Look after those who can’t take care of themselves

There are very few people in our society that will put themselves on the front lines for extremely agitated or non-conforming individuals

Again, last week the news flies parallel to police bullets, as law enforcement find themselves on the front lines of mental health care, with more shootings of mentally distraught persons.

Is this how we treat societies dysfunctional, with police bullets?  Is treating the mentally ill with the front lines of the justice system the economic alternative to compassionate forward medical treatment?

Yes, it has become obvious that there is no real concern for the mentally ill. Even though it’s been continuously articulated that there’s nothing to be ashamed of coming forward with your mental woes. This political rhetoric, is stated over and over. The truth is, there is no political will to help those that don’t have the skills to take care of themselves, or at least have some sort of support system to back them up. Because the mentally ill, unsupported, don’t vote. There are very few people in our society that will put themselves on the front lines for extremely agitated or non-conforming individuals, that are not loved ones, or doing so without significant remuneration.

The perfect example of this, is the existing Riverview mental health facility. Lately, the provincial government has announced opening up another 40 beds at the institution. Talk about a bandaid on an axe wound! Forty beds quite frankly is a joke. If this is all we have to offer, why even bother.

The same provincial government has just recently stated that the province needs at least a 300 bed mental health facility. So 40 beds is suppose to appease us?

Are we all that ignorant and of no compassion that we play politics with those that roam the streets, and with those that have a life expectancy of less than fifty years of age.

There is 250 acres at Riverview that is being totally wasted.  This property should be developed and the proceeds from the construction sales, as well as the eventual residential property and business tax proceeds, should be used to pay for the management and operations of such a facility.

Why hasn’t this been done, or why is there no political resolve to take on such a project? It is obvious that the economics are proven. Yet there is 250 acres of urban blackberry.

What is the underlying reason that they let this important issue fall by the wayside, while this neglected urban eyesore sits idly overgrown in brambles, and the buildings have deteriorated to the point of no repair.

It’s time we get our act together with this issue, and this property.

Let’s forget about who might attain the political brownie points, forget about who’s books the economic capitalization belongs to. Because, quite frankly, it belongs to all of us.  As a province, we are supposed to be humanitarian. We are supposed to look after the ones in our society, who don’t have the skill to take care of themselves. It is not just a duty, it is an obligation!

Art Green,

Hope, B.C.

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