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.

The recent allegations of abuse against Matthew Meisner, a resident of Emerald Hall at the Nova Scotia Hospital, have been widely reported, including by the NS Advocate. We went back and talked with Matthew’s mother to learn more about the string of incidents that keep her awake at night, and how she finds the strength to continue on when most everybody she deals with just wants her to go away.

Matthew Meisner, a young man who spent the last 12 years at a locked down unit within the Nova Scotia Hospital, recently had a pillowcase placed over his head by staff, his mother says. This is only the latest in a series of staff abuse complaints involving Matthew, as the Nova Scotia Advocate reported in March of this year.

Last week we reported that Mainline Needle Exchange in Halifax is facing a budget crunch, this week the news is that its Cape Breton counterpart may well close its doors early next year because the federal government is no longer funding the organization. Time for the province to step up to the plate.

Mainline Needle Exchange, an organization that helps people who live with drug addictions in mainland Nova Scotia, can’t keep up with the demand, something the provincial government is trying hard to ignore. Lives are at stake. The Nova Scotia Advocate went to Mainline’s open house to find out more.

Matthew arrived at Emerald Hall, a locked unit at the Nova Scotia Hospital, when he was 19 years old. Now he is 31, still there, too heavily medicated, and his mother wants him out of there. Now Matthew is hinting that he is being mistreated.