Saturday, 16 December 2017

Late last week Nova Scotia’s auditor general reported that the province lacks a plan for delivering mental health services to all Nova Scotians, and that standards for wait times aren’t being met. New contributor Jessica Briand has seen it all. “In the last seven years I have seen eight different mental health professionals. I’ve witnessed first-hand the flaws in mental healthcare in Nova Scotia,” she writes.

Both shocking and shockingly normal, My name is…, a short six-minute video gives voice to Shelburne residents worried about the state of healthcare in their neck of the woods. ER closures, lack of doctors, it’s scary to live in rural Nova Scotia these days if you need medical support.

Richard Starr takes a closer look at the updated provincial budget released last week. “As long as a balanced budget remains the political holy grail and the economy produces little revenue growth there will be intense pressure on public spending. Unless the Liberals can pull more accounting tricks out of a hat – or there is an unexpected windfall from the federal government – we are in for a very rough ride over the next four years,” Starr writes.

Video reporter Jodi Brown visits the mother of a terminally ill six-year old son, who was kicked of social assistance and told to repay over $30,000 in payments Community Services claims she should not have received. The mother is denying the allegations and fighting her case in court. Meanwhile the family can’t make ends meet and is facing eviction.

Lisa Bond explains what it is like to live the much publicized mental health crisis in Cape Breton. “With all of these hurdles facing us on this island, it’s not hard to lose hope. How are we as parents supposed to help our kids if we can’t even get them mental health help in a timely fashion? We can monitor their social media, watch their phones, have all their passwords….. but it still takes a village. We need and deserve access to the specialists that can help our kids.”

In this final part of our series on on the social determinants of health Alex Kronstein argues that a strong social safety net promotes health, but Canada, like so many other countries, has fallen victim to a neoliberal approach that’s all about “the financialization of everything.” Nonetheless, various Nova Scotia organizations continue to address the social determinants of health.

Frequent contributor Alex Kronstein continues his series on the social determinants of health, all the things that can make you sick that aren’t strictly speaking medical in nature, things like poverty, bad housing, your job, and more. Today Alex looks at social exclusion.