Sasha Menezes

For Sasha Menezes, the Mental Health & Addictions program at Joseph Brant Hospital has been a life-saver.

After she received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at 18, Sasha struggled with taking her medication, especially when she was younger. But thanks to the care of the team at JBH, especially the inpatient unit, Sasha has a better hold on her illness.

“I’ve had this illness for more than 30 years. I’ve got a hold on it now, but you don’t always,” she said. “The team at JBH have been wonderful to me – they actually saved my life.”

For Sasha, artistic expression has always been an outlet and a form of self-care. One of her paintings depicts a shark in a living room, which she says is her representation of mania.

While she’s received incredible care during her time at JBH, Sasha strongly believes that the Mental Health & Addictions programs needs to be expanded. She is the co-founder of Artrageous, a fundraiser in partnership with the Art Gallery of Burlington, dedicated to raising much-needed funds.

“Being a part of Artrageous has been amazing, and has been part of my recovery,” she says. “I think the whole community of Burlington should get behind mental health.”

For Sasha, sharing her story is about eliminating the stigma of mental illness, and inviting those that need support to ask for it.

“It’s important to get help and have access to help. Joseph Brant Hospital being there for me saved me life.”

In recognition of her birthday on May 20, Sasha is raising funds in support of the Mental Health & Addictions program at JBH. To donate in her honour, please visit Sasha’s personal fundraising page for the Equilibrium Burlington Walk to the Lighthouse.