Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Urgent press release: Women’s Wellness Within requests an immediate meeting with Minister of Health Randy Delorey regarding the hanging of Gregory Hiles, found dead in his cell last week at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. We call for a public inquiry into his death and all deaths of people held in provincial custody. We call for the Province to answer the questions raised by Mr. Hiles’ mother Sheila Hiles.

“Look around your rural community, outside of school, organized sports and of course amazing public libraries (who are also under funded). Are there any established youth centres, programs or services offering drop in spaces, programs, services or mental health supports? Do you see outreach workers connecting with youth? Do you even see youth out and about?” Dayna Barnes on a looming crisis in rural Nova Scotia.

We talk with Dr. Ellen Hickey about how in Nova Scotia we give up way too easily on people with dementia. “When it comes to long term care, all you hear is doctors, drugs, nurses. What about the rest of the team? There is all kinds of know-how that will help keep people off these drugs, that will keep them out of the doctor’s office. Isn’t that what it is all about?”

Karis Mitchell: Nova Scotia needs a provincial long term care strategy that revisits training and staffing hours so that the care facilities can provide the optimal care that is required by its residents. To be placed in a care facility at such a vulnerable stage in our lives can be traumatizing, so it is our responsibility to ensure that we speak openly about these concerns. We must speak up for those that do not have a voice, and those that voices that may not be perceived as valuable in our society. 

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.

This is a story as told to us by Ellen Gaudet, who suggests all is not well with long term care in Nova Scotia. Several years ago Gaudet’s parents both resided in a long term care facility in Halifax. When Gaudet noticed things didn’t seem right she spoke up. Neither the facility nor the government really wanted to hear what she had to say. “I want to encourage other people to not abandon their loved ones,” she concludes.