My Way Back

    Brian Felstead Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), p. 24 I want my children and my life back and I'm willing to fight for them. I've been homeless on Vancouver's North Shore for the last five years. Two ...

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  2. Leonard's Story

    Leonard Larsen Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), p. 23 My journey through the mental health system began when I was 12 years old. My mother died, and I took an overdose. There was sexual abuse in our family by my fat ...

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  3. Living on the Edge

    1981 to 1991 Lindy Ruth Cunnington Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), p. 23 For the past year I've been working as a volunteer at a homeless shelter here in the Okanagan Valley. When I help people, I remember my ...

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  4. Living With Bekele

    Recovery and relationships in a small family home Medr* Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), pp. 18-19 My wife and I immigrated to Canada as newlyweds so that we would be able to provide a better life for our future fam ...

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  5. Recipes for an SRO

    Maggie* Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), pp. 16-17 There is an unexpected knock at my door, this December day in 2006. It's my brother, who I haven't seen or spoken with in a year. He has quite literally b ...

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  6. Life on the Streets

    Jon Mercier Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4(1), p. 15 I've been on the streets a lot in my life. In my early teens I ran away from home. Now, at the age of 23, I find myself back on the streets for something I nev ...

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  7. Ryan's Story

    Kerry Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(7), p. 23 My son Ryan came to a tragic end by suicide on January 13, 2002- just 12 days shy of his 27th birthday. He was, by that time, suffering from crystal methamphetamine addic ...

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  8. From Experiences to Actions

    My life as a consumer single mom Dawn Brossard Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 15-16 I feel that, in a sense, I’ve made it through. I am entering a new phase in my life: middle age and becoming a willing gran ...

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  9. Why Did This Happen?

    Witnessing tragedy Brian Chittock, DBA, CFRE Reprinted from "Trauma" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3(3), pp. 16-17 Vancouver's Celebration of Light fireworks festival will never be the same for me again. The memories I have of July 29, 20 ...

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  10. Quitting

    A journey to compassion and song Rene Rey Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3(4), p. 19 I began smoking cigarettes at 21 years of age, when I won a few packs in a poker game. For the next 20 years I chain smoked two and a ...

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