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A 12-step program for Canada

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Setting priorities and solutions to address the mental health crisis ...Read the full article

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  1. ellen m from ontario, Canada writes: yeah!!!

    I hope something comes of this!
    my wait time to get some real help has been almost 2yrs. here i am getting frustrated and stressed.....not good!! I need help and I need it sooner then never.

    I know I am not the only one who is in this situation....some days I feel why am I continuing to live. no one to one cares.
  2. Harold A. Maio from Ft Myers FL, United States Outlying writes: 1 So long as a newspaper educates the public to a "the" mentally ill, progress will elude us.

    2. So long as a newspaper references a "stigma," progress will elude us.

    Your recommendations have merit, one is curiously absent:

    Require of the health professions a better education. They have failed us. To date almost every advocacy effort has been directed at the public better educating itself, and no advocacy for reform in education, our main source of information.

    We must do both, better educate ourselves, and demand of our education system that it better educate as well.

    Harold A. Maio
    Advisory Board
    American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
    Board Member
    Partners in Crisis
    Former Consulting Editor
    Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
    Boston University
    Language Consultant
    UPENN Collaborative on Community Integration
    of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities
    8955 Forest St
    Ft Myers FL 33907
  3. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: The Globe and Mail series has been an unprecedented, extraordinarily insightful, revolutionary journalism event. Congratulations to the Globe. Its recommendations are also excellent although by using current market forces, it is possible to build small high quality low-rent apartment complexes that actually pay for themselves without any government funds or rental subsidies. The key here is that governmnets need to support such concepts to ensure they are built without private entitites having to invest up front, but governments must not run them because the private sector has mastered this area and can easily create reserve funds, professional management, etc. whereas as governments bring in inefficient and alienating public servants while allowing "public" buildings to run down. Social entrepreneurs are idealistic enough to build and run high-quality low-rent buildings but they are not financially foolish enough to invest their own money into a building and then charge only $392 a month for a trendy high-quality bachelor apartment in an urban area. Government probably needs to set up a short term fund to ensure banks are comfotable with 100% mortgages at least until a reasonable stock of this kind of housing stock is built and no temporary quarantees are needed to persuade banks to fund them without insisting on market rents. Rents can be registered on title along with cost-of-living/borrowing/managing clauses to allow increases as required but still keep rents far below market. Second, when the horrendous amounts of money now being mis-spent in the health care and social services sector are properly targeted to help the mentally ill, it is doubtful that much in the way of new investment would actually be needed. However, there is no question but that transition would involve some extra spending for a period of time. And mental health research research funds should be quadrupled, especially in the areas of genetics, effective treatments and environmental factors.
  4. Doris Wrench Eisler from St. Albert. AB, Canada writes: This series of articles apparently has already saved at least one life and that is wonderful. But there are cautions also. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest was not based on air. There are bound to be unqualified people in this discipline , intellectually, emotionally and almost certainly ethically: Ewen Cameron operated for several years and some defend his mad ideas to this day: the so-called "Duplessis Orphans"were designated mentally ill for very practical and lucrative funding reasons and were given lobotomies (experimental?). These things happened and can again. I have personally known what I consider unqualified people in this field. One neighbor was in charge of a therapy group and seemed to project her own failures onto some of her patients whose life situations, seemingly nice husband, children, good standard of living etc., she admitted to envying. Your cited 9th step, - step up early intervention programs in all schools, puts judgment as to mental health in the hands of unqualified people. Perfectly normal but perhaps less conformist children could end up under forced treatment, the effects for which they might later need treatment. There are no simple answers,
    and oversimplifying only adds to the problem.
  5. Raju Hajela from Calgary, Canada writes: I appreciate the effort the Globe and Mail/authors of the articles are putting forth in raising awareness. Sadly, our health care system is too acute care oriented and procedure based interventions get more funding! Even psychiatry has become too focused on primarily pharmacotherapy and a lot of mental health care is program based rather than tailoring the treatment to the individual and families in a chronic disease framework. The Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine established the definition of Addiction as a primary, chronic disease that manifests along biophysiological, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions; yet assessment and treatment programs remain disjointed. I hope the Mental Health Commission will take more concrete steps in revamping our system that is less than adequate in meeting the needs of the public.
  6. dwight tanner from Canada writes: Since the amount of funding available is finite, what are the plan's authors proposing that the country stops doing to fund this initiative?
  7. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: Treatment delays result not from shortages but from the widespread misuse of professionals. By inviting interested clinical psychologists and social workers into OHIP needy patients would have immediate access to much higher-quality yet lower cost psychotherapy than they can get now, while this change would free up psychiatrists to assess for and write prescriptions without delay. It's a no-brainer!

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