Re: “B.C. mental-health gap leaves families desperate,” Feb. 7.
I am unclear why placing kids in a psychiatric ward seems to be a great goal. Are these children at risk in their homes or to others? Unless they are, they are better off at home.
I have lived around or with mental illness nearly all of my life and knowing the “safer” side of this group, I can say that the last place anyone expects healing is in a psych ward.
The goal is treatment and reintegration. Treatment means safe and guaranteed housing, a room of one’s own, therapy, state-of-the-art nutrition, exercise, education and fulfilling mentoring or job placement. Unless the kids are at risk, they have the housing requirement, which is a large cost taken care of.
What is then needed is outpatient education. If children’s advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond makes a study of countries with better success rates at reintegrating people with mental-health problems into society, she will see this as well. A psych ward is not economically practical. I say this as a socialist.
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