Salvation Army Helps to Fill the Gap on Mental Health

Salvation Army Helps to Fill the Gap on Mental Health
by Ontario Central East
Categories: Divisional News
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Every time John was discharged from the hospital after a mental-health breakdown, he had no idea where to turn for help. Today, at The Salvation Army’s Haven, a residential, licensed, mental-health program in Winnipeg, he is developing skills to reintegrate into and contribute to his community.

“Without The Salvation Army I would be in hospital,” says John. “That’s where I’ve spent most of my life.”

Upheaval in John’s life began at 10. After his parents’ divorce, he was placed in foster care. Then, he was sent to a boys’ residential centre where he was abused emotionally and physically. Now 40, he has never had a loving, caring, permanent home.

“What I went through has made it hard for me to trust people,” says John. “I have PTSD, social anxiety, paranoia and other personality disorders. I want to get better.”Article-Sidebar@2x

The Haven gives hope to people who might otherwise fall through the cracks of society. Caring staff act as guiding lights to adult males as they prepare to transition back into community living. Client-centred programs help people understand their mental health diagnosis, develop life-skills, assist in educational upgrading, budgeting and more.  

“Because of their experiences and mental-health challenges, our residents often can’t see their worth,” says May Ola, Program Coordinator. “Our program gives them support, encouragement and skills to become independent and feel valued.”

“The Salvation Army is the family I never had,” says John. “I’ve started to trust people again and feel wanted. When I get my life together I want to get a job and look into programs for mental health workers. I am grateful that I have a new, fresh start, and am taking it a day at a time.”