“I did not like myself very much and I was lost in my own world of reminiscence. Where, I would delve into pivotal monumental moments and then dwell into deep dark depths of placidity. To take the time to encompass all of this in to full consideration, I would numb myself by smoking marijuana where I was able to relive my past without feeling much emotion, I was numbed. Somehow, I could and/or would disregard getting attached to people and would be discredited accountability for my actions. My state of mind, my headspace and/or the environment I was existing in was a hindrance and dragging me down because the most important necessity I felt was that I wanted and needed pot. This became more and more prevalent as my pot expense was, all my money up in smoke.

I would at times feel used for smoking a lot of pot with friends. I almost preferred to smoke alone, yet I figured it was more healthy to be around a friend, or two, or three, and not totally isolated into an ignorant bliss by cutting myself off from human interaction. I was most happy in the company of only one other person at a time. One on one is preferable company for me still, to this day.

I finally decided I deserved a second chance to take care of myself and in return I would be able to take care of others as well, so, smoking needed to go out the window. I realized I was and am a smokaholic. So I was not to falter for I knew a puff, a toke, or a drag would bring me back to heavy smoking again. I have quit smoking 7 ½ years now. I smoked weed daily. I did 2 stints of 6 months of no alcohol or street drugs. Those were doctor’s orders out in the community, conditions from hospital, with the ultimatum being mentally institutionalized. I wouldn’t want to unintentionally land backwards, face first into the Psychiatric Ward, once again.

I take a rather minimal low dose of a “valium type” medication. I accept that it slows down my thought patterns to the point where I am able to articulate structured sentences from more complete thought forms. These meds also help me go to sleep and sleep more deep. Eight hours and a bit is good. I have won most of my battles with anxiety that may turn to panic rather quickly if I do not address and assess my head space and do exactly what it is that is playing on my mind. I did a 6 month stretch and a 3 month stretch without anxiety meds in the past 5 years. I had my first panic-stricken full blown attack after 3 strong coffee. I have tough mornings half the time. I try to fix my stinkin’ thinkin’ that stems from beating myself up too much. I take the two closest anxiety meds to valium. Even though, they can be highly addictive, trust is put in my hands to take them as needed. I have not abused pharmaceutical drugs. They are my safety net when need be, I carry quite a few of each at all times. That in itself, eases my mind. I am stabilizing with the help of these meds and co-operating with the COAST mental health team. Family and friends, they are there for me and in return I am there for them. Most of the time

I keep strong. I enjoy helping others and cheering them up.

I play my own songs on guitar. I am self-taught and I play, not knowing the chords, all that well. I took 2 grades of piano as a 9 year old or so. I write poems for the past 2 years. I share the odd few with 1 friend at a time. I sing well. It’s my most fluent instrument. I do not know if my guitar songs are easy to play. I am a good fingerpicker. I would like to write songs and/or lyrics for performance artists.

I am a Prince George, British Columbia, Canadian kind of gal. This is my hometown. I walk most everywhere within close proximity to friends. Or better yet, have a walk with a friend. I like having strong ties with friends and family of all different levels. I look forward to visiting a friends and/or a few friends in a day and an evening. I listen to my Sony CD Walkman with ear phones and write at a coffee shop. It’s my writing poems zone. I am a poet at heart and would love to be published. I have a poem book. It’s a bit like a journal yet it doesn’t implicate anyone. It’s a visual portrayal of my experiences. I am a Canadian, European and North American Native who has and will fight for Human Rights. I love animals and plants and ocean, life too, as well. Blessed be man, woman and child.

I felt weak about my standing as a genuinely caring person on a deep level searching inside myself and feeling a strong sense of aloneness. I was not longing for or being bored and lonely yet, I felt misunderstood. This is not the be all end all. Yet, I personally believe in strengthening connection, being respectful and maintaining an open, honest rapport. And from this foundation, one may build up existing bonds and build on networking. At this pivotal point, I became extraverted.

My belief system derives from more human experience searching through and speaking from personal truthful experiences. I am not aware of past-lives, yet I feel like one person, Rachel. My words, for the record, withstand time, as do my bonds with friends professionally and personally. Also, I have strong family ties. If all I have said and what I say is true, then I exhibit “normal” emotional human reactions. Yet, I have expressed my experiences through my eyes as my story is outlandish, far-fetched and sometimes, I will admit, a bit way out in left field. With all sincerity, I stand behind my expressions of my experiences. The doctors may very well believe me, yet the theme is hard to prove. 

May truths be with you as you are afar. Your word may be all you have left. I am unable to produce factual evidence other than that I will repeat word for word with an uncanny sense of explaining what happened and my statements of those moments will never change. I hold my head high, with my word upheld, and I stand alone withstanding the tests of time.                    (written submission from Rachel)


“When I burden you with my problems, how I see your eyes flutter ever so slightly, how it pains you to see me hurt. You are unable to protect me from harm, yet your warmth I feel in your arms, as we care to share.


You are a hard worker and a stubborn woman. These are qualities I consider to be formidable and are aspirations for me to work towards, though it's obvious, I am a very stubborn woman. You keep to yourself for the most part, and to me, that takes inner-strength. You internalize a lot. I hope you process most of it. It hurts me to see you in pain. I become concerned in an instant.


Dear Mom, I love you like a daughter. I will shelter you and protect you by loving you and being there for you whole-heartedly. There may come a time when you are gracefully aging that I may become the one to take care of you. I must have you know, no fears, I am here for you too.”

                                                                                                                (written submission from Rachel)

“I would not go to my previous medical doctor, unless I was bleeding out, per say. I like to go see Linda, the public health nurse, for familiarity, consistency and comfort level. I look to her for acceptance and to confide in her a few of my personal stories to cover a brief history.


She listens well and knows when to interject by asking serious and pertinent questions, in order to get to the heart of the matter and down to the bottom-line. I appreciate when she knows how to ask the right questions to get me talking more. She has a funny knack of cracking jokes along with an uncanny sense of humour.


The young troubled women and ladies of the night, I hope feel grateful and somewhat at ease, that they have had this dependable nurse and friendly woman as their primary caretaker, whom oversees their issues and concerns with an open mind and who is not afraid to voice her opinion in an instance of an appropriate fashion.


I have confidence in her, being herself and allowing me to be myself as well. She knows how to interact with different walks of life. She has respect and rapport with her clients as far as I can see. She is able to joke in a fun and subtle manner. Her smile is contagious and her mannerisms are unique with each individual.”                                                                                            (written submission from Rachel)

“Susan is all smiles. She is caring and sharing. She is well liked and well loved. She chooses her words carefully. She speaks from experience, she personalizes her teaching tactics.

She seizes the moment and captures instances. She is sharp under pressure and in being put on the spot. She is respectful in approaching people. She uses gentle persuasion to get you to open up. She, also, will tactfully use tough love to keep you on your toes, and to bring you back from crossing the line or having your wires crossed. She will make sure you are drawing boundaries to keep yourself safe and protected.

We were taught these tools through her approach, and how she would address our angry situations, by engaging the group, while she would set an example of the person she would focus on. She has the ability to make us laugh. Susan facilitates Anger Solutions Groups through Elizabeth Fry Society. I partook in two group sessions within one year. I was drawn to the conclusion that I would express my anger in an appropriate manner, as I best understood the situation to be.

I was taught that I have the choice to dig deeper than to react.  I was taught to express why I am upset, by saying to the person, “When you do that in this situation, I feel upset because” for instance. And, “I may not like what you do, yet I will still love you.” Also, to make “I” statements, instead of “you” make me angry. “What feelings are behind that anger?”, and “Why?”, by asking, “What is underlying?” and “How so?”. To explain the situation, ultimately, of how I see fit to finding ways to diffuse conflict, and not letting anger get blown out of proportion, by effectively confronting that person, and getting to the source of the matter in an appropriate manner.

These are the principles of Anger Solutions. Thank you for being you, Susan. You are held in high regard and in all honesty, you have humbled me. This concludes my token of appreciation to you. I am gladly honored this meets your approval.”                                         (written submission from Rachel)

“I feel comfort in knowing that a sweet and pleasant professional lady is a phone call away. Jean is a fantastic secretary who works with the C.O.A.S.T. team for Northern Health. She knows me so well that when I reach out for her helping hand, she knows that I mean serious business. 


I fill her in on a need-to-know basis, while deciphering what details, I must tell her. She goes the extra-mile.  She offers to help me in any way she may, and she listens carefully and attentively, especially when I am in a crisis or a bind. Or simply, when I am having to deal with a few issues that need to be addressed. She will hear me out to get the just of the importance of my situation and do whatever it takes to help improve the chances in betterment of the circumstances I am faced with.


I have faith in her, that she relays my message(s) forward and in person, to the best of her understanding.  She has put the pressure on with situations for me many times. She has been my life-saver at times. She knows I speak truthfully and that I will stand by my words. She is on my side.


It is a relief to hear her voice in times of distress because I know she will do her upmost best to oblige me. Also, when I am more casually calling, I still hear the genuine concern in her voice. It is an honour to know such a great lady, first and foremost, and I feel grateful to have her working on the team.” 

                                                                                                                (written submission from Rachel)

“Penny is a wonderfully funny woman. She is a friend that I confide in. She accepts me and respects me. I believe in her to be gracious lady whom I care about and has taken me under her care. 

Our first meeting together consisted of her reassuring me, that she will do whatever she is able to, to support me in my treatment care and that she is here to work for me. I like to think of her as working with me. She expressed I need to feel comfortable around her. She also promised me if an emergency were to arise, to notify her and she will do all that it takes to access the care I need and for her to advocate with me, to the best of our capabilities. She is knowledgeable, resourceful, personable, respectful, and respectable. She is assertive and attentive in my honest and humble opinion. This was predetermined by her vibes in passing. She has an admirable disposition. We have a few good laughs and we seem to be very much on the same page.

Penny is a Psych Nurse that now is enjoying doing Community Outreach with the C.O.A.S.T. team. When enough pupils register, she teaches Introduction to Mental Health, as well as, Psychosocial Rehabilitation at the college. She is the volunteer coordinator for the Gift of Hope through the month of December. There is a dinner and dance. I was asked to share a few songs along with a fella. We chose to play and share Gospel Country. Her family and, usually, a few volunteers were busy-bees putting together donated gifts into big gift bags.”                                                    (written submission from Rachel)

“I sincerely enjoy Joy's company. I concern her sometimes with my moody mornings, in which, I have a tough time with, half the time. She has seen me get anxious and turn panic-stricken. I have gone a whiter shade of pale with eyes like saucers before her very eyes.

I communicate with her of how I am feeling in those moments and the leading up to of it. I talk to her and to myself out loud through it all. I am open to calming down and making the person I am with or talking to feel comfortable when this happens to me.

She has never left my side, without us parting ways on a positive note.  She fully listens to me and respects my words. I let her know what I need to do to feel better. A sense of well-being. She also is able to sense that I appreciate her and need her vibe around me. I look forward to being around her. She offers to help around the house or to take me out and about. Yet, more often than not, I like her to have a seat with me and chill out. She has her chair in front of mine and we have a chit-chat sit down. We visit once a week, and she is my only visitor in my safe zone, usually.  

Joy has worked for Canadian Mental Health Association for fifteen years or more, as a Life Skills Worker. I feel comfortable and safe with her. I like to accommodate her. It is nice to know that she is my steady friend to keep me company on a regular basis and also, to accompany me, if need be.”

                                                                                                                     (written submission from Rachel)

“I like to become friends with the professionals, in which whom, we need to work together to build a respectful rapport and trust. A comfortability level is one key to opening up and feeling that you are being heard. Open communication consists of, expressing how you think and feel freely, stating what is on your mind, and sharing what is playing on your heart.


I admire her beautiful smile because I know she is genuinely happy. She is one person who brings out my natural smile. I enjoy her company and presence. I have found her to be a wonderful lady.


One, fine day I asked, "You have a happy marriage, don't you?"  She then said proudly, with a smile, "Yes, I do." I asked, "Why?"  She said, "What do you mean by that?"  I asked, " Well, what makes your marriage work?" She then simply stated, "The most important thing about my marriage is communication." This statement has provoked thought in me and I took it so close to my heart that it became installed in me. Thank-you Yvette, for being there as a friend, then and now, and to this very day.


She is able to break down a few of my barriers, perhaps by asking clear and direct questions with sincerity. I let my guard down from time to time, where I talk so openly and honestly that I catch myself biting my tongue. Meanwhile, I momentarily realize how far in depth I may have gone, personally.  

Mental Health Community Outreach program was researched and persons with Multiple Barriers were interviewed so that questionnaires pertaining to beginning and implementing, such a program through Northern Health. I received Community Outreach Services when the first team pair began working together in the beginnings of such a program was being implemented with Northern Health, approximately 11 years ago.  Canadian Mental Health Association has had LifeSkills Workers, solely for a good 15-20 years. They currently have 5 Lifeskills Workers whom, also, need to be contracted out to Northern Health to meet demands. Northern Health only has 2 Lifeskills Workers.

The role of a LifeSkills Worker variates from person to person.  A person with Disabilities may benefit from simply home visiting. This being, a quiet place to talk one-on-one.  Sometimes, people need help to clean and tidy their place. They go for coffee or go out grocery shopping. 

Opinions and perhaps explanations of how "we" feel we are being treated and how “we” would like to be treated. Hopefully "we" as a people and as individuals are being heard and taken into consideration onwards. I build up faith and trust by telling more and more of the truth. When, I find that I am being upheld with high regard, through the course of time, I am then an open book.

Quite often, the Lifeskills Workers that I have had the chance of getting to know, were the most frequent company, that would come into my home for a visit.  This may be a little sad, yet, I was at ease with them and I am happy to know them.  I would gladly welcome them into my home.  I find them to be more of a friend and a lighthearted confidante.

The Northern Health Community Outreach Team has a hiring board that assumes persons whom are suitable to work with persons with Multiple Barriers on many different levels. They must fall under a criteria of certain qualifications and educational prerequisites. These staff are called Case Managers and/or Clinicians.  I hope they are personable and approachable first of all. Then there is being comfortable, which plays an integral part in someone expressing honestly and communicating openly.  With this, trust is built.

A clinician is someone who I feel is a must to get to know on a more deep level. We must interact with ease and communicate with respect. I feel it is necessary to become friends with them and I would not have it any other way. Once the trust is there, which is a must, I permit myself to speak to the Clinician like a counsellor or even like a mother, whom would shelter me from the storm. I feel it is natural that their maternal instincts kick in. When I need to lean on someone, they are there to be a strong, solid hand to guide me and lead me through. I am eternally grateful. I do not know what I would do without a bridge, an advocate, and a friend on the inside that is on my side.

Now, here is a piece of advocacy. When I have major concerns that require discussing serious matters.  This may require some expertise and stature, in order to be taken seriously immediately and for an agreed upon course of action to be taken promptly. I develop a strong bond with my Clinician, which allows my word and my story to be carried a long way by them. I may ask them to accompany me to an appointment with a psychiatrist or a physician. I may even have a discrepancy with someone in the professional field, perhaps in government, non-profit, and/or Mental Health, where I would talk it over with a few people who I can bounce it off of, and bring it to the attention of my Clinician to see what choices I have and "how to" or "how not to" go about it. I have the backbone to discuss serious issues with family, friends, and professional support people, as well.”

                                                                                                            (written submission from Rachel)