Overcoming a path full of obstacles

Mental Health
August 28, 2023 •  By Centraide

Gustavo was a biology teacher in Colombia when he started receiving threats about remarks he supposedly made.  

His safety, as well as that of his family, was at risk, and he had to make the most difficult decision of his life: to leave his home country. Their journey lasted months and took them through New York, Plattsburgh and finally to Montreal, where they spent a month and a half in emergency housing before moving into an apartment in Longueuil. 

As soon as he came to the South Shore, Gustavo found the help he needed at Carrefour le Moutier. “We were completely lost and needed help with our paperwork, administrative steps, and French language courses.” 

Little by little, he started experiencing anxiety that he had never felt before. “I’m a father. I have so much responsibility, but I can’t cry in front of my kids. It’s very important that they see their dad as strong.” 

Doubts started creeping in, and so did his sleepless nights. “What have I done?” he would ask himself. “I had a good job and a good status in Colombia, and now, my family is in a situation of great vulnerability. I didn’t know if I had made the right decision.”

Thanks to Carrefour Le Moutier, Gustavo received the psychological support he needed to regain his balance and continue on his path. He sleeps better now and enjoys moments of peace in nature with his children. 

“It’s important to get to a place where you can talk about your mental health. You need to go up to a door, and it will open and you’ll get help.
You just have to knock.”

Séparateur bonhommes Centraide

Life since then has gotten better. He passed his French courses, received regular immigration status, and found a job as an assistant manager for a major retail chain. He’s very proud of his oldest child who has integrated well to school, his youngest who is learning two languages at the same time, and his wife who’s working hard to learn French so that she can also find a job. He has confidence in the future, especially for his children.

Watch Gustavos testimony

Overcoming a path full of obstacles | Traverser un parcours semé d’embûches

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