Saturday, February 2, 2008

THE WRONG PRIORITIES


Major congratulations to the Vancouver Police Department for their report on how we are failing the mentally ill, and to the Sun for covering this story thoroughly today.

The document is called "Lost in Transition: How a Lack of Capacity in the Mental health System is Failing Vancouver's mentally Ill and Draining Police Resources."

This is a shocking and much-needed document. It is a wake-up call that will fall, unfortunately, on deaf ears.

The Page 11 piece by Lori Culbert says it all: "Police becoming de facto mental health workers of our society. Closing of mental health institutions, funding cutbacks for social housing, inadequate
welfare rates and abundance of drugs causing crisis in Dowtown east side."

But police and others have been telling us this for a decade now. Who in Victoria or Ottawa or at the Bug House at 12th and Cambie is listening?

And nothing better illustrates this monstrosity than the nightmare of the O'Brien family as told by Cuthbert and Pete McMartin.

There are key moments in this horrifying tale of a beautiful young man descending into schizophrenia and ending in suicide.

Corey O'Brien was admitted into a psychitric unit in December 2003 and released one month later because some of his symptons had decreased. This is outrageous. These incompetents are murderers.

In February 2005, the boy's mother was alarmed at his state, "but mental health professionals thoguht he was fine. " PROFESSIONALS???

This sovereign state - British Columbia - has other priorities. Olympics, convention centres, domed stadiums, RAV lines.

This premier - Gordon Campbell - has never shown an ounce of interest in the elderly, children or mentally ill and addicted.

He even has highly refined and duplicitous tastes when it comes to free enterprise. No doubt somehwhere in his socks or his desk drawer there is a secret number that reveals at what point he thinks a business venture is of any interest to him and to the province. Clearly the mom and pop folks who have been rendered bankrupt by the cut-and-cover of the Cambie Line don't qualify.

Read the Sun stories today about the mentally ill and our public policy of wilful disregard and tell me what kind of man is in charge?

I'd like to see the official list of THE DISPOSABLES: Mentally ill, small business owners near subway lines, addicts, old couples, children at risk...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

But Dave... wouldn't you rather build condo's on the Riverview site?... I'm mean, we could even hire Coleman's real estate consulting firm to do all the prelimianry planning... and maybe even throw in a few no-bid contracts while were at it... just think of all the possibilites!.

CONDO'S!, CONDO'S!, CONDO'S!

Anonymous said...

David, the Premier's father was mentally ill and killed himself. The Premier has been in denial ever since. Until he gets therapy himself, don't expect him to ever acknowledge there's such a disease as mental illness.

Anonymous said...

This uncaring man doesn't have a charitable bone in his body. Party power is all he cares about. About the list in his sock drawer he would have to move the bottle to get to it.

Anonymous said...

The two most dangerous men in this province are Premier Campbell and Rich Coleman.
The only thing that these two care about are real estate riches for themselves and their buddies.
The lies that come out of their offices are astounding.
Actually the lies that have come out of politicians offices for YEARS on this issue.
Who would have thought that the old days of Riverview would be wished for? People were safe and cared for. Not what is happening now.
How can politicians sleep at night with what is happening to very ill individuals.

David in N Bby said...

The disaster known as "community based care" has been government policy back to the Socreds. The NDP perpetuated it during their tenure, and Gordie Campbell, who as an earlier poster rightly noted should be highly aware of mental health issues, has only now after all his time in office even roused himself to the point of gushing platitudes.
Shame on the whole lot of them.