Mental Health award recipient 2024


Hers is a journey of self-discovery and resilience — a childhood filled with struggles until, finally, a medical diagnosis at age 21 made it all “make sense.”

Our series profiling the recipients of the 2024 Courage To Come Back Awards begins with a look at Baylie McKnight of Victoria, the recipient of the award in the Mental Health category.

“You know, I would say it almost started at birth,” said Baylie. “I was a really sensitive child growing up.”

Like many kids with complex mental health issues, Baylie struggled with bullying. It didn’t take long before she exhibited symptoms of anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.

“There really wasn’t a lot of places for me to get help,” she said. “Like, people really didn’t understand how to support me. My parents tried to take me to counsellors, and there just wasn’t a lot of help.”

Things would get worse from there. She was self-harming and running away from home at 13. By age 14, Baylie was using drugs. 

Things wouldn’t fall into place for her until age 21, when she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

“That’s where things kind of really started to change for me because I formally had a diagnosis which I probably needed since I was an adolescent,” she said.

“I think part of it is that there is so much stigma around BPD, around … diagnosing under 18, diagnosing at all, or finding the right support. Where people actually know how to treat it is a big issue, and so I’d never even heard of it before.”

As a co-founder of the Borderline Personality Disorder Society of BC, Baylie has made it her life’s work to raise awareness about BPD. And, as a counsellor in private practice, she engages others in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy — or DBT — the same treatment that has been life-changing for her.

“I understand where they’re coming from, my being there. I have experienced a lot of different things throughout my life. And then I’ve also found tools that have been helpful for me to be able to cope with those better, and then translate that into helping other people with their own challenges that might be similar,” she said.

Baylie is quick to add she wouldn’t be here today without the support of her family and friends.

“They’ve been instrumental in supporting me to have the Courage To Come Back and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

CityNews is a proud sponsor of the 2024 Coast Mental Health Courage To Come Back awards, which are being handed out Thursday, May 23rd at the Vancouver Convention Centre.


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