Letters to the Editor

Time to develop real mental health strategy

(Re: Letter, We must be the voice for the suffering, Observer, Jan. 23, 2014)

Our hearts go out to Marilyn Struys, who like many other British Columbians, have been let down by the lack of proper mental health facilities and treatment for brain injury and mental health issues.

Not only has the closing of Riverview Mental Health facility put hundreds of patients on the street, it also created far less options for new patients. If you suffer from mental illness in British Columbia, you will probably be put on a two year waiting list to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and don't expect not to be bumped on the way.

Basically, people with mental health issues don't really like to talk about it, it's a stigma of ridiculous consequence. These are the victims of our greed and ignorance. Greed, because it would be money expended on an issue of little political value, compared to pensions and taxation. Ignorance, thinking that this issue is all the consequence of negative human endeavor, not worrying  that anything like that could possibly happen to us.

The reality is it affects all of us in every way one could imagine. It affects us financially, as a lot of these people are incredibly intelligent, and could be a strong contribution of human resource to our communities.

It affects us socially, as we put our selves on pedestals and look down on the the very thing we all fear the most, destitution and homelessness.  We forget, because we spend our lives climbing to the top, forgetting, it only takes a second to fall to the bottom.

It's time the Province of British Columbia developed a real mental health strategy, and stop using Police as front line health care workers, with usually the not so desired result. Let's build a Provincial, logistically centered, Mental Health Care facility.

The time has come deal with the Riverview Lands, there is enough resource there to construct and maintain a 300 bed facility. All the proponents are in place, we just need get go!

Art Green

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