You never have to be in it alone
I’m Victoria and I’m a social worker. I’ve been working in mental health for over 10 years. Originally, I was a crisis line worker at Telephone Aid Line Kingston. This is where I learned you never have to be in it alone; just having someone to listen could help. Over the years, I listened to individuals and their stories for more than 2000 hours. I am forever grateful to have had the privilege.
In 2010, I became the Executive Director of the organization and through the challenges I faced, it sparked a passion in me to think bigger and to do more. I decided to pursue my MSW degree from the University of Toronto and completed training with the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General Hospital in their Eating Disorders Programs.
Since then, I've continued to focus my work on supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders; I’ve worked within the programs at Toronto General, North York, Sheena’s Place, Toronto Western and Southlake Regional. Through it all, I’ve stayed a passionate advocate committed to supporting my clients, creating awareness and changing the systems around us.
That’s why in 2019 I founded York Wellness, an organization that aims to support mental health and increase accessibility to exceptional care in the York Region area. York Wellness offers individual therapy, groups and workshops from expert clinicians across a variety of mental health concerns in a space that is safe and welcoming.
I am really excited to share it with you! Just reach out to learn more [www.yorkwellness.ca]
AUTHOR - Victoria Freeman [MSW, RSW]
In all of my work, the only thing that has ever remained constant is that everything is always changing. Changes and transitions are the hallmark moments in our lives - the times when we move from point A to point B, when we grow, when our path forks. It can be exciting and it can be terrifying. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming that we get paralyzed and stop the process of change and growth all together.
I often find myself enticed by the relief that comes with doing nothing at all in the face of massive transition - and - if you know me, you'll know that in those moments, I pull a classic Wayne Gretzky - Michael Scott out of the bag. We forget this sometimes, but no decision is actually still a decision. It's a decision to stay exactly the same as you are now. When we do that, we miss out on 'taking the shot' and feeling like we were effective in life. By making no decision, we run the risk of feeling like life is just happening tous, and passing us by.
One major transition that faces my clients who have experienced eating disorders, is the decision to go or return to school, whether it be college, university, or something else all together. It often means a change in location, living situation, finances, stress-level, work-load, eating patterns, sleep patterns....you name it, school changes it. And to top it all off, if you've had to take a break from school or work to manage your eating disorder - it can be so hard to avoid comparisons between your path and the path your friends or family might be on.
If you're struggling with the decision to go to school, or to go to treatment, or to take more time to heal - I want you to know that it's OK! Take a deep breath, and we can think through it together. In 2018, I worked on an article/workbook for the Gurze Eating Disorders Catalogue. The purpose was to help individuals in recovery figure out if school is the right next step for them. I hope it helps - and let me know what you think!
Download the free workbook HERE.