Struggling with a mental health issue at times can be a dark and lonely place. Motivation is lost and the ability to meet the day to day tasks of taking care of a home can begin to pile up. Often times, people struggling with mental health or addiction issues do so in silence. They may appear to be completely competent and in control on the outside, however the inside world may be a different story. There is a great deal of stigma related to talking about mental health and addictions issues, and for quite sometime, people chose to keep things to themselves rather than speaking out and getting the help they need. In fact, only in recent years, grassroots movements like Bell’s lets talk initiative have started to take hold, helping encourage people to speak about mental health issues they may be struggling with.
In fact, the current provincial government in Ontario is the first to have an associate minister of mental health with Michael Tibollo. We’ve come a long way, yet we still have a long way to go. Oftentimes, a mental health issue can manifest itself in the ability for someone to maintain and take care of their home.
When a home becomes unorganized, this can contribute further to the state of the individuals well being. The level of stress from a home that is out of order can be a contributing factor making the severity of the mental health symptoms worse. A vicious cycle ensues, which could result in a further breakdown, leading to a point where the individual may become a threat to themselves or others.
A home in a disorganized state can become a difficult challenge for someone with a mental illness that is unmanaged. On one hand, the individual needs to address the symptoms of the illness. On the other hand, the individual is faced with a dilemma; somehow manage to figure out how to bring order to the home on their own, or face the shame and embarrassment of the situation and ask for help.
This is where Home and Life Organizers steps in with skills specializing in mental health and compassionate understanding.
At Home and Life Organizers, aside from being professional organizers and providing a deep cleaning service in the community within Waterloo Region, we also have educational backgrounds in mental health & addictions. I personally have a degree in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Windsor, and a Counselor Certificate in Addiction Studies from the University of Toronto. This level of training helps me to approach each situation with understanding and care. For this reason, we can provide support quickly in any situation as they arise, and we are able to provide direction to social services within the community.
We are also fully emersed and engaged in the community at large. Home and Life Organizers actively does work in the community for various organizations that provide support to clients for mental health and addictions. In certain situations, we can bridge people to suitable resources within the community, which in turn, helps the individual step out past the stigma.
When Home and Life Organizers came to the home of one woman who was struggling, what became apparent quickly from the state of her home was that she was struggling with a possible mental health issue. Personal and mental health issues had become unmanageable for her, and this was manifesting in her home that made living arrangements unbearable.
With the woman in question in this situation, we were able to help her reach out and make the connections she needed to move forward for mental health support. Hearing her story with compassionate listening, we could understand the situation without judgement. We were able to provide short term coping tools and help her connect in the community with local resources, helping her on her journey of recovery.
On the organizational front, we started first with eliminating any trash that had accumulated. We provided professional organizational services, helping the client re-establish a level of organization to better manage the home front. After we were able to restore some semblance of balance to the home, we were able to help focus on further support for ongoing manageability. We then disinfected and sanitized the entire home, presenting a neat and orderly home that was clean and sanitary for the client.
Upon completion of the cleaning and organizing portion of the home, we were able to conclude our work on an upbeat note. The client followed through to get in touch with the local community supports she needed. Once in touch with the correct community social services, she had the opportunity to learn new coping skills for managing her mental health. Our client is still in touch with us today, and we help maintain her home on a semi-regular basis.
To see how we do things at HALO, check out our page, How We Do It.