Augustina Ampofo was a happy and energetic child. Born to first-generation Ghanaian parents, she recalls growing up in a home full of music, dancing and laughter. But at some point during her teenage years, she started experiencing what she now knows was depression.
“I remember my mom taking me to the doctor and the doctor saying, 'That could be depression.' And my mom replying, 'Depression? No, what does she have to be depressed about?' In my family and my community, we didn’t talk about depression or mental illness. That was the first time I had heard that word and I didn't even really know what it meant.”
Augustina kept going, graduating from university and moving to Alberta for work in her early twenties, without giving mental health a second thought. After a transition period filled with financial uncertainty and stress, Augustina heard a voice for the first time.
"I believed I was going through a spiritual experience. There was a point where I thought I was an angel and that I was here on a mission sent by God. It was very easy for me to believe it because no one else was hearing the voices or seeing hallucinations like I was."