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 year 2018 brought a series of back-to-back losses for Cindy. First, her father passed away in January. Her mother was dealing with her own health challenges. Then, that fall, the family lost Cindy's eldest brother, Jon, when he died by suicide (pictured left with Cindy in 1999).
Cindy fell into a deep depression, taking sick leave from work. She rarely left home or even got out of bed. She felt hopeless and considered suicide.
After finally heeding her loved one's requests to seek help, Cindy was referred to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores). While she didn't know it at the time, that referral would change her life.
At Ontario Shores, Cindy began seeing a therapist weekly. She underwent both cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), and was making headway until she stopped attending her appointments.
After her mental health deteriorated further, Cindy was admitted to Ontario Shores on an inpatient basis in January 2019. For five months, she could focus fully on her recovery. Although her mother passed away during her time in the hospital, Cindy eventually felt able to return to her regular life.
It felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders, she explains. Cindy got an apartment of her own and eventually returned to her role as a grocery store supervisor in the spring of 2020. Returning to work during a pandemic wasn't without its own challenges, but Cindy felt buoyed by the support of her employer and coworkers. The socialization work offers has been helpful during these tough times.
Cindy doesn't think she would have made it here without Ontario Shores. The care she received helped her believe recovery is possible. Now, Cindy says she wants to be a voice for her mother and brother.
"If they were able to get the care I did, I am confident they would be alive today."
We thank Cindy for sharing her story with us. To explore a list of programs at Ontario Shores >>