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Jan30WedSalvation Army provides support system for Wayne Hunter. January 30, 2019
Wayne Hunter has been affected by episodes of mental illness since he was a teenager. Today, the 40-year-old credits much of his healing to The Salvation Army in Belleville, Ont.
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“I have overcome a lot of hurdles,” says Wayne. “I’m more stable now and The Salvation Army has played a part in that. In my most desperate time of need they gave me a hand up and a listening ear. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
“Mental illness can take over at any point,” says Wayne. “When I look back I see my anxiety escalating in my teens. Then, in my 30s, I suddenly cut myself off from the world. There was a lot going on inside my head.”
At 38, Wayne was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. The illness was detrimental to his relationships and employment, and he became homeless.
Wayne would lock himself in a room to be alone, and had constant breakdowns with uncontrollable crying. He also had an irrational fear of large crowds and gatherings of people.
“When I came to The Salvation Army I was broken and confused,” says Wayne. “No questions were asked and there was no judgement.”
The Salvation Army provided Wayne with clothes for a job interview, food support and a listening ear.
“I’d go to The Salvation Army for lunch and dinner,” says Wayne. “I talked to people about my situation and always felt welcomed. The socialization helped decrease my feelings of isolation and anxiety.
“The Salvation Army’s acts of kindness let me know someone was there for me. Being a good listener and asking how you can help can be the first step to someone’s recovery.”
Today, Wayne is successfully enrolled in a social service program.
“I want to be that person who helps others,” says Wayne. “Everyone deserves to feel well. We just need a support system to lean on and The Salvation Army was that for me.”