News & Events News & Announcements 2016 Faces of SSO's Speakers Bureau

Faces of SSO's Speakers Bureau

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), is from October 2-8, 2016. Every year CAMIMH runs their "Faces of Mental Illness" campaign that is a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery of mental illness. 

Throughout the week, SSO will highlight members of our speaker’s bureau who are family members or individuals living with schizophrenia who speak at events across the province on behalf of the organization. Raising awareness and sharing stories about mental illness helps us with our goal of making a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities impacted by schizophrenia and psychosis.

Today we highlight Margot.

                                 

Margot was in her second year of university when she started hearing voices. “My friends became worried about me and told my parents about my changing behaviour,” she says. “My parents, thankfully, acted quickly and tried to get me help as soon as possible.” Margot’s father contacted a youth program and was able to get her help right away.

“When I heard that I had schizophrenia, I was afraid but at the same time it was good to be able to name what was happening to me,” she says. “It took time to accept it but ultimately my symptoms of paranoia and delusions were scarier than the diagnosis of schizophrenia.”

Today, Margot has a job, has spent a year living abroad in Australia, likes to keep busy with hobbies and staying active while speaking out about schizophrenia. This includes participating in a film about her journey living with schizophrenia called “Dan and Margot” that is an intimate look at Margot trying to reclaim the three years she lost to the illness. SSO co-presented a screening of the film in May 2016.

“I decided to participate in the film to open the dialogue about schizophrenia,” Margot says. “Since the film has been released, I’ve received so much positive feedback from people. Especially from family members who get to see what people living with schizophrenia really go through while also showing them that you can live well with the illness.”

Margot is determined to end the stigma around schizophrenia, while letting people living with the illness know that anything is possible.

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