Mike’s Recovery from Addiction

Mike shares about his journey seeking help in Toronto's mental healthcare system for recovery from addiction.

“I think a lot of people don’t understand that if you want to live a different life, you need to do things differently…¬†People say, ‘Well, mental health is physical health. If you break your arm you’d go to the hospital. So if you break your head or your brain, you should go to the hospital, too.’ Yes. But that doesn’t mean the care or the treatment of that problem is the same, where you just go, you get it fixed, it heals, and then you move on. For me and I think for the vast majority of people with substance use or mental health problems–which I think they’re the same, though they’re still classified differently these days–it’s not like that. You actually need to change everything you do and how you do it. So that’s what I did… And that’s another problem with the system. It doesn’t support the continued maintenance of well-being and self-care.”

Audio 57:16

A Brother’s Journey With Schizophrenia

Mike shares the story of supporting his brother in finding help for schizophrenia in Toronto's mental healthcare system. The story spans several years, bouncing around multiple hospitals and mental health services, interactions with the justice system, and personal mental health challenges.

“In terms of the hospital and care-giver people–and, again, I acknowledge how difficult it can be–but there needs to be some sort of way for them to take care of themselves so they can provide better, happier care. It’s not ok to just say, “Well, this is a hard job and I’ve dealt with so many f**ked up people that I’m allowed to be miserable or have a grudge or be upset or walk around with my nose down.” That’s not an excuse. That’s not ok. So how can the healthcare providers, individually or as a whole, express a more welcoming, helpful environment? I’m not saying it’s easy, but there’s got to be a way to improve that.”

Audio (1:00:14)