Friday, December 21, 2007

Where's that health tax money going, Dalton?

The murder of Hunter Brown and subsequent arrest of Trevor Lapierre underscores the desperate need for more mental health funding.

In today's Record (Families of people with mental illness often have little influence over care), Christiane Sadeler, executive Director of the Community Safety & Crime Prevention Council states:'s clear that Lapierre is "a very troubled young man. I must admit I was a little puzzled to see he was discharged," she said.

She said when mental health legislation was changed, community supports were to be put in place. "I would claim there is not nearly enough," she said.

Of course, we all know by now that most of our so-called health tax goes to general revenues.

Sadeler also critiques our legal system as it pertains to the mentally ill:

"Families are in a difficult position because of the current mental health legislation," she said. "They can encourage and support, but they have no capacity to have someone detained."

She said the original intent of changes made more than a decade ago to the Mental Health Act was "to ensure over-containment of people with mental health issues doesn't happen.

"Maybe the legislation, in some cases goes, beyond what was originally intended."

Where is Dalton McGuinty's voice in all this?

The complex protocol required for admission to an acute psychiatric unit is also detailed in the article. An accompanying piece shows how much police time goes into dealing with the mentally ill.

Clearly, something needs to be done to improve the system in terms of funding for beds and community support, as well as possibly another look into revamping the Ontario Mental Health Act to facilitate the process for getting help for people who are so troubled and irrational that they don't realize how badly they need mental health care.

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: This post has been picked up by Jack's Newswatch - Daily Blogger. Thanks, Jack.

CBC - Hundreds attend funeral...


Anonymous said...

Only slightly ot:
Local CBC radio(Northern Ontario) asked Dalton for a 10 minute phone interview to be recorded at his convenience.
He declined..."didnt have time."
They announced this right after the interview with John Tory was broadcast.
I'm not a huge fan of CBC in general, but this local station did a fantastic pre-election analysis of the local Lib incumbent...many broken promises. As lemmings go, he was re-elected, but I really noticed an unbiased style . They scrutinized each candidate.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Dalton McGuinty? Why not take a nice Christmas vacation instead of complaining?

Ruth said...

"Take a nice Christmas vacation"

The computer fills a void in a lot of people's lives, either their families are far away or Christmas doesn't mean that much to them any more.
Sometimes the politicians count on people not watching or caring at Christmas and I think it's good when we are listening to what's happening at any time of year.

Gayle said...

I completely agree that funding for mental health is sadly lacking. I do not know how things are in Ontario, but in Alberta this has been the case for years. We once had the best forensic psychiatric hospital in the country. Now the pay is so low they can only find doctors who are fresh out of university - and they leave as soon as they have some experience under their belts.

So this is not a problem only with McGuinty, though I agree it is his responsibility to address it, as it is Stelmach's responsibility here in Alberta.

In my opinion, if you want safer streets all provinces have to make significant investment into mental health care and child welfare. If you give people proper support and housing, they will not be on the streets randomly attacking innocent people.

Ruth said...

"where's the health tax money going, Dalton"
There's a lot more to this story that should be investigated at length in the new year when people are paying attention.
People are having serious operations as day surgery, and should be staying in the hospital for a couple of days at least. Then the VON, or St. Elizabeth in our Municipality, has to do follow up work that should be done in a hospital, sometimes going to the home several times a day. This helps the Hospital budget because all the expense of nurses driving around comes out of the Municipality's budget.
I still maintain that our health care was better in the 70's.