LETTER: We’re failing miserably with the mentally ill

The Editor,

We have all failed by allowing government, namely the health ministry, to turn a blind eye to the thousands of ill citizens living with concurrent disorders.

The public should be outraged that our police resources have become the front line for mental health clients. We traumatize this vulnerable group through the justice system, do nothing to treat them and wonder why nothing changes.

We have to change now. Stand up and speak out because one day this might be your child. Wake up to the reality; most people are homeless because they are ill. Tell your politicians this is unacceptable.

Best practices for our mentally ill are being comprised by internal B.S. within health authorities, communication is impossible under the guise of privacy laws and the public’s point of view is based on data from 30 years ago.

Mental health issues are growing to epidemic proportions; the denial is within all walks of life. Our hospitals are constantly turning away seriously ill people because they suffer from mental health and addiction. Yes, this happens daily at Surrey Memorial. Addiction is a mental health issue. If you wonder why policing has reduced funds to go after the bad guys, this is why.

The Conservatives’ "tough on crime" strategy will only further harm these people, who are not of sound mind and who lack insight to help themselves. What’s more, the large majority of Canadian police chiefs state, "Don’t build more jails, build hospitals." We should only be judged based on how we treat our most vulnerable!

We are failing miserably with this population group. All stakeholders agree but are limited to change until we experience a major paradigm shift with how we think about our mentally ill in general, especially in the justice system. More than 30 per cent of people incarcerated in the justice system are ill. And we continue to put these powerless souls in jail. Build treatment centres for these citizens at all costs. After all, a section of the B.C. Charter of Rights states all residents are entitled to health care services – it’s the law. Let’s enforce this one.

Gord Bylo

Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read