The Board, Staff and volunteers of B.C. Schizophrenia Society were saddened to hear about the passing of Kees Bastiaans on January 16, 2019. We send our condolences and good wishes to Kees’ family and friends. He was a jolly fellow who brought light and laughter to the lives he touched, many of whom through BCSS.
When his son was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, he and his wife knew nothing about the illness, its effects and how it would affect the rest of their lives. But Kees was able to connect with the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and learned a lot about schizophrenia and its affects through workshops, support groups and volunteering.
In retrospect, he realized that they were not alone in not really having any insight into schizophrenia and dedicated the remaining years of his life to help families find reasons to hope and the means to cope. When Kees moved to B.C., he joined the Board of BCSS and helped build its capacity to provide support groups and programs in regions across B.C.
In addition to being a past Board Member for B.C. Schizophrenia Society, Kees and Diane facilitated the Strengthening Families Together program in Duncan, support groups for families affected by schizophrenia and worked with BCSS’ Victoria Branch. Through his work, he was able to help families gain understanding, support and education, while working towards the elimination of stigma.
Send in your memory of Kees to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how he helped you find a reason to hope and the means to cope.
“I came to know Kees in 2016 through his participation in the Family Support Group he had helped start in Duncan several years earlier. Kees was a very compassionate man, and had nothing but praise for his son who he always referred to as his hero, because of the things he has been able to achieve despite having schizophrenia. Although his son’s mental health problems disrupted and placed numerous demands on his father’s life, Kees chose to focus on his son’s strengths rather than on his illness. In so doing, Kees served as a great example to us all.”
– Danita Senf, Vancouver Island Regional Manager