Trigger Warning: The content below contains information on mental illness and suicide which some readers may find triggering. If you need support, please contact the Ontario Shores crisis line: 1-800-263-2679.

Navigating my trauma: Chris’ Story

Growing up, Chris experienced abuse – mental, physical, and sexual – from people he should have been able to trust.

The impact was devastating. Mental illness seemed to control him. At 27 years old, feeling unable to live with what had happened to him anymore, Chris attempted suicide.

Chris survived the attempt, and realized that he needed to ask for help. He learned it was okay to feel the way that he felt, and that there was no shame in needing support to navigate trauma. Eventually, he was able to find medication that worked to treat the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic depression.

Today, a father of four, Chris is working hard to get his life back on track in the wake of his experiences – walking the road to recovery, day by day. He works as a server in a restaurant, and hopes to eventually return to school.

While the pandemic has brought additional challenges to his work, Chris remains grounded thanks to his family. “My daughter reminds me that I belong in this world, and that I have purpose,” he says.

Accessing therapy and other mental health resources in the small Ontario town where Chris lives is challenging. That’s why he’s a strong advocate for Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), which provides services for people throughout the province.

“Everyone can be affected by mental illness regardless of their gender, role, or financial status,” Chris explains. “I want to encourage everyone to support Ontario Shores so people can access the resources and tools they need, when they need it.”

By supporting Ontario Shores, you can help more people like Chris get the resources, tools, and support they need to navigate their trauma and walk the road to receovery.

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