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LETTER: Daughter falling through cracks in mental health system

With reference to the article ‘Spike in mental health calls alarms frontliners’ in the Nov. 4 Goldstream Gazette, I submit the following.

My 39-year-old daughter has suffered from severe, complicated and persistent mental illnesses for 18 years during which time she has basically needed to be institutionalized.

Island Health has washed their hands of her because, “Personality disorders combined with other issues are extremely difficult to treat and go beyond the resources that exist in our current system.”

Since 2016 she has been in and out of the forensic system, jail being the only institution capable of keeping her.

I was going to say “capable of treating her illness” but jail is not a psychiatric facility. She is held, assessed, found criminally responsible, released on to the street with nothing but the prison clothes she wears, only to re-offend, be re-arrested and returned to jail any time from 18 to 72 hours later, over and over again.

This is human cruelty. People are fined and jailed for animal cruelty.

Local and provincial mental health authorities are well aware that my daughter needs to be placed in a long-term closed psychiatric facility where she can be treated and supported as her health allows.

There is no such facility in B.C. Why not?

Sally Clarkson

Brentwood Bay

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