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. Medical Staff and Self-Injury

    LM Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 18-19 Self-injury refers to causing minor or moderate injuries to one’s own body. Common methods are cutting, burning, scratching or hitting oneself. ...

    read more
  2. From Cutting to Creating Change on My Campus

    Amanda Pierce Reprinted from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (3), pp. 20-21 Then I used to cut myself. Daily. Sometimes several times a day. It started in the fifth grade. I felt worthless and ugly, inside and out. I felt as though ...

    read more
  3. Leave Self-Harm Behind

    Packing properly for your mental health journey Amrita Sunner Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 11 When I was four, I had my first panic attack. I didn’t know it was a panic attack at the ti ...

    read more
  4. Cutting Through the Binary

    Self-injury and self-acceptance from a gender-nonconforming perspective Elliot* Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 14 I have been fascinated by pain for as long as I can remember. As a young ...

    read more
  5. Cutting Class

    A mother’s perspective on self-harm  Joleen* Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 17 I recall my girl, prettiest doll ever: blond curly hair, the bluest eyes, her grandfather’s dimples, and a s ...

    read more
  6. Salvation in a Photo

    Disillusionment, self-injury and recovery through a photographer’s lens  Stephan Pawloski, BSocSc Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 23 My story does not begin with a childhood of grief and t ...

    read more
  7. Working with Ayla

    A school counsellor’s story about student self-injury and recovery Nicole Paley, BEd, MA, RCC Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 26 I work as an elementary school counsellor for the Vancouver ...

    read more