Despite the increased availability of mental health resources on university campuses, students with mental-health disabilities have voiced that they aren't aware of what's on offer to them through accessibility services.
"I went from not wanting to be an amputee to really appreciating that I am an amputee. I take pride in the things that it has allowed me to do – travelled the world on the national para-ski racing team and public speaking."
Homelessness at discharge in psychiatric settings comes with significant cost to our health-care system and, more importantly, to those with lived experience. Without a provincial strategy for discharging people experiencing homelessness from hospitals and shelter beds at capacity, many are left with no where to go.
In 1986, I left Toronto and moved to New York. I fell head over heels for a man in 1988. We wanted to make sure we didn’t transmit HIV to each other, so we got tested. I felt healthy as ever. However, my test came back: HIV positive.
I have experienced the deep dark caves of depression and the sky-reaching highs of mania. I’ve even experienced life beyond the scope of reality during psychosis. Despite the overwhelming obstacles my mental illness presents, in a way I’m still grateful for my psychiatric disorder.
As a child with cystic fibrosis, I was hit with this adult issue of mortality – something no 5-year-old should be worrying about. When I was born in 1971, the median survival rate for women with CF was 20 years old. I’ve chased that median age of survival my whole life.
My illness was something that happened to me, but I was still under there. I had to come out from under that shadow to figure out who I wanted to be even if I was going to die in a few months.
My life changed significantly when I realized I was in control. I’ve decided I’m going to retire earlier than originally planned so I can scratch things off my bucket list now that it is deeper than before. I know if my cancer returns, I’m going to have a big blowout funeral party and obviously attend it myself.