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Raymond Sheppard: Announcing a community meeting to talk about mental health

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax)  – In so far that there is a mental health system in Nova Scotia it is seriously flawed. It does not reach out to those who need care and to those who have given up on seeking care. 

Many persons with mental illness do not seek care, especially with the stigma that continues to be attached to mental illness. For those that do reach out there is a snail’s pace when it comes to treatment. 

I believe if there were more political will to openly and honestly address the concerns and issues with mental illness, it would go far in addressing the associated problems, concerns, issues and stigma.

It seems that one of the most frequent failures in our so-called mental health system relates to a lack of priority given to mental health by the provincial and federal governments.

Resource allocation throughout the system certainly could be greatly improved. Another failure of the system seems to be that one hand does not know what the other hand is doing.

Based on a lack of accountability by government, blame must be assigned. But assigning blame seems to allow others to escape blame. For example, assigning blame to the provincial government often allows the federal government to escape blame.

Mental health policies and practices must lead to the expansion of programs and services in the community, particularly mental health centers. Mental health services must be extended, to nursing homes and walk in clinics.

De-institutionalization might be a good thing but when programs and services needed for community care are lacking, it will continue to be less than effective.

Politicians and those involved in the mental health system in Nova Scotia must listen to the people with mental health issues. Without their finger on the pulse programs implemented will be less than effective.

Many mention their needs for housing, support services, community treatment approaches, vocational opportunities, and improvement to income supports for those unable to work. If these much needed programs and services are not put in place some individuals may find themselves in the criminal justice system.

Currently in Nova Scotia, the needs of individuals with mental health issues including youth are not being met. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment via programs and services could prevent more severe and prolonged mental health issues.

Many strongly express that emergency reforms to this broken mental health system is seriously needed ASAP yesterday.

A major discussion of the horror stories that many mental health consumers have experienced with mental health programs and services, or the lack thereof ,will be held on August 21, 2019, at the Halifax North Memorial Library on Gottingen Street. This discussion will be held from 6 PM – 9 PM. 

All are welcome to attend. We will also invite the minister of Health and Wellness and the media.

Hope to see you there!

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  1. I think it is a pretty safe bet that the government ministers involved will not show up. Even if they did, they would just spew talking points about working to make things better, hiring consultants, doing more studies, blah,blah,blah etc. In other words, they won’t do anything but they won’t tell you that up front.

  2. Thanks for doing this. There is so much being missed with this disease. Its one of the worst missed diseases out there. It’s just pushed to the side. So many people suffer from this disease that it’s scary. Thanks again

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