Maddie - Volunteer

Maddie's Story

Maddie is a volunteer at the Ontario Shores Drop-in Centre. She was inspired to volunteer by a visit to her high school by the Talking About Mental Illness (TAMI) Coalition of Durham.

Text Transcript

Maddie: Well, I started volunteering at Ontario Shores because when I was in high school the TAMI project came to my school to speak about mental illness and other mental health concerns and John Dick spoke to us and I just fell in love with his story and when I found out that he was affiliated with Ontario Shores I just really wanted to be a part of it somehow, so I thought volunteering would be a good start and I'm loving it so far.

What I'm loving about Ontario Shores is basically just whole thing - the facility, the staff, the patients. It's just a very friendly environment to be a part of. You literally can't walk down the hall without at least three people saying hi and getting a smile from them, so it makes you feel nice to be a part of it.

One patient in particular that has touched my heart - even though it's really hard to choose because there are so many and they are all so nice - one in particular that stands out to me was a person that I met on my orientation day. I met him out front when I was waiting for my ride to come pick me up. He was asking me if I was new to Ontario Shores and what I was doing there so I was telling him about how I just completed orientation and that I wanted to be a volunteer here. He was asking me where I wanted to volunteer in the facility and I didn't know yet because it was just orientation and I didn't know where volunteers could volunteer here.  So he actually suggested the Drop-In Centre because I had said that I wanted to be able to meet a lot of the patients in the facility so he suggested that to me and it really meant a lot to me because I love the Drop-in Centre and I have been able to meet a lot of people.  So he definitely stands out in my mind the most.

I would really encourage other future volunteers to volunteer here because it's just an overall friendly environment. The facility is beautiful; the patients and staff are wonderful and it's an overall great place to volunteer.

Narrator:  One in 4 Canadians is affected by mental illness in their lives. For more information about mental illness or Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences visit