Grateful Patient: Donna – Mental Health and Addictions



*patient name change

Sometimes what you really need is a new way of looking at things, but if you don’t know how to find a fresh perspective, finding someone who can help can make all the difference.

For Donna* that help was offered through the Acute Day Treatment (ADT) program at the Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS).

Mental Health and Addictions Services at the BCHS, with its team of expert mental health care-providers, helped Donna to overcome the feelings she’d had all her life that she wasn’t good enough. Donna explained that these feelings were what her mother led her to believe, and cemented in her mind, through physical and verbal abuse.

To cope, and compensate, Donna aimed to be the perfect child she felt her mother wanted. She earned the highest marks at school and kept her bedroom spotless – a room where she kept a chair jammed under the doorknob on those nights when her father was at work and her mother had threatened to kill her.

“My childhood was pretty screwed up,” said Donna, adding she was an adult before she told her father what had been going on.

As she was planning her second suicide attempt in her 54 years, Donna’s husband recognized there was something very wrong and brought her to the BCHS. A social worker referred Donna to the Acute Day Treatment program. It was in the ADT program that Donna learned how to rephrase her negative thoughts and statements.

“They taught me how to look at things differently, in a healthier way,” said Donna.

With the guidance of the staff in the ADT program, Donna was able to reflect on the major incidents in her life and reframe them, helping her to retrain her brain and its responses to different situations.

One step at a time, Donna addressed these incidents which gave her the courage to address bigger issues and use strategies she learned from the program to help her to react to things differently.

“It has made the world of difference going to the ADT program at the BCHS,” she said.

“I truly believe that without the ADT program, and the people in the ADT program, that I would have died at my own hand.”

Donna has since realized that her mental health is something she will always struggle with, but now she has the tools to manage the challenges she encounters.

“Even when I’m having a bad day, I remember how grateful I am to all the staff in the ADT program at the BCHS.”

“I felt so afraid for most of my life. The program taught me how to stand up for myself in a positive way. I have choices,” Donna said.

The BCHS Acute Day Treatment program is designed to be flexible to meet the needs of an individual’s stage of recovery. Goals for the program include learning about mental illness, and if applicable, addictions and strategies for treatment, assisting with hospitalization diversion, reducing relapses and re-hospitalizations and making progress toward wellness and recovery.

Donna’s story is a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’— it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Donna has learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need. Now is the time to make a difference, please consider making a gift TODAY that is meaningful to you, and support a strong healthcare system for our community.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

This holiday season, give a gift that could save a life and be a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.