When James came to Fraserside, the conditions of his life were not amounting to the life he wanted.
He isolated himself – living with unhealthy people and not visiting family – despite wanting close relationships. He repeated old habits – excessive drinking and failing to pay rent - despite needing a stable home. He prioritized ‘living in the moment’ – like remaining unemployed and attempting to walk the highway 60 kilometres while injured from a car accident – despite the long-term consequences, such as living off garbage scraps and being admitted to the local inpatient psychiatric unit.
He didn’t know what or how to change, he just knew he wanted his life to be different. So when he was discharged from hospital on condition that he spend an extended leave participating in our Fraserdale program, he accepted the help.
James shares that it took him some time to embrace the program at Fraserdale, a registered assisted living program that supports adults to learn about and better manage their mental health conditions. “At first I was withdrawn and feeling helpless. I got drunk a few times and resisted participating. In the beginning, I had trouble expressing myself to the doctor and to staff. It took me several months until I started to feel comfortable and make friends with the other residents.”
James began taking on leadership roles, participating in peer support sessions, preparing a recovery plan, and learning to express himself. “I kind of held it inside and didn’t talk much before Fraserdale. Now I’m actually able to talk about what happened and how I feel.”
James is now committed to a self-care routine including seeing the doctor regularly and abstaining from alcohol. He visits with his family and now understands their experience of him when he was unwell. “Now, we are closer than ever.”
James now enjoys rewarding, stable work and his efforts have qualified him for subsidized housing. He is also now very active. “In the beginning, I didn’t do anything. I was just stuck in my room. It wasn’t good. Now I go for walks. That really helps me get grounded.”
James’ life today is a result of his vulnerability to open up and his courage to take the steps presented to him. Thanks to the generosity of our funders and donors, we were able to be there for him. He still lives as much in the moment as possible but remains committed to his long‑term wellbeing.
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