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 ...

    read more
  2. When Sorry Is Too Late

    Amanda's story Amanda Johnson Web-only article from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4) "Cow!" Justin shouted at the top of his lungs. "Go graze in the field with the rest of your family," he added. Everyone lau ...

    read more
  3. Perennials

    A survivor and thriver of manic depression Tara Web-only article from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3) One might think that after 3 "nervous breakdowns" it's time to give up. Well, the first one occurred when I was ...

    read more
  4. Nurturing the Fire

    My life with schizophrenia Punkaj Bhushan Reprinted from Storm Breaking, 2002, pp. 64-68, CMHA BC Division I have gone through difficult times like many of you. In my story, I am going to write about my past, my illness, the lessons I have learned and my ...

    read more
  5. One Family's Back-to-School Story

    Reprinted from HeretoHelp media release, August 2004 Heading back to school is tough. It can be hard for everyone — young people and their families — and it’s even harder for British Columbia families already facing adversity… The Robertsons of Maple Ridg ...

    read more
  6. The Varied Faces of Addiction in My Life

    Delma S. Robles Addiction is not alien to me. During my childhood days I became aware that addiction is a vital part of my family tree. I was barely eight years old when I learned that my grandfather's compulsive gambling, womanizing and alcoholism t ...

    read more
  7. Being Out About It

    Bruce Saunders I know an artist who works four days a week at an art therapy studio. He keeps a notebook to keep straight who he's told what about what he does with his time. His family and friends all seem to have different stories. He has revealed ...

    read more
  8. The Consuming Beast

    Michael Catney The "beast" has controlled my life for most of the last 10 years. Sure, there were times of clarity, where I could function normally—hold a job, date, enjoy friends, feel as if I was a contributing member of society and not just a ...

    read more
  9. The Dark Side of the Moon

    Monique Stocker I was 12 years old, sitting on my friend’s bed, when I saw a crow and thought to myself: “Something bad has happened.” Twenty minutes later, my Dad was at the door telling me that my mother had an accident and that he had to take me to the ...

    read more
  10. Little Red Riding Hood in the East End

    Turning her back from drugs Jane Woolfe My grasp has always exceeded my reach. I chastised myself bitterly when I 'dropped the balls.' Drugs softened the pain. Three years ago in the spring of 2003, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Initial ...

    read more