Chigamik Client Success Story – Stephan Lindow

August 5, 2015  

Stephan Lindow

THE CHIGAMIK EXPERIENCE

When 26 year-old Stephan Lindow first came to Chigamik three year ago, he was not in a good place. Childhood trauma led to two mental breakdowns before the age of 18. “After living for years with depression and not knowing what was wrong with me, I often felt out of touch with my body. I felt like a robot, doing the motions but lacking emotions,” said Lindow. “I was tired of feeling this way and was searching for answers.”

After years of being placed in the care of different doctors, Stephan was looking for a non-judgemental place that offered quality health care in addition to the spiritual support he needed to help him overcome his issues. He found that at Chigamik. “Coming to Chigamik was so refreshing. After doing years of research to try and determine what was wrong with me, I was at a point where I wanted to take charge of my own life,” said Lindow. “Chigamik is a wonderful, collaborative place that allows me to speak freely about my problems in an open and supportive environment. I didn’t think a place like this existed.”

During his time at Chigamik, Stephan has utilized a number of programs and services offered at the Centre including primary health care, counselling, psychiatry, emergency food cupboard, quit café, community garden, healing through creating art program, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and has volunteered at Chigamik for the past two years. “The programs offered at Chigamik have been very helpful,” said Lindow. “I’ve been able to quit smoking, learn how to garden, tap into my spiritual side and help others.”

Stephan credits much of his ongoing recovery to his spiritual awakening and counselling at Chigamik. After meeting with his mental health counsellor, Jessica North, for the first time, he felt he could speak freely without being judged, something he had never experienced before. “Jessica was one of the first health care providers I met at Chigamik,” said Lindow. “The counselling has been very helpful to me. I’m still recovering from my most recent breakdown so it gets me out of the house, and gives me something to look forward to. I speak freely about my own healing philosophies and it’s not shunned upon. That’s really refreshing.”

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

Today, Stephan is on the path to recovery and is feeling much more in control of his life. Wanting to make a difference in his community, Stephan will be taking part in a program called “Team Hope,” where he will be speaking to young teens in local schools about his personal experience and road to recovery.

“I am light years ahead of where I was a year ago. Coming from where I came from, I have nothing to fall back on. Learning to appreciate everything in my life and sharing my story with others has created a great foundation for me. Coming to Chigamik is therapeutic in itself. It’s a great place to be.”