BCSS Foundation is grateful to have supportive donors whose contributions continue to make a difference in the lives of those affected by schizophrenia and 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, a BC Schizophrenia Society Board Member, about why he supports families affected by schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses.

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, I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone with severe mental illness, even though schizophrenia and severe mental illness had not affected my life personally.

I was also fully aware of how this area was and continues to be under-resourced, and I decided that this was an area where I wanted 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 farmer’s 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 regional and provincial standpoint. Based off that, I decided to volunteer and start donating to BCSS.

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

Why did you choose to become a monthly donor?

Once you’ve had a chance to meet as many people from BCSS as I have, this question answers itself. There are so many highly dedicated, determined, and extremely well-practiced individuals who serve BCSS. Through BCSS, I’ve met legal volunteers, researchers, MDs, 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 that has their best interests at heart is extremely important to me. 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 like myself to do what they can to help. If I can go on to have a life unaffected by serious mental illness, I can help those in my community who will never have that luxury.If you’d like to share your story about why you give to BCSS, please email us at info@bcss.org.