Sarah recognizes the importance of stories. Holding a PhD in science, and a fellowship from the University of Toronto, she understands the science behind schizophrenia, but it is the human experience that is important to her, as a family member of an individual living with schizophrenia.  

“My brother started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia in his early twenties and now he is in his fifties. He has struggled a lot going in and out of hospitals and has lived on the streets and in shelters” she says. “He cannot take care of himself and now lives in a group home.”

Sarah advocates for more housing for people with schizophrenia and other severe mental health issues, knowing about the struggles her brother has experienced. “My brother has stable housing now, but he wants to have more independent housing options” she says. “It is very difficult to find resources such as housing. Things have not changed much since he was diagnosed in the early nineties.”

Taking part in the speaker’s bureau, Sarah hopes to inspire other family members to let them know that they are not alone and that there is help available if you seek it. “I want to share my story to help other family members,” Sarah says. “As a family member, it would have been nice to hear from someone going through the same situation. I hope to be that example for others.”