#ShelleyMarshall, #MentalHealth, #MentalWellnessLoft, #Toronto, #Canada
Shelley Marshall, a Toronto woman who herself had experienced mental health issues ever since her childhood, turned her spacious home to share with people suffering from mental health as well as with people who desired to get mental wellness, media reports said.
In one of the posts in her face book account Marshall said,
“I lived in a Home where we were never allowed to have friends over. The curtains were shut tight with clothes pegs and if anyone knocked on the door... we hid. It explains the Complex PTSD I live with, but to fight the symptoms of my illness... I opened up my loft in Toronto and it's been amazing.”
Twice a week Marshall opened the doors of her Leslieville loft, located on Carlaw Avenue in Toronto, named as Mental Wellness Loft by Marshall.
Mental Wellness Loft was furnished with two couches and a bed where people could dance, stretch, and try out some yoga.
Marshall provides snacks and food for the visitors and plans activities for them.
Marshall from her own experience had found accessing mental health services very difficult.
Marshall said she often experienced difficulties with clinical counselling.
“I lasted two sessions and said this is more traumatizing than anything I have ever been through,” she said.
“There are ways to heal, and it’s not always medication and it’s not always going to see a doctor. It’s seeing people who are living with the same struggles that you have and then we begin to laugh about it,” Marshall said, GlobalNews reports said.
She said there should be more spaces like the Mental Wellness Loft, where people can be together and connect.
"I just think maybe if someone sees what's happening, they'll be inspired to see that these places are what we need. Not emergency rooms," said Marshall, CBCNews reports said.
Marshall used the proceeds from her one-woman play, Hold Mommy's Cigarette, to fund the project.
Over time people started to donate for the loft and artists and musicians had started to donate their time.
Frank Hovart tweeted to Marshall,“My definition of an amazing humanitarian @shelleymarshall #MentalHealth #Art”
Another post by Marshall on her facebook account says, “TORONTO! My Play is coming back to my Loft! 100 % of every ticket sold will go to my Mental Wellness Workshops here in The Full Bawdy Loft. It's my way of giving back and taking time to be in the company with those that want to create and feel compassion without a clinical setting. I have created a space that celebrates wellness through Art, Song, Movement and Rest. I have been in relapse now for about 6 months, unable to leave my home and just starting to feel the cocoon break away. Please come or if you would like to donate tickets to someone that otherwise could not come they are $25 email me firstname.lastname@example.org."
Marshall said she had had very good response to the loft and visitors find the loft welcoming with inclusive atmosphere.
"When I answer the phone we talk for 20 minutes, and by the time the conversation's over, they are going to come. People who haven't left their home in three months, they're coming," Said Marshall, CBCNEWS reports said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)