Make mental health treatment an issue

Published On Sat Sep 10 2011

Ontario citizens should make mental health treatment an issue in this election. I have a daughter suffering with mental illness stemming from complications
at birth. Her life and the lives of all those connected to her have been ruined by a mental health system that doesn’t work despite the millions of dollars
being poured into it.

The standard psychiatric treatment she has received consists of a short consultation immediately followed by a prescription with no follow-up. How can a
doctor prescribe a mind-altering substance to a patient about whom he knows virtually nothing?

In our case, my daughter became addicted from the first pill she was prescribed to treat her severe anxiety and it has been a nightmare ever since. She
eventually graduated to heroin and is now on methadone (just another drug addiction) and will be struggling to survive on welfare and food banks for the
rest of her life.

She has been diagnosed with definitely (or definitely not) having everything from bipolar disorder to borderline personality disorder and everything in
between. But always there have been the addictive prescriptions. We let her go to jail at one time thinking she would at least get clean, but discovered
to our dismay that the prison psychiatrist had her back on the same medication to which she is so addicted. Not one of the doctors she has seen has been
willing to go the extra mile to offer her any real help.

Prescriptions have been the only thing forthcoming and so Ontario citizens are paying huge sums of tax dollars for a mental health system that doesn’t work and for mentally ill citizens who will forever be on the public purse and whose lives are completely wasted.

I live in constant fear about what will happen to my daughter after I am gone. It’s time to get a mental health system that has some accountability.

Wendy Cahill, Barrie

Reproduced from–make-mental-health-treatment-an-issue