Justin and WorkBC transcript

Justin Brien: My name is Justin Brien and I'm 38 years old. On January 4th, 2019, I actually hospitalized myself with suicidality and alcoholism and finally admitted those words out loud in front of my mom and my dad and a counsellor. And then from there on, I had to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I was a man without a plan.

Candice Benner: Name is Candace and I'm a job developer with WorkBC. WorkBC Salmon Arm is a provincially funded program that helps BC residents to find work and navigate the employment world.

Deidre Stewart: My name is Deidre and I am an employment consultant here at WorkBC in Salmon Arm.

Justin Brien: I had a friend that worked here at WorkBC. Her name is Deidre. And I figured, hey, you know what, why don't I go down there, figure my life out, think of what do I want to do, what really brings me joy and brings me happiness? And I came down here and she ended up setting me up with a life coaching course and they helped provide funding towards that. And because of that, I am now a life coach and a speaker.

Candice Benner: A lot of people are hesitant to give us a call. There's this idea that there's shame in asking for help. Think of WorkBC as a resource, that we are subject matter experts in the world of work.

Justin Brien: It's hard to ask for help, especially when you struggle with your mental health. But then to be a 34-year-old single father at that time, to come in and say, "I don't know what I want to do in life. Having a son back at home, how am I going to provide for him?" It was hard to come out and admit that, but it made me a better person for it.

Deidre Stewart: Turning point that I did watch in Justin was he had come in, had an idea of what he was wanting to do. We completed some assessments and figured out really the exact direction of what he was doing. And he started doing research into training institutions on where he was going to go to school and become what he wanted to be.

Jennifer Beckett: She just did some really amazing work to make sure that he could reach that employment goal because it seems so important to him. And as a result, he's actually doing really amazing things in this community.

Deidre Stewart: He was a little bit getting down because a lot of the schools weren't matching exactly what his idea was. And the day that he found the school was, I watched him walk in and at that point, the light bulb was on, the path was chosen, he knew exactly what he was wanting and how to get it at this point.

Justin Brien: Well, WorkBC made it easy for me to be able to go down this path. They helped me to find the correct course that I wanted to take. They kept in touch with me during the courses, checking in with me, but they also made sure they kept in touch after the fact. They sent me monthly emails just to see how am I doing, how is everything working out for me? But they all also gave me opportunities like this, to be able to share my story and provide more information for other people in case this is something that they want to do. And I strongly encourage them to do that because their whole life can change, just by simply walking through a door your life can change and there's nothing to be afraid of, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. All of us can use an extra hand.