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 mental 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 crossfire 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 outlined 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

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,” and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

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  • Harold McNeill

    February 15, 2020 |

    Testing the comments section after changes made. Updated: February 10, 2020

    Further to the update below (February 1, 2020), I note that since the government announced a “No-Fault” insurance plan for BC, Robert Mulligan is taking a slightly different tack, suggesting that no-fault will only increase the problems by taking away the right of an injured party to sue.

    I’ve copied just one sentence from Mulligan’s longer discussion, “And I think people don’t like the idea that somebody who’s, for example, was drunk and ran into you and you become a quadriplegic is going to be treated exactly the same way you would in terms of getting benefits (go to minute 00:15:26 to see his full comment)

    Statements like this appear to be simple fear-mongering. As was the case in the past, people who commit criminal offences, as well as other forms of negligence while driving, may well lose their insurance coverage and in all likelihood would be sued by ICBC to recover costs of the claim. (Link here to Mulligan’s full conversation on CFAX radio)

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  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.