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.

Personal stories highlight hope and well-being, not treatment advice. Check out the Self-Help Resources section of this site for info sheet and workbooks, and talk to your doctor or health care provider to discuss treatment options that might be a good fit for you.

  1. Finding a Way Home

    One man's experience with homelessness Jake Adrian Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) Mark Willis is a 48-year-old Polish immigrant. He came to Canada in 1989 seeking a better life. At the ...

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  2. A Mother's Perspective

    Martha Scales Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1), pp. 24-25 My story isn't what you might call a "good news" story. Yet, it has elements of very good news. My 40-year-old son is homeles ...

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  3. The Truth of the Streets

    And my life thereafter... Vance Hughes Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1), p. 25 I've been on and off the streets for eight years. Street life is emotional. It breaks my heart to see very young k ...

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  4. Homelessness—Not Good for My Mental Health

    Aaron Zacharias Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) I had already been through more than my share of trauma, beginning with an abusive childhood. But it wasn't until I became homeless in th ...

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  5. From Rags to Riches in Happiness

    Jessie Tegan Milton* Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) I've never really been free from mental illness. I was sexually abused at seven and developed schizoaffective disorder 1 in my teens ...

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  6. Life on the Streets

    Jon Mercier Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" 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 f ...

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  7. Recipes for an SRO

    Maggie* Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" 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 ...

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  8. Living With Bekele

    Recovery and relationships in a small family home Medr* Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" 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 ...

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  9. My Woman Under Plastic

    Claire Hurley Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1), pp. 19-20 One December Sunday in 1995 I spoke to a shopping cart surrounded by black plastic in a doorway behind a Kitsilano supermarket. “Hi, I’m Cla ...

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  10. Living on the Edge

    1981 to 1991 Lindy Ruth Cunnington Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" 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 peop ...

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