Phyllis was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and received treatment at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores). Throughout her recovery at Ontario Shores, Phyllis participated in many activities, engaged in central recreation and built friendships with staff and patients at the organization. One of her fondest memories was the opportunity to showcase her musical skills during a karaoke contest.
Phyllis: When I first came to Ontario Shores, um, I wasn’t well, and I’m feeling a lot better now. I became ill with obsessive compulsive disorder a long time ago, you know, so I’ve been through the psychiatric system for quite a while, and I can honestly say that being at Ontario Shores is the best experience out of all of them.
The nurses on PRB really made me feel at home and it was really easy to integrate with everybody there. There’s the recreational centre and they have the … well, for me, it started off with the Karaoke Idol contest. And I ended up going to that, which I didn’t think I would. I like to sing and dance.
Phyllis (sings): Lost and insecure. You found me, you found me. Lying on the floor. Surround me, surround me. Why’d you have to wait? Where were you, where were you? Just a little late. But you found me, you found me.
Phyllis: People that have emotional disorders suffer because the outside people, out there, don’t understand. We’ve got to work on getting people out there more aware about what it is, and it shouldn’t be a stigma because it’s like breaking your leg or your arm. The brain is part of the body, right, and anything can go wrong.
You know, my parents … I’m very grateful and lucky to have parents at this age; they’re both eighty-seven years old. But I know when you have a child that has an emotional disorder, it’s, you know, a whole different ball park, and they’ve gone through as much hell as I have over the years. But when I saw them on Saturday, they were … they just were beaming. They said, “You look so wonderful!”
I guess with every experience you have, you remember something. I’ll have a lot of great memories. And it’s not just the nurses. It’s Andy at the information desk, and Jordan. It’s John with the video camera. It’s Andrea being so kind and nice and … it’s a lot of people. The people at the recreation centre. It all made for my recovery, you know. And I’ve really grown as a person. I think I’ve really grown and I’m very grateful that … that there are places like this.
Narrator: One in four Canadians is affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. For more information about mental illness or Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, visit ontarioshores.ca.