Monday, 24 September 2018

Weekend video: Meet Dave, a resident of Nova Scotia’s South Shore, as he talks about the PTSD that he lives with, and his inability to find proper help. “And yet I sit here, through no fault of my own, in a position I can’t control. And when I ask for help, there is nobody listening.”

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. 

Kendall Worth meets up with a couple on income assistance, all set to do a serious job search now that they have a free bus pass and a phone. Just goes to show what a difference access to public transportation makes. “Now that we have both the bus pass and the phone, we are planning to get down to business with looking for meaningful employment,” Peter and Peggy tell Kendall. “Kendall, we are tired of living with the bureaucratic nonsense. We are tired of it, and we hope that now that we got our free bus pass we can get off this system.”

For me, the testimony by Louise Bradley, CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, was one of the highlights of this week’s proceedings at the human rights inquiry. That’s why I was pleased when she was willing to be interviewed. We talk about mental health, the harm of living in an institution, stigma, and the benefits of community living. Louise was at one time heavily involved in the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth, and we also talk about the folks there who have been conditionally discharged but can’t get the supportive housing they need. So they just stick around, sometimes for many years.

Frequent contributor Tim Blades on living in poverty, his struggle with illness and mental health issues, and the urgent need to be compassionate and open with one another. “Now I want to delete that last paragraph. My heart is racing just from typing that last paragraph. While I want to be safe and delete that last paragraph, If I let go of that secret, it’s just one less thing for me to hold onto.”