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Letter: A question of balance

Letter-writer says community of Thompson gave him the chance to find redemption following a long battle with mental illness.
An aerial view of Thompson.

To the Editor:

As a longtime resident of this place I am content to call my home, the behaviour of certain persons confirms my doubt in human nature. What I am referring to is the treatment that a person is compelled to endure despite a crime committed while enduring the horrific pangs of what is referred to as “mental illness.”

In the course of such an unfortunate circumstance a few precious persons (a very few) stood by me … i.e. the local union and good folks who, in spite of the stigma attached to mental illness, advocated on my behalf.

The 10-year course of my experience was rough, yet I was taught by sick people at the Burntwood Regional Health Authority mental health unit to persevere. The local Steelworkers union was instrumental in my recovery after my illness ran its course.

After being placed in a mental health intervention program for 15 months I gained the confidence to deal with my illness — no easy task, to say the least.

Thanks to my community, Thompson, I was able to find employment at the recycling operation, and a local Ford dealership after returning home. Thank you to both employers from the bottom of my heart and soul.

One would expect some adversity, but with the exception of one person in my neighbourhood, this city excelled in its welcome to me, bar none.

The one exception, sorry to say, is an institution subsidized by the Manitoba government. Say no more.

It takes courage to submit such an article to our local media, something understood by Poundmaker, who, in fact, carried me over my 10 years of recovery. Courage in spite of adversity, a thing every East Coast man has experienced and has risen above. Thank you to everyone in my home, Thompson, for giving me the chance to find redemption, after returning home in 2001.

Angus Campbell Sr.


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