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.
The defining moment in Robin’s life was when she was hospitalized at the age of 29. She had hit rock bottom, realizing that life wasn’t going in the direction she wanted it to and she was never going to be able to progress without professional help.
As Robin hit her teenage and young adult milestones, she wasn’t able to celebrate and do the fun things that most youth would do — even something as familiar as getting a driver’s license wasn’t possible for her. She would self-harm, had three suicide attempts, and was closely monitored by her parents every day.
Robin lost seven years of her life to mental illness.
In 2017, she was referred by her family physician to the Borderline Self-Regulation Clinic at Ontario Shores.
In this one year program, Robin received Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT),
attended individual therapy twice a week, as well as group skills coaching where she learned emotional regulation, distress tolerance and mindfulness.
“This program has changed my life,” Robin says. “I’m now in a stable, loving relationship and I’m getting married in October 2021.”
Robin is in her first year of the Mental Health and Addiction Worker program at Fleming College, where she will graduate with a diploma and pursue another degree in the mental health field. In addition to her education, Robin has a career as a hair stylist.
“I never put my skills book away – I practice and implement the skills I learned through DBT to this day,” she says. “Living mindfully is huge for me and learning to always be present.”
Robin is now an advocate for other people to seek support and therapy for their own mental illness.
“Mental health and mental illness is a heavy field and it’s important for everybody and anybody to reach out when they are struggling,” she says. “There shouldn’t be stigma or shame around it.”