Saturday, 11 May 2013

Two contrasting stories in our local paper: a homeless man and a senator

The first man was getting help at a homeless shelter; the other man, a senator, who earns enough salary  to support this homeless shelter for a year.

How one man discovered the art of ascending from depression

Cole says he grew up in a dysfunctional family where alcohol played havoc. He was four, he says, when his parents decided it would be a good idea to hitchhike across Canada. With him in tow.
Richard Cole worked with computer systems most of his life. Banks, the CBC, Canada Post, the feds. He was twice married, but generally unsettled and angrier than was good for him. 
He split up with his second wife, had "a nervous break-down." This was followed by months and months of couch surfing, until he landed, near rock bottom, at the Ottawa Mission on Waller Street. "My life was a muddle."
How do you feel?

 In a homeless shelter program he met Dr. Simon Hatcher, a psychiatrist at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, who does rounds at the downtown shelters. He diagnosed Mr. Cole with depression and progress is being made.
What is interesting about this man, is that he, like me, suffered from depression. After a life that would send anyone into a depression he found treatment at The Mission's day program.  
Depression is a terrible issue, unrecognised by bullying bosses and co-workers, as well as family members. You are often unable to ask for help.

Talking About DepressionInformation for Family & Friends (, is crucial.

What was an interesting contrast was the item Kelly Egan wrote about Mac Harb!

A question of judgment? Hit the road, Mac

OTTAWA — May 9, 2013 Mac Harb should resign from the Senate. He is either guilty of terrible judgment or motivated by an obscene sense of entitlement. It doesn’t matter what an accounting firm says. Mac Harb should resign from the Senate.He is...someone already making $132,000 annually. Harb claimed $43,000 in accommodation, mileage...on the public dime, so close together? Mac Harb was once a likable character with a sympathetic...

The Ottawa Mission 2012 Fast Facts

  • 1, 968 different people found shelter with The Ottawa Mission.
  • The occupancy rate was 97 %
  • The average length of stay was 48 days.
  • The average age of residents was 40.5 years.
  • An average of 228 men used The Ottawa Mission for shelter every night.
  • We served an average of 1,270 meals each day, for a total of 467,122 meals.


Red said...

Some how mental illness always gets pushed to the back of the bus. we think things will work out on their own. Well, they don't. It's not only the person who needs assistance but many people around the patient.

Anonymous said...

Depression is an insidious condition to have. I hope you are being treated for it, Jen.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It's true, Red. And my kids are at-risk since their father has it, too. It is heritable.
Yes, Gigi! I had therapy when it hit me last, right after mom died. Then my clever physician in a Family Health Team, diagnosed it right away. I take my happy pills faithfully. I tried getting off of them, but it didn't go well. I am balanced, for the most part, except around Mother's Day the anniversary of my mom's death, and I know to watch for symptoms when things starts going wrong in my life. My unhappy marriage one one of the catalysts, as well as a horrible divorce.
I take care, cocoon, and look after myself. Hubby #2 is a real rock, too. I simply couldn't work any more, which was a shame.