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.

A happy life with mental illness: Rachel’s Story

As an environmental services worker at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Rachel is thankful to work somewhere that understands the impact of mental illness.

Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at 29 years old, she struggled to find treatment that worked. Medications that helped others didn’t seem to help her. A few months after the birth of her youngest child, Rachel attempted suicide.

Today, the 41-year-old mother of three manages her symptoms with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), fitness, and mindfulness. Rachel says learning to ask for help was her biggest step forward in living with her disorder. 

“I'm able to resonate with patients I see every day and give them hope they can live a happy life with a mental illness – just like me,” Rachel enthuses when asked about her job. “I see first-hand the great work Ontario Shores does to help patients reach their recovery goals.”

Rachel’s role became especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she worked in isolation for numerous months in full PPE. She was part of a team ensuring all rooms were constantly cleaned for the safety of staff and patients.

With visitors not allowed, Rachel and her co-workers made an extra effort to lift the spirits of the patients they saw throughout the day. “We want to let patients know they’re not alone,” Rachel says. “We are here for them every step of the way.”

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder, Rachel feels grateful to be part of a team that ensures everyone’s mental health is cared for. She hopes to spread positivity when days are dark.

By supporting Ontario Shores, you can ensure people like Rachel have access to the tools and supports and help they need to live well with mental illness.

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Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health

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