Jody & Sean’s Story
Our son lives with depression and anxiety.
But we are NOT ALONE.
Respected local lawyers, successful business owners and active parents to twins Finnegan and Sasha, Jody and Sean Pihl could probably write the book on what it means to advocate for the things in life that are important. So when they began to realize that, at age seven, Finnegan was struggling with what appeared to be a mental illness, they were prepared to do whatever it took to get him help. However, they found themselves navigating the most difficult terrain of their lives.
“As a young parent, I entertained the possibility that my child might get hurt one day, or contract an illness or disease one day, but it was never on my radar that my child might suffer from a mental illness.”
Over the next several years, Jody and Sean worked tirelessly to get Finnegan the help he needed. It was difficult. They describe how the current system is not ‘user-friendly’, and how challenged they were in accessing the help they needed when they needed it, even with their expertise in navigating complicated systems and processes.
Caught off-guard by their son’s mental illness, Jody and Sean also found themselves unexpectedly shaken by their feelings of worthiness as parents, the onslaught of well-meaning advice and opinions from everyone around them, and the excruciating task of trying to get their son back, who was slipping away before their eyes.
“When a child is sick, it affects the whole family. And we felt lost,” says Jody.
Their need as a family has never been fully addressed.
Foundry Kelowna aims to change that. In addition to consolidating a comprehensive variety of mental health care services under one roof, the centre will serve the needs of both youth and their families. This is an important distinction. Offering support to families as they support their children is a critical component to helping our youth on a path to mental wellness.
Together with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna, we are raising $2 million to open Foundry – Kelowna, a new integrated care centre to support youth and families living with mental illness and substance issues.
Everyone knows someone. This is a cause that touches us all.
Please give to support our young people, and the future mental wellness of our community.Donate to Not Alone Campaign