Author's City: Langley, B.C.
Date Of Birth: 1947
Place Of Birth: Nipawin, Saskatchewan

Other Employment: Adjudicator, Board of Referees, Employment Insurance Appeal Board of Canada

Hope Through Compassion and Despair (Trafford Publishing) 2007

Renee Poley has spent most of her life involved in community development, peace education, and union activism. Her dedication to understanding and supporting persons with disabilities began in her early twenties when she realized that her first born, Brent, was developing in a different way from other children. It wasn't until he reached adolescence that more pronounced symptoms showing "something was terribly wrong" became evident. As she struggled to understand her son's turmoil and emotional upheaval she consulted with medical and community mental health specialists, only to discover that little was known and/or spoken about mental illness. "Hope Through Compassion and Despair" depicts the journey through her son's personal pain and agony as well as describing common symptoms of mental illness. The book is also takes a look at the approach to accessing educational, medical, community social services and employment services for those struggling with mental illness. The author's tireless pursuit of justice and dignity for all is an inspiration to others who find themselves searching for ways to lobby for increased public services for persons with disabilities.