To the Editor,
Imagine you’re feeling your most vulnerable- you’re in a mental health crisis and you know you need help. Now imagine walking into Cape Breton Regional Hospital and being told that there was no one there to help and the only option is to phone into mobile mental health.
Sounds impossible. No?
Well this story is one of many we have heard from constituents following the departure of Dr Scott Milligan and other mental health professionals at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. There is nothing more dehumanizing than an individual in a serious mental health crisis being turned away from an emergency room because proper services are not available.
Whether you have experienced poor mental health yourself or you know someone who has received treatment in the past, you have felt the sting of a system that isn’t prepared or adequate when it comes to issues of mental health.
We understand, and we know you understand, that the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals at CBRH are working to the very best of their abilities during the worst crisis in healthcare in recent history. These individuals are living it each and every day and we can only offer our profound appreciation for their tireless effort and sacrifice to offer care to the people of Cape Breton.
If we are going to reduce the stigma around mental health and really get to the root – the province must provide quality, consistent services.
We have watched this Liberal government close two hospitals, neglect doctor recruitment, and do nothing as doctors, psychiatrists and numerous specialists leave Cape Breton for other opportunities.
To say we are at a breaking point is an understatement.
The strength of Cape Breton Island is in our commitment to each other. We need to take care of one another- now and always. However, this is getting more and more difficult to do with the lack of resources we are receiving from McNeil’s government.
The Liberals need to open their eyes wider and see that challenges within our mental healthcare system do not just exist in HRM and mainland Nova Scotia – Cape Breton deserves better.
Alfie MacLeod, MLA Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg
Eddie Orrell, MLA Northside-Westmount
Keith Bain, MLA Victoria-The Lakes