@ Mental Health
Rachel Fehr of Surrey is the 2017 Courage To Come Back Award Recipient in the Mental Health category.
Diagnosed with depression at the age of 13, Rachel began a challenging journey that included several misdiagnoses, wrongly prescribed medications and inadequate help and support. This lead her down a road of self-medicating with drugs, eventually losing Rachel her home, friends and family. She tried several different programs to quit her addiction but was unsuccessful due to her undiagnosed mental health issue.
The lowest point came when Rachel lost custody of her two children. This pushed her into the moment that would change her life. She stood on a bridge by a hospital and called 911, pretending to take her life with the hopes of just being heard and finally being seriously evaluated by a doctor. Thankfully she was heard, and was ultimately diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). With the ultimate goal being to get her children back, Rachel enrolled in numerous classes to better herself, including parenting and communication courses along with empowerment and martial arts programs.
Not only did Rachel begin to recover, she began to thrive, winning a silver medal at the Tiger Balm International martial arts tournament and a community leader award in Surrey. She also started, and continues to run, a program called Smiling Tigers Youth Group for at-risk youth and women, to teach them confidence, self-respect and self-defence through martial arts. Additionally, Rachel volunteers her time to train auxiliary RCMP Constables in self-defence and works with the RCMP Code Blue program in local high schools.
Having regained sole custody of her children years ago, Rachel is now a role model to both her kids and her community. Despite chronic pain issues stemming from a car accident, she continues to provide various free programs and support to those in need. Rachel is an advocate for decreasing the stigmas surrounding mental health and believes that no matter how dire one’s circumstances, one should never give up hope
Photo credit: Dan Toulgoet
Pictured: Rachel Fehr with her son RJ (L) and daughter Raven.