Formerly known as Carea Community Health Centre

A Light in the Darkest time


This is my story written across grid paperI will do my best to share my story and hope that your takeaway will be positive because that is the only thing that has carried me through. Our journey on earth has meaning that we don’t always understand so we must carry on the best we can and follow the path that is meant to be. I will start off by saying my whole life has been plagued by violence and abuse.


I was born into a family with alcoholic parents, I quit school and ran away at 14. I managed to find work and married a man I thought was good, until he turned out to be an abuser. At 28 I found the courage to leave him and fell in love with the man of my dreams. We moved in together and had our first child within a year.


We got married and had two more beautiful babies, I thought finally my fairy-tale was here. It was finally my turn to have a good life! All three of my babies went on to get a diagnosis of Autism. I was lost, I didn’t know what this path was going to look like, but I stood tall and learned everything I could about autism and how to support my children.


My husband was very supportive. Life is not easy and there is not much time for selfcare when you have three special needs children. I started to get depressed, and someone told me to go to Durham Community Health Centre (DCHC), there I would find free counseling which was the only kind I could afford. I met with a counsellor who took the time to listen to me and help me understand the trauma I went through. She put me in touch with the Indigenous Family night program at DCHC and some of the Women’s Wellness programs. This all helped me tremendously! I was able to leave my younger children in caring hands at DCHC while I attended some programs and socialize with other ladies. I found a community who helped get me in touch with my Indigenous roots. I found pride in who I was as an Indigenous woman.


I grew very fond of many of the staff at DCHC and continued to go until that horrific day… I guess I was so preoccupied in caring for my children with special needs that I missed the signs. Or maybe he hid it so well that there were no signs, but on February 27th, 2019, at 4:15pm my dear, loving, handsome husband without any warning, took his life.


Our family was completely devastated. Now I not only had to deal with this horrific reality, but I had these three amazing children to think about. I did what I had to do for my children but walked the earth in a fog. I did not see myself being able to cope, not this time. Members of DCHC team surrounded me, and spent time with me, when I needed them most.


I don’t remember much from those first few months, but I remember feeling the love and kindness from DCHC and our community surrounding us. Helping us, guiding us, even feeding us with warm meals and ensuring our family was supported.


I was guided to move back to the country to where I was raised. Everything has turned around in a positive way and I have also found love again. In the darkest time in my life, the staff at DCHC made a difference. From the bottom of my heart, I promise that I have never and probably will never find another place that helps so many people in the community with nonjudgmental, caring hearts. The staff at DCHC helped me in so many ways during the worst time in my life- immediate trauma counselling, made calls to family, coordinated services, spoke to the police, even spoke to the Premier! I 100% with open honesty can say I would not be in this world today if not for the support of Durham Community Health Centre.


– Client S

January 25, 2024

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