Veronika Harry loves to go outside, to see the blue sky – to enjoy life again, and she credits a large part of her recovery to the staff at The Scarborough Hospital.
“When you have a mental illness, and someone tries to help you, you resist, but now I know it was the best thing that could have happened to me,” says Veronika. “If not for the help of the program I would have been out on the street, and I was grateful to have support 24/7.”
Originally from Austria, Veronika had worked as a social worker for assaulted women and children before being diagnosed with depression. She initially struggled with the transition from healthcare professional to patient, but following treatment and care from the intensive case management program at TSH, Veronika began to accept help.
“It felt like an awakening,” says Lilly Vidovich, Case manager. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we’re making a difference, but when you see how far a person can come, you realize the sky’s the limit. Veronika is a shooting star.”
She added that when the healthcare supports come together to help a patient, it’s a monumental, life-changing event.
However, Veronika’s journey to recovery was a bumpy road for many years.
“It was eight years of my life, and I still mourn those eight years,” recalls Veronika, “Depression is really the absence of joy. I felt like I had no purpose and I couldn’t face the days.”
With determination and support from the hospital, Veronika now enjoys living in her own home where she often cooks dinner for her kids and granddaughter. As a single mother of four, being able to cook for her family and being trusted to look after her grandchild again was a major victory.
“When someone has a mental illness, it affects everyone in the family,” says Veronika. “But professional help is available out there, and if it wasn’t for people working in mental health, I may not be able to enjoy those moments with my family today.”