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. Too Proud to Ask for Help

    And not knowing when to ask Ian Chovil Reprinted from "Men" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(5), p. 26 I had an insidious onset of schizophrenia that progressed for nine years. It was so gradual that I lost all my human relationships without an ...

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  2. A Tale of Dysfunctional Child-rearing

    Frank G. Sterle, Jr. Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), p. 24 I always say: too many people who make dysfunctional parents have the most children; meanwhile, many people who might make the best parents decide to liv ...

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  3. Let's Not Talk About It?

    Teaching teens about substance abuse Andy Sibbald Reprinted from "Schools" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5(2), pp. 14-15 In the 1990s, I worked as an alcohol and drug specialist in Inuit communities two to three air hours northeast of Yellowkn ...

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  4. View From the Ruin

    Julianne Kim Reprinted from "Social Support" issue of Visions Journal, 2011, 6(4), p. 11 I came to Canada in 1975 from Seoul, South Korea. I was 19 and too full of bravado to admit anything of the pain, fear and anxiety I felt. I was anxious all ...

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  5. Journey to Recovery from First-Episode Psychosis

    Don't wait. Get help early. Tara and Terry-Lee Marttinen Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 16-17 Tara’s Story Ten years ago, when I was just 15 years old, I began having very strang ...

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  6. A Conversation Between a Mother and Son

    Annie and Scott* Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 17-18 Annie: It took me a long time to understand that Scott was struggling with getting by. I had moved to Edmonton to attend universi ...

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  7. 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. ...

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  8. FRIENDS—has been a friend

    Michelle Anderson Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 19-20 First I feel nauseous; then I think I’m going to throw up. That’s usually what triggers my anxiety attack. I get so worried that ...

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  9. My Path to 'Mental Illness First Aid'

    From young adult with mental illness to facilitator Shannon Ryan, MA Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 23-24 My first experiences living with mental illness occurred in my late teen year ...

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  10. Why Did This Happen?

    Witnessing tragedy Brian Chittock, DBA, CFRE Reprinted from "Trauma and Victimization" 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 ...

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