Lorrie Carlson is organizing the Night of White gala in support of the Mental Health Recovery Partners South Vancouver — taking place on Nov. 22 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Ocean Pointe Resort — after her son, Jordan, struggled for three years with mental illness. (Courtesy of Lorrie Carlson)

Lorrie Carlson is organizing the Night of White gala in support of the Mental Health Recovery Partners South Vancouver — taking place on Nov. 22 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Ocean Pointe Resort — after her son, Jordan, struggled for three years with mental illness. (Courtesy of Lorrie Carlson)

Greater Victoria mom organizes gala in support of mental health after son’s struggle with psychosis

A Night of White gala takes place on Nov. 22, symbolizes blank slate and fresh start

When Lorrie Carlson’s son, Jordan, started acting out of character at a family Christmas gathering in 2011 she knew something was very wrong.

The Langford mom took him to the hospital after an volatile argument and remembers how the nurses knew, right away, what was going on with him. Jordan was in psychosis.

The Christmas incident was the beginning of a three-year battle with mental illness that saw Jordan hospitalized multiple times.

“Psychosis is classified as having disorganized thinking, hallucinations and delusions,” says Jordan. “And I felt that in myself.”

READ ALSO: Victoria judge and restaurant owner receive awards during Mental Health Week

Jordan describes his thoughts as being extremely loud and intrusive during this time, adding that he felt like there might have been a chance spies were coming after him.

Doctors in psychiatric emergency were able to diagnose Jordan with marijuana induced psychosis NOS, not otherwise specified, which has similar symptoms to those that exhibit with a diagnoses of schizophrenia.

Over the course of the three years Jordan was in and out of therapy programs along with taking prescribed medication. He began to self medicate with other substances and alcohol.

It was during this time that Lorrie was connected with the Mental Health Recovery Partners South Vancouver Island, an organization that provides services for people struggling with mental health issues and the people who love them.

Lorrie, who struggles with major depressive disorder herself, credits the group for getting her through the whole ordeal. Attending the parent’s support group made her feel less alone while giving her the resources and support she needed to help her son.

READ ALSO: B.C. teen’s death points to gaps in youth mental-health supports: rep

Doctors finally gave Jordan a choice — you can either continue to self medicate and stay on the prescribed medication or you can stop taking your medication but you’ll need to cut out any other substances or alcohol.

Jordan chose the latter and has been living a clean and healthy life ever since. The 27-year-old is now putting himself through school and is in second year engineering at UVic, leading a healthy lifestyle and managing his stress well.

“I look at him and just see what he’s gone through and what we’ve gone through,” says Lorrie. “I just have the deepest respect for him.”

As a way of giving back, Lorrie is organizing the Night of White gala, which will include a three-course dinner, a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions and dancing to a live band. Those in attendance are asked to wear white to symbolize a blank slate, free of stigma for those affected by mental health issues.

Taking place on Nov. 22 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Ocean Pointe Resort, tickets to the gala can be purchased at hibid.ca/events/a-night-of-white-for-mental-health.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Sidney staff have cleaned up unknown number of screws dumped along Resthaven Drive. (Black Press Media File)
Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read