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'A whole new life' for Mental Health Patient

Susan Rogers is 100 per cent happy with the person she is today.

It has been a long journey for this married mother of two grown children. Diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety, she lived most of her adult life feeling like she was worthless and didn’t deserve to be happy. She attempted suicide twice.

Mrs. Rogers credits her family and friends for the love and support they gave throughout her journey. She is sharing her experience with mental health to hopefully encourage others to not only seek the help they need, but to embrace the opportunity to get well.

“The hospital has helped me so much. My friends tell me how I’m not the same person, I’m better.”

Mrs. Rogers is a patient at the Day Hospital, a new service provided by the Mental Health and Addictions Program at the St. Catharines Site. Monday to Friday, she participates in programs which focus on life management, cognitive behaviour therapy, education about mental illnesses, positive habits, exercise, cooking, and other skills.

All acute inpatient mental health services in Niagara are now provided at the St. Catharines Site. Outpatient mental health services continue to be provided at the Welland, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines sites.

Other new services in St. Catharines include longer term (30 days or more) mental healthcare and psychiatric emergency services. Strengthening partnerships with community agencies is a priority, as is recruitment of staff and psychiatrists. The program has hired more than 100 staff and recruited 10 psychiatrists in the last year.

For Mrs. Rogers, all of this work is paying off.

“I’m alive today because of the phenomenal staff in the mental health unit. I am not saying that lightly. I am saying that from the bottom of my heart. It’s just been a whole new life for me.”