Jaime Zawadski, a first year PR student at the college, knows how important therapy is. Being a survivor of sexual assault, Zawadski shared her story to her class in order to support a fundraising campaign for the CTSACT. Photo credit: Brian G. Sharbin

Jaime Zawadski knows how important therapy is.

After being the victim of sexual assault in September 2012, she immediately decided to see a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD.

After being referred to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy – a form of psychotherapy that helps clients emotionally process painful memories – Zawadski started her journey to recovery.

“I went for about two months, twice a week, for sessions of 60 to 90 minutes and I literally felt like a new person by the end of it.

“It really changed my life.”

It’s for that reason that Zawadski, a public relations student here at Algonquin, decided to support some of her colleagues’ pitch to create fundraising events for the Centre for Treatment of Sexual Abuse and Childhood Trauma, as part of the PR program’s annual initiative.

“During the final pitch, I presented my story for about two minutes in front of the class…I felt like I had to help because I really wanted them to win,” Zawadski said. “They all felt super passionate about this cause and I thought that (giving a personal testimony) was something I had to do.”

EMDR therapy is one of many services that the CTSACT offers. As a charity that strives to enhance the health and well-being of the community by offering a multitude of therapies, Zawadski knows that she’s sharing her story for a great cause.

“I feel very passionate about sharing my experience with therapy because I know how much it can help other people. I just think it’s something very important to promote.”

Having decided on the CTSACT, Algonquin’s public relations students started the Hope Heals fundraising campaign. The campaign’s goal is to educate people about treatment options, to reduce the stigma of asking for help and to raise awareness.

As part of the initiative, 11 fundraising events will be held between March 21 and April 6.

Event information can be accessed through the Hope Heals website.