Salvation Army Helps Single Mother Cope with Bipolar Disorder

Harriet at Salvation Army

“I want people to know that they’re not powerless when it comes to bipolar disorder,” says Harriet, 53. “I have a strong support system that includes The Salvation Army. But I wasn’t always healthy and happy.”

Sixteen years ago Harriet came to The Salvation Army’s Parent Child Resource Centre in Kitchener, Ont. “I was a single parent who had post-partum psychosis, was diagnosed as being bipolar and had no clue about parenting,” says Harriet. “I wasn’t in a good place.”

When Harriet first came to the resource centre, she heard what other parents were going through and the solutions they had. It helped her so much that she came back the next week.

“At the resource centre I learned parenting and cooking skills,” says Harriet. “And my son Robert, benefitted from learning programs such as building blocks and early literacy. But what helped me most was having someone to talk to. That was huge in improving my outlook and motivation. I believe that I would not be alive today were it not for those listening and supportive ears.”

Today, Harriet is the community nutrition worker and garden coordinator at the resource centre.

“When my mental health became stable I wanted to give back what I was given,” says Harriet. “It’s one way I can repay the skills I learned and the love I received at The Salvation Army.

“I want people battling with mental illness to know there is hope. I will always battle with bipolar disease. It will never go away. At The Salvation Army I have people I can count on, who help me lead a healthy and productive lifestyle. For that, I am forever grateful.”