Mental health help hard to find in Comox Valley

Dear editor,

I am physically disabled and suffer from chronic mental illness and head injuries.

Dear editor,

I am physically disabled and suffer from chronic mental illness and head injuries.

In my experience getting the help I need in the Comox Valley has proven to be very difficult.

Firstly, there is housing for persons with disabilities who are alone, but if you have a spouse who is your caregiver there just seems to be none to speak of. Housing prices are getting higher and higher and just seem to be choking those who have financial restraints. To find an affordable unit for a family, which is also wheel chair accessible, seems to be impossible.

Secondly, I would like to address the issue of suicide in the valley, for there is in my experience so little help for persons struggling with the issue. I personally have had a psychiatrist and called their at the advice of the crisis line and the they would not fit me in for a month even though I was struggling with suicidal thoughts. Moreover, some years ago I had a mental health worker who when I was struggling with suicidal thoughts, told me they were going on vacation and asked if perhaps they should give me a follow-up call in two weeks after they got back.

Suicidal thoughts and impulses from a lack of hope are all too commonplace in our society, especially amongst the mentally ill, those living with chronic illness, and teenagers. I believe adequate compassionate, non-judgmental support is needed in the valley for persons struggling with these life-threatening issues.

Lastly, living daily with physical and mental illness and not having the support I need, brings me to the realization that I am not the only one in the valley suffering with these issues. I am disheartened by people who are paid by the government with the tax dollars of the hard-working people of Canada and are entrusted by our government who has hired them, lording their positions over those who are weak and less fortunate and not taking their problems seriously.

In my experience volunteers at the crisis line are very special caring people, but they lack adequate resources to refer hurting people to in the valley.

In conclusion, I believe: affordable housing for persons with disabilities, support in aspects of health for persons with disabilities in their everyday living, adequate support for those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, are amongst the paramount issues in the Comox Valley.

Jessica Dawson,

Courtenay

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