A Journey to Giving Back

philIt’s been three years since Phil arrived in Ottawa from Sudbury – and what a journey it’s been. Many years ago he had suffered a workplace injury that led to chronic pain, and over time he developed a drug dependency that he struggled to overcome.  Phil was unable to work, became depressed, and even considered suicide.

When he got to Ottawa a friend told him about the treatment options available at The Ottawa Mission.  Phil is shy and introverted by nature, and at first he wasn’t sure if he could cope with counselling and group therapy, but he worked hard to gain the strength he needed to commit to long term treatment.

He entered our 5-month LifeHouse addiction treatment program and says that it was here that he received the tools he needed to help manage his pain, and also gained a sense of self-worth that he was sadly lacking. After LifeHouse, Phil spent a year in a second stage transitional house operated by The Mission for men who have gone through addiction treatment. It was then that he decided he wanted to help others and give back to the community.

He took peer support courses, and for the past six months has volunteered weekly at the Royal Ottawa Hospital where he offers comfort and support to a patient suffering from depression.  He is also taking group facilitator training so that he can help others who are struggling with chronic pain.  Instead of holding back, Phil is now reaching out to make a difference. Phil loves animals, and one of his key goals during his treatment was to have a place of his own and adopt a cat.  Happily, “Buddy” and Phil have now both found a home of their own.