I like baking in my free time – muffins, cakes, and pastries. I like to try new recipes. Sometimes they turn out great but other times, not so good.” Bienca is an ambitious person, who is goal-oriented in all corners of her life. She completed a 16-week baking course at George Brown College, and is currently working as a full-time Personal Support Worker.
It’s been a tough journey for Bienca. In 2016, Bienca was referred by her psychiatrist to LOFT’s Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program, as she was struggling with her day-to-day life. The TAY program became the supportive next step in Bienca’s recovery journey. “My first Case Manager, Lula, helped me with everything, such as going to medical appointments and setting up my alarm to take my medicine. We worked together to define my goals and time management, so I didn’t spend all day in bed depressed.”
Bienca has struggled with complex mental health challenges for a long time and was self-medicating. “I was very sick before. When I was in college, I had my first very serious overdose. I would end up back in the hospital every 2-3 months, and have to spend 1–2 weeks there, every time.”
At 25, when Bienca was no longer defined as a youth but needed continued care, she joined LOFT’s Wilkinson program for adults. “At the Wilkinson program, I was able to rebuild connections I’d lost and make new ones. All my case managers have been very supportive, connecting me to needed services in the community.”
With the support she’s found at LOFT, Bienca has been able to rebuild her confidence and set goals for her future. “The help I received was truly life-saving. I am now able to control my mental health with medication and therapy. For the past 3 years at Wilkinson, I have not been readmitted to the hospital. Not once. I really hope that others who need the help are able to get it from LOFT.”
Bienca is now able to manage independently, and is in the process of graduating from LOFT. She also celebrated another milestone as she recently got married. Looking to the future, Bienca says she wants to continue with her education: “I want to spend one more year working full-time, and then I want to go back to school. I like helping people, so I want to complete a community social worker program. I know I can share my own lived experience of mental health and I hope that others are inspired by it.”
Learn more about our services for adults here.
One of LOFT’s core commitments is to walk alongside our clients for as long as they need us.
To make that possible, we rely on generous supporters to help meet unmet needs and care for our clients. Your gift will help LOFT provide basic needs, like food. With costs continuing to rise, we anticipate needing more than $1 million to provide food to our clients in 2022, making your support more important than ever.