POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 117 Journey to hope: Alicia Raimundo’s story (continued) The last straw “When I heard her call me crazy, I felt like I’d been failing. It was the last straw.And I just couldn’t pretend anymore. So I went home and I tried to take my own life.You know, I woke up in the hospital the next day, and I’m so grateful that’s where I ended up, and that I was given a second chance. It was definitely scary to wake up in the hospital, and also frustrating, because you think you’ve solved this problem - that you’re not going to be here anymore - but then you wake up somewhere else.” PARTTHREE:THETURNING POINT................. Holding on “Nothing happening in the hospital was really sinking in until I met this older woman there. She approached me and said, ‘From one crazy person to another, you’ll need this” and put something cold and silver in my hand. As she walked away, I plucked my fingers from my palm and saw that she’d given me a necklace with the word ‘hope’ on it.There was something about that moment - I felt really seen. Her asking me to hold on meant something completely different than the people who weren’t experiencing mental health issues. She saw that I needed a message and gave it to me, even though she wasn’t well. It felt like we were in this situation together.” Acting on hope “And so the thing that kind of started my journey of recovery was the idea of hope and what I wanted to live for and what I wanted to do. I picked one of the things that was guiding me for a while — watching my baby sister graduate from high school — and a whole host of other things. It was really nice to have these things to hope for, especially when I was so exhausted from hiding, and then subsequently so exhausted from trying to find mental health services.” Getting support “Once I’d been released from hospital, it was about seven years until my name came up on a mental health service waitlist that I actually qualified for. Part of that is being an immigrant Canadian and not necessarily knowing how to access the health-care system here. Part of it was there were no mental health resources in my community. So it’s really nice to have something like Kids Help Phone for youth who don’t feel comfortable or supported to access resources, or for people with limited services in their area.” If you’re struggling with an issue - big or small - you can reach out to Kids Help Phone 24/7 by text, phone and online Live Chat.They are always there for you, from coast to coast to coast. Kids Help Phone would like to thank Alicia Raimundo for sharing their story of hope with young people across Canada! Text 686868 1 800 668 6868