COVID-19 has hit the very poor in Nova Scotia hard and left many of those living with mental health issues in a very precarious place. That was the urgent message delivered by staff members of the Nova Scotia division of the Canadian Mental Health Association to the Community Services Standing Committee.
““We need to advise you that the people who complained are not feeling comfortable with your behaviour.” Another story by Kendall Worth on the uncalled for harassment by security guards and police of people with mental health issues.
A short documentary released earlier this week by Accessible Media Inc. features poverty activist and award-winning Nova Scotia Advocate journalist Kendall Worth.
Kendall Worth: Meet Jennifer, Donna, Tafiba, and Michelle , who have two things in common. They are interested in wanting to get back into the workforce and they have applied for a zillion jobs over these past couple of years and it seems that no one will hire them.
Kendall visits Progressive Conservative Party MLA Steve Craig in Lower Sackville, to find out about poverty in that area and discuss mental health issues that affect people on income assistance.
Kendall Worth checks up with William, a man who lives with bipolar disorder, and is relieved to find out that he made it safely through the lock down.
I remember being taken aback when I first arrived in Nova Scotia a long time ago, reading the full names and addresses of people involved in the criminal justice system in the newspapers. In Holland, where I was born, identities of accused and even convicted people are never published. If it were up to me Canada would follow the dutch example, but I realize that’s asking for a huge change. That said, I would love to see a discussion about those cases where people are merely charged with a crime. Do we really need to know their names?
Fairly often poor people in Halifax get stopped by police and private security guards for involuntary behaviour such as fidgeting and staring at people, behaving as if intoxicated, and talking to themselves in public. In a follow up on earlier stories Kendall Worth spoke with people who submitted formal complaints with police, mall management and even the Human Rights commission.
Kendall on social inclusion, not just during the holidays, but all the time. “Income Assistance recipients see people moving on in life, being financially better off, driving vehicles, being in relationships and living healthy lives. Income Assistance recipients ask, Why can’t it be us?”
Bit of a sad story as Kendall meets a young woman who, as so many people on income assistance, lives in social isolation.