“What strikes me is her resiliency”

Earlier this month, “Marilyn”, started working a full-time job at a grocery store.  She usually gets back from her evening shift around11:00pm and typically, she is scheduled for another shift at 6:30am the next morning. Her usual routine when she gets back from her night shift is, she eats her saved dinner, talks to staff, draws, listens to some music, takes her medication, has a few smokes and then goes to bed. Because of her 1 ½ hour commute to and from work, she has a very short turnaround and sometimes, and doesn’t get a whole lot of sleep. 

Sometimes it takes a lot of coaxing from a youth worker to wake her up in the morning, but she always does get up.  Unfortunately she was late for work a couple of days ago. The doctors on our Mental Health Team (in-house Mental Health support) whom the youth had seen earlier that week, have informed staff that it is rather remarkable that she is waking up at all for work, as she is opening up about dealing with a lot in her life right now, including severe depression.

Unfortunately, on Friday the youth had a relapse with heroin. Staff tried to assist the youth in getting to a detox program – but the youth refused this option. She was asked to take a break from the Shelter program due to the fact that she was actively using heroin (youth are not allowed to use while in program). After the weekend team advocated on her behalf and she attended an appeal on Monday with our ombudsperson, Marilyn was brought back into the Shelter program today-clean and sober!

Earlier this month, “Marilyn”, started working a full-time job at a grocery store.  She usually gets back from her evening shift around11:00pm and typically, she is scheduled for another shift at 6:30am the next morning. Her usual routine when she gets back from her night shift is, she eats her saved dinner, talks to staff, draws, listens to some music, takes her medication, has a few smokes and then goes to bed. Because of her 1 ½ hour commute to and from work, she has a very short turnaround and sometimes, and doesn’t get a whole lot of sleep. 

Sometimes it takes a lot of coaxing from a youth worker to wake her up in the morning, but she always does get up.  Unfortunately she was late for work a couple of days ago. The doctors on our Mental Health Team (in-house Mental Health support) whom the youth had seen earlier that week, have informed staff that it is rather remarkable that she is waking up at all for work, as she is opening up about dealing with a lot in her life right now, including severe depression.

Unfortunately, on Friday the youth had a relapse with heroin. Staff tried to assist the youth in getting to a detox program – but the youth refused this option. She was asked to take a break from the Shelter program due to the fact that she was actively using heroin (youth are not allowed to use while in program). After the weekend team advocated on her behalf and she attended an appeal on Monday with our ombudsperson, Marilyn was brought back into the Shelter program today-clean and sober!

We are certainly very concerned about her mental health as the doctors have advised us to monitor her for suicidal ideations. Tonight, Marilyn is doing much better. She is spending lots of time with co-residents and staff in the common area flipping through her sketchbook, chatting and smiling. It’s good to see her back and in good spirits. While there may be a long road to recovery with her addictions and her depression, what strikes me is her resiliency, and that hopefully we are forging a trusting enough relationship with her to help her along the way.