I have been working as a registered nurse in various capacities for 15 years. I began my career at a residential facility for people with serious and persistent mental illness in Prince George in 2004. From there, I moved on to work on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in Prince George working in the community with people living with addiction and mental health issues. I also have some experience working on the psychiatric unit at University Hospital of Northern BC as well as East Kootenay Regional Hospital. While my career has been challenging and at times quite stressful, it has also been very rewarding. I have learned that people living with mental health and addiction issues not only have to struggle with managing these often debilitating disorders, they also have to deal with the negative perceptions that surround them. The clients I have worked with over the years have taught me so much more than I ever could have learned in the classroom, not the least of which is that judgment has no place in this field.
I began working at Top of the World Ranch Treatment Centre (TOWR) in April 2018 and instantly knew I had found where I need to be. I feel honoured to be able to play a part in people’s journey to recovery. While not everyone gets there, I believe the seeds of change are planted for those people who are motivated to free themselves from addiction’s grip.
Working at TOWR has also helped to re-ignite my other passion which is wildlife photography. This natural setting surrounded by mountains and teeming with wildlife has motivated me to dust off the camera and put it to good use. From time to time, you may see some of my photos on the TOWR website, so it seems my journalism/photojournalism diploma may not have been a waste of money after all.