Mental Illness: A rising crisis on the street

Written by Harold McNeill on September 13th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


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September 12, 2014:  Further to a recent story on this blog (Living in the Shadow of Mental Illness) posted on August 19th, 2014, the Vancouver Police Chief and Mayor have now waded in on the subject of metal illness.  They outline how the VPD will likely make 3000 arrests under the Mental Health Act this year, up from just over 2200 five years earlier. (Link to Province Article)

Both the Mayor and the Chief make the point that the Criminal Justice System is not the place on which this problem should be offloaded.  They state that we are now seeing the consequences as senior governments continue to close hospitals that provide intensive care for those having spiralled into the depths of despair that comes with deteriorating mental health.  As was pointed out in the earlier story, over 8000 seriously mentally ill people were dumped onto the streets when the Riverview Hospital closed its doors in 2012.  The Coquitlam Mayor is now calling for that hospital to be updated and re-opened in order to help deal with the crisis. (Post February 1, 2016, 553)

The previous story also outlined how the dangers of letting this crisis continue unabated will be measured in lost lives, both of the mentally ill and of police and citizens who happen to get caught in the cross fire of some incidents. Eight RCMP officers and dozens of citizens have been killed in such circumstances. These killings may not all have been prevented, however there would be a much greater chance of at least reducing the number as out lined in Living in the Shadow of Mental Illness and
Mental Illness: A rising crisis on the street

The mentally ill stand alongside the learning disabled, those who have been abused and others who deal with life challenges that are beyond the scope of personal initiative to correct.  Teachers and medical personal who specialize in training and treatment is needed, not more police, courts and prisons as outlined in Abducted: The First Twelve Hours

It is time to take a stand on these issues.

Harold McMeill

Other Links.

Shooting by Science World  (Link)

Man Shot by Police

June 12, 2014: This man was shot and seriously wounded by police after he went on a shooting rampage that began in Yaletown. Another family member said the man had been slipping further into mental illness over the previous several months.  How he accessed the weapon used to injure a bike shop owner in Yaletown and later to challenge police, is not known.  It was simply quick police action mixed with a fair amount of good luck, that no one was killed and that many more were not injured.

 

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Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold