July 8, 2021 | Alberta
Until last year, Brandon D. had two jobs he loved, and was enjoying life with his partner and their young child. Until things started to take a turn for the worse.
Within weeks, his long-term relationship had ended, and he suddenly found himself unemployed, and living on his own during a pandemic. It was overwhelming.
‘’As I had been sheltered all my life, my perception of depression at that time was very naive, and I had no clue how severe the feeling of being depressed could be. I was consumed by negativity every day, and I was alone,’’ said Brandon.
Understanding and Finding Help for Depression
Caught off guard, Brandon decided to seek information, and his brother provided him with a link to an audiobook on depression ("Hustle Smarter Not Harder" by Curtis Jackson).
‘’Since I never had much interest in reading books, audiobooks were a revelation for me. I learned so much about myself. I thought about the things that made me happy, and wrote a list of things that would make me the best version of myself. In addition to boosting my confidence, that list made me excited about life again,’’ said Brandon.
‘’I used to put my problems on the people that I loved. On the internet, I watched video testimonials of people with hardships, and realized that I was not the only one who had ever felt depressed. That was a huge deal and it made me feel better.’’
Helping Yourself out of Depression
According to Brandon, a mental health support system is essential. That is why he likes the feeling of taking the load off people’s shoulders and steering them in the right direction.
Previous work experience with at-risk youth had already given Brandon the desire to become a special educator, and in December 2020, he decided to turn his life around. After coming across an advertisement for CDI College on the internet, he immediately enrolled in the Special Care Counselling - JNC.1U program at the Pointe-Claire campus.
“COVID-19 had made everything worse. When I signed up for the program, I instantly felt less isolated. Even though the classes were offered online because of the pandemic, I was able to share a very close bond with my classmates. As everyone is called to share their life experiences, and because everyone is open about what they go through, the classes are very rewarding. Each instructor brings something different to the table. They are passionate about what they do, which is essential,’’ said Brandon.
A Positive Outlook for the Future
This past year has been a challenge for Brandon. He’s still living alone, but everything has come full circle.
“I have already completed my first practicum in a group home, and the owner actually offered me a job there. I found that the relationship an educator can build with youth is very strong,” said Brandon.
“Compared to last year, I am in a better position both personally and professionally. At this point, I feel unstoppable, and I believe that many good things are coming my way.”
Help CDI College increase awareness about mental health and promote the #CDICares About Mental Health panel speaker video that will drop on July 15, 2021 by tweeting about it [https://ctt.ac/XF73H].
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