It was 8 years ago when Ross says his life “fell apart”. His 2nd marriage was ending and he was struggling to cope with the loss of his family and home. He recalls those days as the lowest point of his life, and knew he needed help. Learning that he suffered from psychotic depression, Ross accessed care through the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph.

Ross admits the journey following diagnosis was a long one and, while he still suffers from psychotic depression today, he is successfully managing his condition with medication and support from St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph (SJHCG).

“An important part of my treatment is staying active,” says Ross. “St. Joe’s Out and About program has helped me to get back on track; it’s helped me to get my life back.”

Ross originally attended the SJHCG Out ‘N About program 3 times per week and now needs only attend once per week. He attributes this decrease to positive results from participating in the program, and speaks fondly of the staff and friends in the group. “It’s an amazing program because the staff are so caring and sensitive to each person’s needs. The staff are like friends; they always have a smile on their face and you know they really care about you.”

Helping out with menu planning and kitchen preparation, Ross says the program is the best thing to happen to him. “The program has given me the structure I need in my week; I treat it as my mental health day. Interacting with friends helps me to re-charge.”

Today, Ross is happy, staying active, and giving back to others. As President of the Mood Disorders Support Group Guelph for the past 5 years, Ross shares his life experience and lends support to others managing post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and psychotic depression. Ross also actively supports the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association. He loves to travel when he can, and has a passion for photography.