“I’ve been at this for 20 years, and I’m still passionate,” says Sandra Warren. The residents at PCLA “inspire me so much.” We recently had the chance to sit down with Sandra Warren, Mental Health Worker at Adrian House, and talk about her role, Adrian House and the future of mental healthcare in British Columbia.
After spending 10+ years working for Supported Independent Living (SIL), Sandra moved to PCLA earlier this year. At SIL, Sandra worked in the community to help find housing for people with mental illnesses. Speaking about the transition to PCLA, Sandra said switching to an agency that provides residential services was “very different and personal, because you’re in [residents’] lives every day.” Like many PCLA employees, the personal relationship developed with residents create memories that stick with us for a long time. Sandra spoke about an elderly resident who was struggling to find meaning in her life. Speaking with her, Sandra pointed out “you’re making meals and exercising. You still have an awful lot to give, and you bring me and the other residents a lot of joy.” Continuing, “she just gave me the biggest smile”.
Often in mental healthcare, we have to understand that “success” looks very different for each resident. Some days, success is getting out of bed in the morning, other days it will be making dinner. Employees like Sandra help our residents achieve their own definition of success every day.
Sandra also spoke about the important niche Adrian House plays in the mental health landscape of BC and what the future of mental healthcare looks like. “Adrian House is unique in that it is a safe environment for some of these residents who aren’t ready to transition to the community,” says Sandra. “There is no timeline for Adrian House … this is their home as long as residents need.”
With employees like Sandra on the frontlines, the future of PCLA is in good hands. PCLA truly could not be where it is today without the support and hard work of each and every employee, volunteer, donor and partners. From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you for all that you do. Find more resources and blogs from PCLA here.