Mental Health Fund for Kaytlyn

CW: mental health, suicide, hospitals, institutionalization

the short of it: I am a queer native woman who has been struggling more than ever with BPD, depression, PTSD as well as acute trauma and grief since my mom's death by suicide in August 2019. Any donations help pay for weekly therapy and other expenses as I get back on my feet and get back to doing what I love – educating within my communities, advocating for them in society, and sharing my experiences with others as I have been for years (@ookaytlyn). Thank you so much.

the rest: Hi, I'm Kaytlyn. I'm native & queer & mentally ill. I'm struggling not to cringe as I write this. I have been struggling with my mental health for many years now. Since my mom's death by suicide in August 2019, I have been struggling to stay afloat. 

I attempted to continue working following my mother's passing. I applied for a subsidy for a grief group created for folks who have lost someone by suicide. I attended the group about 2 months ago now. This group triggered me in a big way. For the week following the group, I struggled with suicidal ideation and sought help from my family doctor. I adjusted my medication and with the help of my (incredible) employer created a schedule that was more doable for me and my state of mind. I tried to work 4 days a week with the adjusted medication dose.

The medication that I was on caused an increase of anxiety and led me to a very dark place on November 23rd. With the help of my best friend and my partner, I went to the hospital that day. I was received as a Form 1, an involuntary stay at the hospital for 72 hours. 

I was then transferred to the Mental Health Program at Montfort and received inpatient care from Monday, November 25th until yesterday. While I received excellent care at the hospital, there is no follow-up services available.  My psychiatrist has declared that I am medically unable to return to work for 1 month+ and the EI I will receive in the meantime will cover my very basic needs (rent, food, utilities).

I hate that the current state of mental health care is what it is and that I do not have access to free or affordable services. Unfortunately, because of this, I am asking my friends, family, their friends and family, and really anyone who feels that they can to help me instead.

My post-hospital plan was to have 6 sessions of therapy with my Social Worker. The funds for this are no longer available to me. I had planned to focus almost all my income when I return to work on continuing this weekly therapy. My therapist and my psychiatrist agree that in order to really truly make a difference in my mental health, minimum once a week therapy is needed. I am now asking for help to fund weekly therapy with my therapist ($150/week). I have based the dollar amount on the following:

- weekly therapy for 6 months ($150 x 24 = $3600)
- gym membership fees ($50 x 24 = $1200)
- transportation to/from therapy ($3.45 x 48 = $165.60)

total: 4965.60
I rounded up to $5000.

If I do not meet this goal, I will still appreciate any donations towards accomplishing any of this.

I actively share my journey with mental health on my Instagram (@ookaytlyn ) and have for years. I am hoping that people will understand that I am suffering from PTSD, Major Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder and also very acute trauma and grief following my mom's passing.

I ask for this knowing that last year, when I was able to access therapy and was attending a gym regularly that I was a completely different person. I learned coping skills, distress management, and many other skills that helped me to get back on my feet and return to work. This time, I don't have enough money to pay for any of this. This time, I almost took my own life. This time, I'm not able to access those skills on my own. I need to do DBT therapy.  I am currently on a waiting list for DBT programs covered by OHIP but these lists are years long and I can't wait for that.

With this help, I see myself becoming myself again. I see myself enjoying my hobbies, enjoying time with my friends, not isolating myself and struggling to get out of bed. I see myself thriving in my job that I love--managing Venus Envy , educating folks about sex, about 2SLGBTQ+  issues, about transformative justice, and anti-oppression. I see myself being able to participate in my culture that is so integral to who I am as a person. I see myself contributing to my indigenous community in more meaningful ways. I see myself offering the same help to others as I am currently asking from them.

I have a hard time reaching out and asking for help, but I'm pushing myself to do this because I want to live. I want to heal. I want to thrive. If I could do it on my own, I would, but I straight up cannot.

Please help me access the mental health services I need in order to do this. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, thank you for considering donating.

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Kaytlyn Maria 
Ottawa, ON
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