Our mental health system in Canada is broken. And it’s entirely unacceptable.

Today, the Nova Scotia legislature is holding an emergency debate to discuss what is being referred to as a “crisis” in the mental health system, where people are being turned away from mental health services when they clearly need it. Dexter Nyuurnibe is taking a stand and getting attention on social media by exposing the facts about the dismal state of mental health care.

“#TheFactIs I shouldn’t have to wait 3 months, or for my next suicide attempt to see a doctor.” -Dexter

I wholeheartedly agree. I also have some facts of my own that I feel are important to share. I’ve been fairly lucky with the medical care I’ve received, but the wait lists are far too long or the services are inaccessible for many people.

#TheFactIs I shouldn’t be turned away from affordable mental health care services because my case is “too complicated” because I have a less common mental illness.

#TheFactIs people shouldn’t be refused help because they are too much of a liability.

#TheFactIs students and people with minimal income shouldn’t have to spend upwards of $200 an hour on therapy because free services are unavailable.

#TheFactIs emergency room staff are often undertrained in terms of mental health sensitivity and people often have horrible experiences.

#TheFactIs people who need help are released too early or not admitted at all because hospitals and psychiatric facilities are over capacity.

#TheFactIs waitlists for psychiatric help are entirely unproductive, because when people are in crisis, they need help NOW.

#TheFactIs we live in Canada where health care is supposed to be free and accessible to everyone. Not just physical health care, but mental health care as well.

#TheFactIs there isn’t enough support. From 6 month wait lists for psychiatrists, to month long waits for assessments alone, to hour long waits on crisis lines.

#TheFactIs asking for help is one of the hardest things to do, and to be turned away or told to wait can make those efforts seem futile.

#TheFactIs our system is designed for crisis intervention, instead of crisis prevention. We are reactive rather than proactive.

#TheFactIs Mental Health Matters. And Canada can do better.

Keep Surviving by Living.


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