“Most of my life was a lie…I might have believed it, but it was a lie.”
That’s what 54-year old Oakville resident Dante says about his journey through mental illness and troubles with the law. Now living in recovery, he is the subject of a brand new short documentary by the Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Branch called “Opportunity”.
Dante and his journey are unforgettable. He’s gone from prison and not knowing where to turn to being thankful every day for the help he received and how it changed his life. The film features Dante talking about his experiences that include sentences in both Canada and the United States, deportation, struggles to get the support he needed, and, finally, getting the right help and turning his life around.
Dante graduated from the Halton Community Treatment Court that provides support to people involved in the justice system who are experiencing mental health and/or addiction concerns. “Opportunity” features interviews with people who supported Dante in his recovery, including lawyers, the Halton Community Treatment Court Justice, and Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Branch team members.
As for what helped him to make positive changes, Dante says that one key was being open to doing things differently. His advice to others in a similar situation is, “Listen. Shut your mouth and listen. You want to change? Learn. I was given an opportunity, and I took advantage of it.”