AJ no longer feels like a burden on society thanks to a United Way funded program.

United Way’s #UNIGNORABLE campaign sheds light on mental health

It seems obvious: good mental health and well-being help us enjoy our life and the people in it. Individuals struggling with mental health issues can experience fear, rejection and stigma that severely impacts their quality of life including social connections, housing and employment.

Did you know that one in four people on Vancouver Island experience mental health challenges?

For AJ, there was a time when mental health challenges controlled his life. When he was a little boy, he was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that led to other diagnoses, including anxiety and depression.

AJ’s illness made it difficult to get along with his family; his depression got to the point where it was so bad, it manifested as suicidal thoughts. By the time he was 18, he was homeless, with no money and no education. “I felt like no one was listening to me,” said AJ.

AJ got help through a United Way funded program that reconnected him to programs and services including counselling, housing, peer support and skill development. Now AJ volunteers with youth as a peer support worker.

“It really helps me to be able to help others. I no longer feel like a burden on society,” said AJ.

Mental health is one of our critical community needs. While Island Health and first responders provide urgent medical responses to mental health issues, United Way works with funded community partners on initiatives focused on mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention.

When you give to United Way Greater Victoria you are helping ensure that those people impacted by mental health issues, like AJ, can easily access the services they need when they need them. When we care for and about each other, we’re creating a strong, inclusive community that can tackle #UNIGNORABLE issues like mental health.

Click here to donate today and help ensure no-one gets left behind!

Find out how AJ got a new lease on life thanks to a United Way funded program.

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