Our roving reporter Judy Haiven witnessed an interaction between an older man and some cops and EHS personnel on a Halifax street. “Yes the man swore and demanded a ride to the hospital — he was not polite. But it dawned on me that he could have had mental health issues, or was very alone, or very scared. Maybe he was homeless; maybe he was drunk. The first responders’ reaction was to ridicule and threaten him with arrest,” writes Judy.
Day surgery and the mandatory ride home is a problem for poor people, as are mental health issues. In this letter anti-poverty advocate Kendall Worth offers excellent solutions to Health minister Randy Delorey.
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.
Bit of a sad story as Kendall meets a young woman who, as so many people on income assistance, lives in social isolation.
Kendall meets up with a sister of a person who is on social assistance and lives with mental health issues. She worries about her brother and wants to better understand the welfare system.
Kendall Worth with more on the ongoing harassment of poor people and people with disabilities by police ans security guards.
Raymond Sheppard explains why he is organizing a community meeting about the lack of mental health care in North End Halifax in August.
“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.
“Speaking as a mental health and addictions counsellor and an individual who has anxiety, I strongly believe reforms to this broken mental health system are seriously past due,” writes Raymond Sheppard.
Kendall Worth has a nose for good stories, and this is one of them. On the Easter weekend of 2015 Daryl and Darlene met in the QEII emerge, both there for mental health issues aggravated by loneliness and isolation. Now they’re friends and support one another when things get tough. What happened?