Close this search box.

“It wasn’t safe at home.”


Five years ago, Roxanne’s son began to struggle with his mental health – he was coping with significant challenges that caused a lot of stress for the family.

“It was at a point where my son was being so aggressive that it wasn’t safe at home,” says Roxanne.

On top of that, Roxanne felt alone in her struggle. When she would speak with other parents, she felt dismissed, or that her son’s challenges were her fault. The message she heard was: if only she had only parented differently, if only she tried a different approach, maybe her son would be healthier.

That mental health stigma made Roxanne feel isolated and forced into silence.

After accessing services and resources provided by Parents’ Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), a United Way partner, Roxanne learned that many other local parents were experiencing the same challenges.

Hearing from others helped Roxanne learn from their experiences, and discover that hope and recovery is possible.

“PLEO was able to provide me with a helpline and I was able to access the support groups. I was like, wow! I’m not alone.”

PLEO is a family support organization for parents and caregivers whose children, youth or young adults are dealing with mental health and/or addictions challenges. United Way was, and continues to be, one of the first funders of PLEO, ensuring that parents across Eastern Ontario get the support they need, when they need it.

After attending group support sessions and one-on-one counselling, and calling PLEO’s helpline, Roxanne feels better equipped to take care of her son and her family. These services also helped her feel supported through the difficult times, knowing that someone was always available to listen, just a phone call away.

In any given year, one in five people in Ottawa will be touched by a mental issue. If you have a child facing mental health issues and would like support, call PLEO at 613-321-3211 (Ottawa area) or 1-855-775-7005 (Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry; North Lanark; North Grenville; Renfrew County; Prescott Russell).

“We share that vision with United Way, that families get the help they need when and where they need it.”




Similar Stories

United Way made it possible for Jessica to get low-cost, virtual and in-person mental health counselling to manage grief after the sudden death of her girlfriend.

Sign up for
our newsletter

Get stories of local love straight to your inbox! Stay up to date with United Way’s impact and latest news by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.