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SSO salutes volunteers for their tireless work


As a non-profit organization, volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. It is because of our volunteers’ tireless efforts that we have been able to accomplish all that we have this year. Volunteers play a vital role of in all areas of SSO, from programs and events, to public awareness and advocacy. During Volunteer Week, and all year long, SSO salutes our volunteers for helping us improve the lives of individuals and families living with schizophrenia and psychosis.

Lawrence’s story

Lawrence Tsui felt helpless and didn’t know where to turn. “My brother-in-law was struggling with symptoms, living alone and wasn’t receiving the medical attention he needed. His only caregivers were his elderly parents. My family was in a desperate situation and I wanted to do anything I could to help,” he said.

Not knowing anything about schizophrenia or how to care for a family member with the illness, he felt like he was on his own. While searching for information about treatment and support, a social worker suggested he contact SSO for help.

He enrolled in the SFT program not knowing what to expect. “SFT was exactly what I was looking for. I learned how to cope in a crisis, navigate the mental health system and most importantly, how to create a home environment conductive to recovery,” said Lawrence.
The experience had such an impact on Lawrence and his family, he decided to volunteer his time and become a facilitator for the program. “I remembered what it was like to be where these families are now,” he said. “Every time I facilitate a group, I know I’m helping people by giving them the knowledge and tools to improve the lives of their family members.”
With Lawrence’s help and guidance as a lead trainer in Cantonese, we have been able to expand the reach of our programming and deliver additional SFT’s to the Chinese community. Lawrence has trained two additional Cantonese-speaking facilitators and continues to do the work to assist families in need of help.

The lack of support services for people with schizophrenia leaves family caregivers to pick up the slack, caring for loved ones on their own with very little assistance. “Families can play a vital role in the wellness of a loved one but they need the skills – SFT provides this,” said Lawrence.

“I want to let people know there are ways to move forward with mental illness. The more I learn, the more I’m motivated to share.”

To find out how you can become a volunteer at SSO, click here