July 2, 2021 | Alberta
Mental health is something that affects many of us – some of us are more open to talking about it, and others prefer to keep to the confines of solitude when dealing with some of the emotional and psychological ups and downs.
Meet Nicole – one of our Addictions & Community Services Worker students who has been battling a number of mental health conditions since the age of fifteen. Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a number of eating disorders, Nicole hopes that by sharing her story, it might inspire others to deal with and overcome their own mental health struggles.
Three and a half years sober, Nicole is a recovering addict who realized the effect that substance abuse has on mental health. From alcohol to recreational drug use and prescription pills, Nicole voluntarily decided checked herself into rehab at the age of 19. It took two attempts to be successful, but since the age of 21, she is clean and has not dabbled with any of these addictive substances.
“My mental health right now, and over the past six months has been amazing. I really owe it to CDI College and the program I’m in,” says Nicole, Addictions & Community Services Worker student.
Nicole admits that even after becoming clean, mental health is still a struggle and she continues with regular treatment to address her binge eating disorder and other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Nicole shares that her continuous recovery is a combination of regular therapy sessions, taking the right medication, and fueling her body with nutritious food. She also talks about her support system and how they have been imperative to her recovery and ongoing mental health journey.
Nicole currently volunteers at the Vaughan Recovery House – an inpatient, rehab centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario – which focuses on therapy, classes and skillset. On her way to being an addictions counsellor, and although she is not quite certified yet, Nicole has formed close relationships with all of her clients and continues to share her story and life experiences. A psychologist or a psychiatrist – as helpful as they can be in providing treatment – aren’t usually able to provide their own life experiences and relate to client needs as much someone who has battled their own mental health and addiction issues.
Having being diagnosed with BPD and overcoming her suicide attempts, Nicole truly believes her purpose in life is to bring attention to mental health issues and help others in need of the care she was able to receive.
“For eight years, I really didn’t know who I was, says Nicole. “But now I feel like I’ve found my purpose in life.”
Nicole reminds us to ask for help when we need it and have the courage to speak up: “Try and try again. There is no magic pill to overcome how you’re feeling. Also, you might be surprised at how supportive the people in your life can be.”
Help CDI College increase awareness about mental health and promote the #CDICares about Mental Health panel video conference that will air on July 15, 2021 by tweeting about it: https://ctt.ac/XF73H.
ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:
BC Mental Health Support Line: Call 310.6789 (no area code). This number will connect you to your local BC crisis line without a wait or busy signal, 24 hours a day. Crisis line workers are there to listen and support you as well as refer you to community resources.
Alberta Mental Health Helpline: 1.877.303.2642
Alberta Addictions Helpline: 1.866.332.2322
Telehealth Ontario: 1.866.797.0000
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1.833.456.4566 (24/7) or text 45645 (4pm to 12am ET).