The Concordia Way Spring 2019 - Page 1

Over 90 Years of Caring for the Community
Where the Heart Is
Creating a home in Concordia Village for those living with mental illness
By Ryan McBride
ome is more than a place; it’s a feeling. Or so the cliché goes. And for
most of us, our home really is our
heart, built out in walls and floors and
ceilings, a container for our truest selves.
It’s where we retreat for comfort and security: a safe place to recover from the
outside world, process our experiences,
and nurture our deepest connections with
loved ones.
But for people living with a serious mental illness, home can be hard to find, and
harder to keep. Many encounter barriers to
employment and social connections that
shut the door against one of the things
they need most: a place to belong.
Last month I found a new appreciation
for the importance of home when I sat
down with Robyn, a tenant at Concordia
Village IV, or CV4. Now 32, Robyn has been
living with schizophrenia for most of her
adult life. Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that disrupts how a
person thinks, feels and behaves. It can
Before moving into CV4, Robyn lived
make a person see and hear things that for a year and a half in a house close to
aren’t there.
downtown Winnipeg, which she shared
For Robyn, schizophrenia wreaked havoc with a number of mice and other unwanted
on her life, made it hard to hold down a job pests. She rarely went outside. There was
or afford a safe place to live, caused her to no one to talk to, she says, apart from a
withdraw from everyone around her. “I had care worker who visited weekly.
a hard time communicating with people.
I couldn’t imagine a starker contrast to
I’d sleep a lot because I was isolated and CV4, which is clean, bright and modern,
inside and out. CV4 is part of Concordia
But three years ago, that all changed.
Village, a community for adults who want
I met with Robyn to learn more about to live independently while enjoying the
what brought her to CV4, and how it has convenience of on-site support services.
truly become a place she can call home.
Concordia Village is just across the street
Home is one of
our deepest needs
from Concordia Hospital, with easy access
to bus routes and nearby stores. The buildings are immaculate, beautiful and grand;
each suite is decked out with high-quality
appliances and features a spacious balcony.
I’m not sure I believe in positive vibes or
feng shui, but there’s something good
about this place that puts me instantly
at ease.
CV4 houses 45 suites on four floors. Half
of these are subsidized or the rent is geared
to the tenant’s income; the other half are
priced for those living on a moderate income. Sixteen suites in the building are
designated for individuals like Robyn who
live with persistent mental health issues
such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Robyn tells me she learned about CV4
through her social worker, applied for an
(Continued on Page 5)
Conveniently located on the ground level of Concordia Hospital
þ Patient consultations
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þ Personalized home visits þ Prescriptions filled immediately þ Prescription compounding
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