Being able to watch clients grow over time and reach their goals is incredibly rewarding for the employees at PCLA. We spoke with Leah Robinson, Activity Coordinator at Dominion House, about her time with PCLA and the effect it has had on her. Transitioning from Miller’s Way (another of PCLA’s residences) to Dominion House “was a very rewarding process for me” said Leah. “I saw how many residents came to our facility and I could see how they transitioned to more independence.”
Leah is from Vancouver and is a graduate of Douglas College, having studied as a recreational therapist. She began work at PCLA in 2003 at Miller’s Way and transitioned to Dominion House when it opened in 2007. Speaking about the day-to-day responsibilities of her position, Leah highlighted the independence many Dominion House clients have worked to achieve. Leah facilitates group problem solving, exercise and meal planning programs for Dominion House residents.
When asked about the importance of Dominion House in the mental health landscape of B.C., Leah spoke about the niche that they try to fill. “It’s a great opportunity for people who aren’t quite ready to live independently, but otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to live to their potential… they are in a safe environment where they can explore their independence.” PCLA fosters a language of hope which is evident when speaking with employees like Leah.
Noting the importance of continuing to fight stigma around mental health, Leah stated that “many people have misconstrued ideas of what a person [living with mental health illnesses] is like. They are surprised to learn how much they can do, the independence they have.” By getting involved, having a conversation or self-educating, we can all work to end the stigma around mental health in our communities.
As always, we are so grateful for our employees. PCLA truly could not be where it is today without the support and hard work of each and every employee, volunteer, donor and partner, so we say thank you for all that you do. Find more resources and blogs from PCLA here.