By Chelsea Carter
Anne-Marie’s life was turned upside down when she suffered a third knee injury, leaving irreparable damage. She had been on the path to a life as a professional athlete in either soccer or field hockey and sport was everything she had built her identity around. When she lost her ability to compete and be active she felt as though she had lost herself. She began to spiral into depression and was eventually diagnosed with severe depression.
Mental health disorders ran in her family and her family pushed her to reach out to get help. She thought sharing with a stranger seemed stupid, after all if she couldn’t even share things with her closest friends how could a stranger help? However, she reluctantly reached out and, despite what she had expected, she saw results.
“Even just the act of reaching out helped,” she says, “I could see that despite one door closing for me, that others were opening.”
She began to see a life after sport, to find herself again and discover new passions. After seeing how valuable the help of a “stranger” was she decided to begin volunteering with the Crisis Centre. It was a space that provided her the opportunity to promote the values of self-care and the importance of building connections that make it possible to reach out. To share the tools that helped her overcome her own depression.
Anne-Marie began giving self-care workshops at high schools as a youth educator for the Crisis Centre. The workshops facilitated the discovery of a new passion while enabling her to continue on her own path of self-care.
As she was teaching adolescents about self-care, listening as they told her how they would “feel inspired” as she would share her own story, she realized she had also become inspired. Through her work with the Crisis Centre Anne-Marie discovered her desire to work in counseling, and was shocked to learn how much she enjoyed working with adolescents.
“Volunteering with the Crisis Centre was like dipping my foot in the water,” she says. “It is extremely fulfilling work, it just felt good and it is the reason I’ve decided to pursue counseling.”
She is now studying at UBC to become an MA Registered Clinical Counselor while continuing to volunteer with the Centre. Let the Crisis Centre help open a door for you, volunteer now and you may discover a passion for life!