BCSS Foundation is grateful to have supportive donors whose contributions continue to make a difference in the lives of those affected by schizophrenia or severe mental illness. Get to know some of our donors!

Matt and his friends at the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and Charity Challenge fundraising for BCSS.

For this spotlight, we’re talking to Matt Langlois, BC Schizophrenia Society Board Member about why he supports families affected by schizophrenia and other serious mental illness.

Why did you choose to support BC Schizophrenia Society?

“You’ve trusted your brain your entire life, so imagine if people told you that the things you see, hear, or feel, are not real.”

This specific quote has always stuck with me. And when I came upon BCSS at a local farmer’s market, even though schizophrenia and severe mental illness was not something that affected my life personally, I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone with severe mental illness.

I was also fully aware of how this area was and continues to be under-resourced, and decided that this would be an area to which I want to dedicate some of my time and resources.

How did you get involved with BCSS?

I was living in Penticton and came across a booth for the local branch of the BC Schizophrenia Society at the local farmers market. That day, I stopped and spoke to Sharon Evans (and a few other board members) who gave me a high-level overview of what BCSS does from both a branch and provincial standpoint. From that, I decided to volunteer and start donating to BCSS.

The more I’ve learned about what the BCSS does, met the people they serve, and understood the research it funded, I knew I’d made the right choice in helping a severely under-served areas of society.

Why did you choose to become a monthly donor?

Once you’ve had a chance to meet as many people from the BCSS as I have, this question answers itself. There so many highly dedicated, determined, and extremely well-practiced individuals who serve BCSS. Through BCSS, I’ve met legal volunteers, researchers, MD’s, and a full team of other professionals – all dedicated to a single cause.

A monthly donation seemed like a clear choice over non-automated donations. It is simple and manageable for people who enjoy keeping a budget. A monthly donation is a far more sustainable route for both the donor and the organization.

What do you hope to achieve by donating to BCSS?

My hope is simply to build a stronger network and have more resources available for those who are currently supporting a loved one with schizophrenia or severe mental illness.

I cannot imagine the pain this can cause at times for families, and knowing that there’s an organization who has their best interests at heart is extremely important. Without government funding or donations, the province would be in a very difficult position in this space. I believe it’s the duty of like-minded individuals as myself to do what they can to help. If I can go on to have a life free from being affected by serious mental illness, I can help those in my community who will never have this luxury.

If you’d like to share your story about why you give to BCSS, please email us at info@bcss.org.

(Originally published May 22, 2020)