EDITORIAL: Mental-health savings costly

The true cost of evening closures of mental-health clinics remains to be seen.

Few can argue against the statement that mental illness touches everyone.

There are, of course, those with diagnoses. Then there are their children, siblings, parents, friends and co-workers.

Even complete strangers are often hit with the ripples, as society is forced to bear the burden of missed work days, medical visits, inadequate treatment options, etc.

Perhaps if it felt easier to talk openly about mental illness, things would be different. But it’s a subject rarely broached in the public realm.

There are people in this community who worked hard to change that.

Helen Connolly was one. Prior to her death from cancer in 2008, Connolly was tireless in advocating for people with mental illness – a journey of more than two decades that was inspired by her own son’s struggles.

Jim Booth was another devoted advocate. Along with his wife, Ilze, Booth (who died in 2010) hosted an annual international soiree aimed at opening eyes, minds and hearts to mental illness – how pervasive it is, how much more needs to be done for diagnosis and treatment.

If they were still alive today, both Peninsula residents would, no doubt, be disappointed to learn of Fraser Health’s recent decision to phase out evening hours at several of its mental-health clinics.

Health authorities assure the move is not a cut in services, and that it will only affect one per cent of those who currently access its mental-health services. But it’s unlikely that statistic factors in the family members, co-workers, friends and others who love and support the people that make up that one per cent.

There is a bigger picture to consider.

Perhaps it is easier to make such decisions without considering the broader impact.

That approach, however, does more harm than good. It may take a little while to notice, but the decision will have ripples – at home, in the workplace and beyond.

It will impact forward strides that have been made in the realm of mental illness and mood disorders; strides that include leading society to better accept mental illness as a disease.

It remains to be seen how far-reaching the impacts will be, but for those who could only access the evening clinics, the decision literally closes doors to a healthier future.

It begs the question, at what cost?

Just Posted

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

House fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews seen racing towards 160 Street and 28 Avenue

White Rock’s Cliff Annable ‘lived a life that mattered’

Hundreds gather to remember affable 71-year-old

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Pair of men charged in three robberies in Surrey, Delta

Charged are Karmal Singh Grewal, 26, of Vancouver and Gursimran Sahota, 21, of Surrey

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money of $240,000 is on offer at the spring Holstein show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

VIDEO: Race and sport examined at new We Are Hockey exhibit in Abbotsford

UFV SASI hosting exhibit looking at hockey history and race

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

Most Read

l -->