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Marinus gives back in the greenhouse

05 Oct

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.26.40 AMIt’s a personal history that has Marinus Abrahame driven to help others at the Homewood Health Centre – one of Canada’s leading mental health facilities.

In 2006, Marinus stayed in the Homewood for a few months as a patient.

Now he uses his personal experience to help others. Marinus takes part in conversation groups that happen in the Greenhouse. It’s a relaxing setting nestled among plants, he says, and helps people open up.

“We have all kinds of interesting people who come to the groups. We all share personal stories and I can share mine,” he says. “If I’m there, and I have experiences to talk about, it gives others an opportunity to feel, share and feel comfortable.”

One particular instant that sticks out in Marinus’ memory is when a former armed-services man joined the discussion group.

“He never said a thing for quite a long time,” he says. “When we took him to the greenhouse he felt so comfortable he started to cry.”

It’s through experiences like these Marinus says he sees the value of volunteering.

He says it is a terrific feeling when people are helping people.

“Everything you can do to connect people to people will enhance to community,” he says. “All the different volunteer programs, not just the ones in the Homewood, helps make a happy and healthy community.”


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