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It’s never too late to seek help

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“I always loved art.

“Growing up we didn’t have money and I drew on everything. I loved it. It took me to a quiet place away from everything.

“It was like that all my life up until about a year ago. My hands shake too much to hold the brushes now but I still love to look at a good painting.

“The point is that art saved me. It always has.

“I never talked about what happened until now because I didn’t need to when I could paint.

“When the social worker here suggested counselling, I wondered, ‘What would an old guy like me on his final legs do that for?’ But the more I thought about it I realized it might be a good idea to leave this world with a cleaner slate.

“When I couldn’t paint, I started remembering all these things that I used to brush aside when I painted and I couldn’t sleep. I was not eating, a bit of a nervous wreck. It turned out that the counsellor they sent over is an artist too. I liked him and I told him everything, wept like a baby.

“I wasn’t ashamed of it. It was good to get it off my chest. He just came a few times. That’s all I needed. If I were younger I might go further with it but at this stage, it gave me some peace to rest better.

“What I would say to younger men is don’t wait so long. Don’t carry this stuff around with you. Life is short and it might be affecting you more than you know.

“You feel like you’ve got your life ahead of you now but you might not always be able to paint or whatever you do to take you away from it. There are people who are trained to help. Let them do it. Take advantage of it.” - Rick

 

Through a United Way funded agency, Rick asked for help and got it. He was able to release some of his life-long pain and recover from trauma.

 

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, if you need help, don’t wait.

 

United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island supports many organizations that are set up to help you, like:

Eureka support Society

North Island Survivors’ Healing Society

Island Crisis Care

Nanaimo Family Life Association

Mental Health Recovery Partners Society

Nanaimo Men’s Centre

Vancouver Island Mental Health Society

West Coast Community Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association