Ryan’s Hope’s interview series to give voice to ‘people with mental illness, substance use issues and experiencing homelessness.’

Ryan’s Hope’s interview series to give voice to ‘people with mental illness, substance use issues and experiencing homelessness.’

Life Stories, interview series, bring forward stories of people from various backgrounds. 

As a part of Life Stories, Christine Naylar, co-founder and director of Ryan’s Hope, will interview people facing mental illness, substance use issues and experiencing homelessness.

“Ryan’s Hope is an organization that my husband and I started in memory of our son Ryan nailer. And our mission is to support people living with mental illness, substance use issues and experience in homelessness and to advocate. And one of the ways we advocate is by sharing real life stories with people,” Naylar said. 

In the first interview Naylar talked to Ashleigh, who has been working with Ryan’s Hope since its founding and suffers from “mental health issues.”

“I grew up in government housing, where a lot of people were struggling and used drugs and alcohol to cope. My house was always the house that felt like home, and we tried to be there for whoever needed us,” Ashleigh said about growing up. 

She said “the people in my life taught me at a very young age that love is the most important weapon in the fight against drug abuse and mental health issues.” 

Ashleigh said that “we don’t have a drug problem” but a compassion problem. She also shared the pressure she had to ensure from a young age to do well despite challenging circumstances.

“That’s a lot of pressure to be put on someone at such a young age to be taking care of other people,” Naylar responded.

Ashleigh had many of her friends including Ryan Naylar due to contaminated drug supply. She said she uses the memories of her loved ones to “fuel” her “passion to keep going instead of getting angry.”

Listen to her full interview with Christine Naylar as a part of new series Life Stories from Ryan’s Hope in association with Barrie Community Media. 

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