Can you tell us about your most stressful experience and how you overcame it?
Experiencing homelessness and having nowhere to call home. I overcame this by sticking to my sobriety, accessing numerous supports and successfully completing my Mental Health Court program.
How does one’s environment affect their mental well-being?
Our environment plays a huge part in our overall wellness. The people, places & things that we surround ourselves with can impact our motivation & interest to get well.
How do you deal with your own mental health?
I see my concurrent disorders clinician & psychiatrist on a regular basis. I use coping strategies, access family & friends, take medication & CBD and continue to be drug & alcohol free.
Do you believe that the stigma around mental health has decreased to a notable extent in your community?
In the Halton & Hamilton community and Ontario I believe great work has been done, but I still believe there is tremendous work that still needs to occur. What may be the reason for this? Community groups, businesses & individuals are speaking out and offering programs to help people feel less alone.
What does mental health mean to YOU?
Mental health is unique to each individual. To me it means having an appropriate amount of sleep, eating healthy, exercising, taking my meds, accessing support, being vulnerable, doing things I enjoy along with my communication skills and setting healthy boundaries.
What are you most proud of in your life currently?
Proud of the man I have become, openly & honestly sharing my story to help others feel less alone.
Why do you think that there is shame surrounding mental health topics?
Because it is most often seen as a sign of weakness.
Why do people refuse to talk about it?
Embarrassment, shame, guilt….to name a few.
How do you express yourself to the world?
I share my story via social media, appear on podcasts & news interviews.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Continue to enjoy life, set long & short term goals, manage challenges & changes in a healthy manner.
What would you want the Revive audiences to know about you?
I love animals, photography & Sports – Raptors, Jays, TFC & Buffalo Bills fan. I have a certificate in Disability Management & Attendance Support from the University of Guelph, along with my Human Resources Management Diploma from McMaster University. I am certified in Mental Health First Aid, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) & safeTalk (Suicide Alertness for everyone). I currently work as a HR Consultant & Account Executive for Calyx Wellness.
Check Out Ryan