*Permission was obtained by the clients to share their stories; names are left out and identifying information is changed to protect the identity of the client and all parties involved.*

 For years I wasn’t able to afford mental health help- I was starting to give up hope of ever getting support for my struggles. I was told about Couch of HOPE and immediately reached out- and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. My therapist is helping me navigate my way through life with a new positive outlook. 

 My mental health is something I know I’ve needed to work on for a long time but because of the cost didn’t think I would ever be able to afford to. Couch of Hope has given me the opportunity to work with a wonderful therapist, and begin to heal the parts of me that were hurt. Coming to Counselling has helped me to develop self-compassion and to see a brighter future for myself. 

 I’d like to say that my experience has been awesome, only have had a few sessions but just after the first one I had clarity as to why I was dealing with emotions the way I was. I was given guidance on how to perceive things differently and to take a different approach with my emotions. I truly find that I am being heard and considered and that’s a rare feeling for me. 

 I appreciate my therapist and being a part of Couch of HOPE because it makes me hopeful. Having a space to speak about what I need to get off my chest and learning tools to keep my mental health in check makes me feel a lot less heavy. 

 I had a severe injury that left me traumatized. I was staying in the house and cutting of my friends and family, I just wanted to be alone. I was so depressed. My counsellor helped me to get back in touch with what is important to me and to live that way. 

 I’ve been experiencing stress and feelings of sadness brought on by social isolation. Coming to counselling has allowed me to connect with another person and explore coping mechanisms around my negative feelings. Having a trusted person to connect with and confide in has provided me with a renewed sense of energy. I look forward to our weekly sessions and feel like I have more energy for the things that I love in between. 

 When I started at Couch of Hope, I was feeling stagnant in my life and felt negatively towards myself, judging myself for my failure to move forward. In counselling, I learned about the stories I was telling myself and how they were holding me back. By taking control of the narrative and working on changing it, I gained better self-awareness, increased my confidence, and build my self-compassion.  

 My experience with Couch of Hope was life changing. I have found accessing public healthcare in Nova Scotia to be most often stressful and intimidating. In a moment of despair and not being able to afford out of pocket therapy for years, I called the 811 mental health care hotline to speak to someone. They referred me to Couch of Hope, who’s process was so easy, welcoming and effective that I was surprised it existed in Canada. The work of Couch of Hope is critical to Canada’s healthcare system, and most importantly to the vulnerable citizens who need it the most and are at extreme risk of being left behind. Thank you to Couch of Hope and the individuals who were courageous enough to make a change in Nova Scotia by creating this service. 

 When I started at Couch of Hope, I was feeling stagnant in my life and felt negatively towards myself, judging myself for my failure to move forward. In counselling, I learned about the stories I was telling myself and how they were holding me back. By taking control of the narrative and working on changing it, I gained better self-awareness, increased my confidence, and built my self-compassion.  

 I started therapy due to my anger issues, it was affecting my family, friends, and work. I feel that I now understand my anger better, I understand my triggers better, and I’m changing some old patterns. 

"I was having trouble knowing what I wanted in life.  I had the opportunity for a fresh start because I had lost a lot of the things that previously gave me purpose. I didn’t know how to get started and I was afraid of choosing the wrong thing.  Therapy helped me reflect on my values and understand what was important to me. 

 Before coming to Couch of HOPE I was exhausted, alone, and hopeless. I felt like I was living through my day enough to survive, but I was disconnected. As I engaged in sessions, I explored patterns in the ways I interact with others, how to implement appropriate boundaries with individuals in my life, and how to intentionally engage in my self-care tactics. 

 When I reached out for support, I was really struggling with my sleeping, eating and relationships. It was taking a toll. Talking to someone helped me realize I was overcome with negative self-talk. I learned some strategies and I am now more confident and comfortable in my own skin. 

 When I reached out to HOPE I was having trouble with my emotions, and I felt like I couldn’t control my reactions to things.  Working with a counsellor at HOPE helped me understand why I was having these big emotional reactions and that it might even be linked to my ADHD diagnosis. Soon I began to recognize my triggers and teach people close to me what I was feeling and how I needed to be supported. 

 I’m living with depression. I am so thankful for my therapist at HOPE. She really listened to me and didn’t judge me. The hardest thing I’m working on is to love myself, she called it self-care. 

 I lost my job because of my anger. I would get worked up over the smallest thing and I would get set off, my heart would race, I’d feel tense all over and I’d lash out. I don’t want to be that person. My therapist helped me to understand what was happening to me. I learned skills and have started to practice them. They are working but I have a lot more work to do. I finished my 8 sessions and went back on the list for more sessions. 

 I came to HOPE because my relationship ended. I felt lost and didn’t know who I was as a person without my partner. It was all new to me. I was anxious, depressed and grieving the loss of the relationship. It was particularly difficult because I still had to parent with them. My counsellor helped me to remember who I was, regain my independence and start to heal. 

 I have ADHD and depression and anxiety. I’m stressed out most of the time and I feel like I’m not like most other people and not good enough. My therapist is helping me by teaching me tools to cope. I’m starting to feel better about who I am and know that this is hard work but worth it. 

 I came to Canada as a refugee late last year. I was in a low place. I had lost everyone in my family and had no one. I had ideas of leaving this world, too. I have a lot of work to do in my healing but talking about it helps to see I have a future. 

 I came to counselling because I was struggling with my relationship with my kids who are adults. One of my kids is changing genders and I found it very stressful, and I was feeling hurt and angry as I didn’t understand. I knew I had to talk to a therapist, so I didn’t lose my relationship with them. Talking to a therapist helped me to sort things through and to become a better support for my family. 

 I’ve loved coming to the Couch of Hope, my therapist is awesome! She’s helped me to figure out what’s important to me and what I want from life. I feel like since I’ve started coming to counselling I’m not just going along with things, I’m in charge of my life and building a future for myself that I actually want to be in. 

 Coming to the Couch of Hope and being able to work with a therapist has helped me to see that I’m more than just the crappy things that have happened to me. That while bad things have happened, I’m more than what’s happened to me and I get to choose the part they play in my story. 

 My friends have noticed a lot of change in me since starting your services. I am happy to be able to benefit from the services. COVID impacted me greatly with job loss and starting over. I needed help but could not financially afford it. I am so thankful. 

 I am so thankful that you guys exist. I live in a rural community and there aren’t any services for mental health that are accessible. I look forward to my weekly sessions and I am noticing positive changes in my life. I finally feel heard. 

 Couch of Hope has been a huge support to me as I navigate the transition from a university student to a young professional. My therapist has helped me identify and recognize aspects of myself and my values that guide my decision-making and future plans. Since starting counselling with Couch of Hope, I feel like I have opened up new space for myself to explore, dream, and sustainably meet my needs while contributing to the world in ways that align with my values. 

 I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started therapy at Couch for Hope, but I quickly realized that control and growth were possible for me. I felt heard and validated which allowed me to open up so much more and in turn, has allowed me to learn a lot about myself. I truly feel that I have come a long way in what seems like a short time and it is down to the clarity and skills I have learned. I look forward to our sessions every week because I know that I will be getting the help and advice I need. 

 My therapist has always brought up different skills I can use to help me stay calm and understand my thought processes. Some of these really spoke to me and using them in the real world (although not easily) has started to make a real difference. Because of this recognized growth in myself. I put a lot of trust in my therapist and Couch of Hope. 

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