Dozens of individuals gathered exterior the P.E.I. Legislature Tuesday night demanding the province take motion on psychological well being and habit companies.
Organizers say they had been protesting due to two huge adjustments in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic: the closure of the psychiatric unit on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the latest nurse shortages on the psychiatric pressing care centre in Charlottetown.
The QEH psychiatric unit reopened on Nov. 1, however solely six of the 20 beds.
The protesters need authorities to make psychological well being helps a high precedence. Ellen Taylor, who helped arrange the protest, stated lots of people are combating psychological well being points proper now, they usually really feel the pandemic is making it even tougher to get the companies they want.
“We simply need to guarantee that the federal government has a plan in place if one thing occurs once more,” she stated.
“I simply need the federal government to have psychological well being on the forefront whereas they’re sitting this time. I hope that they, you already know, suppose it’s as necessary as we predict it’s.”
‘I believe it is just going to worsen if our COVID numbers go up,’ says protest organizer Ellen Taylor. (Brian Higgins/CBC)
Taylor stated throughout COVID-19 could have been the primary time some Islanders could have reached out for assist and it could not have been there.
“There are individuals who have misplaced their jobs or the monetary stress and emotional stress on households. I believe it is just going to worsen if our COVID numbers go up,” she stated.
As a homeless particular person you are not taken significantly. You might be form of swept by means of the system.-Matthew Dunn
Taylor hopes MLAs contemplate assembly with these protesting to deal with issues.
The Inexperienced Get together offered a movement within the P.E.I. Legislature Tuesday evening, stating the province must do higher with psychological well being and habit companies and make it a high precedence if there is a second wave of COVID-19.
‘You are seemed down upon, it looks like, everytime you go in with a psychological well being disaster,’ says Matthew Dunn. (Brian Higgins/CBC)
Matthew Dunn of Charlottetown spoke on the protest about his wrestle with homelessness. He stated he began struggling along with his psychological well being and alcoholism when he was 20 — he’s 30 now.
Dunn stated he has had a number of visits to the psychiatric unit.
“What I’ve realized from being homeless and never being homeless, the extent of care that you just get is nearly evening and day,” he stated.
I received there to see the physician to inform me the emergency beds at detox had been full.– Eleana Blackette
Dunn stated workers on the unit appeared to query the validity of his scenario.
“You are seemed down upon, it looks like, everytime you go in with a psychological well being disaster,” he stated. “As a homeless particular person you are not taken significantly. You might be form of swept by means of the system.”
Dunn stated issues solely received worse when COVID-19 hit with the conversion of the QEH psychiatric unit in the course of the pandemic.
‘I’m knocking on demise’s door,’ says Eleana Blackette, who struggles with alcoholism. (Brian Higgins/CBC)
Eleana Blackette labored as a psychological well being nurse and struggles with addictions and psychological well being herself. She was one of many protesters Tuesday evening.
Blackette stated she was in therapy in Nova Scotia in the beginning of COVID-19 and spent three months there. She stated she was promised by provincial officers she would have a psychiatrist inside two weeks of returning to the Island.
“That didn’t occur. I’ve been having to drink day-after-day since I arrived house on June eleventh,” she stated. “I sit on the road panhandling.”
Blackette went to the emergency room on Monday evening, she stated.
“I received there to see the physician to inform me the emergency beds at detox had been full,” she stated.
“I am telling you I’m knocking on demise’s door.”
‘It is Islanders that can provide suggestions on how the companies are working as a result of we’re those which are utilizing them first hand,’ says Courtney Crosby. (Brian Higgins/CBC)
Courtney Crosby helped arrange the protest together with Taylor.
“I believe there was an important turnout,” she stated. “I believe lots of people felt heard.”
Twenty-seven MLAs handed the protest on their solution to the legislature with some stopping to hear.
“I am hopeful that the MLAs and the minister of well being have heard a few of the gaps we face,” stated Crosby. “It is Islanders that can provide suggestions on how the companies are working as a result of we’re those which are utilizing them first hand.”
Crosby stated she hopes adjustments can be made to enhance entry to psychological well being and addictions companies after listening to a few of these tales.