Laverne Friesen has spent most of his adult life as a first responder in a variety of different roles, as well as working in farming and the Northern Canada energy development industry.
In 2017, a lifetime of trauma caught up to him and he experienced an occupational stress injury with symptoms that included depression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, hostility, and thoughts of suicide.
Due to the stigma that surrounds mental illness, he suffered alone and in silence for many months. Finally, when it all become too much to bear, he sought professional help, and began the long journey to wellness.
Through cognitive behavioural therapy, EMDR therapy, and with the support of those around him, he was able to pull himself out of that dark hole and get back to the person he really is, an active,loving father, a dedicated first responder and advocate for those still struggling with their mental health.
Through it all, Laverne discovered the gift of living with gratitude and experiencing lifein the moment.
After walking through the long dark tunnel that is mental illness, Laverne discovered his purpose in life was to chip away at the stigma not only around mental illness, but everything else that society stigmatizes.
It forced Laverne into silence and almost killed him, almost left his children without a father, he is living proof that healing is possible, but would not be where he is today without understanding you are NOT alone.
There is power in Laverne's story, and others like it, and sharing it with others still struggling gives them permission to start to heal.
Laverne is committed to being the person that he needed the most when he suffered alone and feels strongly about sharing his story.
When you join the True Emotion movement, you will gain a community of people who not only want to support you and understand what you are going through. You join a community of supporters with no judgement.
The more we talk about it, the less power wegive to the stigmas surrounding it.
True Emotion Clothing Co. is designed to stimulate discussion around the issues we stigmatize, together we can show the world that we will no longer tolerate it.
Wear it with pride because Stigmakills™, but only if we let it.
Join me on this journey and together we can be the change we wish to see in the world.