Me? Ken Wood. A sixty year old man who has lived in the area for over 10 years and a resident of Toronto since 1973. A person with a disability (although it is a rather 'invisible' one). I am a recipient of ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), one form of social assistance. I live on low-income (about $12,500/yr) and although I do not have to work, I want to. More about me later.
My disability? I have been repeatedly diagnosed as having major clinical depression, along with generalized anxiety disorder and a sleep disorder. Lots of jargon words and labels that are only truly understood by those that either share my affliction or are professionals in the mental health field. I hope I only have to say this once: I am not crazy, a loonie, or a threat to others. I have a chemical imbalance that causes my disability which is manageable with medication. Depression is something many people suffer from (at least 1 in 7 people). For more information on this see http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/mi-mm/depression-eng.php#cont In Canada, according to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) , 1 in 5 of us will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
More about Ken Wood:
- Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and psychology
- Work career includes about 30 years in computers (operations, hardware, management) plus 5 years in human resources (personnel). Worked in both union and non union workplaces, from small to large.
- Many additional educational courses in social work, counselling, etc
- Activist and advocate for issues such as affordable housing, food banks, environment, animal welfare, democracy
- Former board member (Director) The Daily Bread Food Bank
- Former board member (Director) Mainstay Housing