Even though we have come leaps and bounds with mental health care and the services provided, there still is simply need for improvement. It is unacceptable to have a brand new hospital and the tools to perform such tasks and have no one properly trained and able to offer these services. When a service has been offered at a hospital for years and then all of a sudden is no longer offered due to one doctor leaving and the doctor coming on not being trained with the skills needed, it provides a huge gaping hole that needs to be addressed.
In my town, we do not have an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) doctor however when I was experiencing problems I was referred out of town to one and had surgery at another hospital without any issue. Other people may need to see a doctor with another speciality that is not in their town but it is still easy to get into the service when referred out.
This seems to be a barrier however when it comes to mental health and where things lie. You would think that each health authority would work together in order to combine their care if not all health authorities are able to offer the needed services. Truro currently does not have a psychiatrist trained on the current ECT machine they have and there are patients that are desperately in need of this service. It has not been easy to access ECT therapy in other areas of the province and this has become very frustrating and tiring to say in the least. The services should be more accessible and available to the people that need them. Just because you do not live in the HRM area does not mean that you do not matter. It simply means that our system sucks and sometimes things do not get listened to.
We promote all the funding that is going into the mental health awareness causes, the events that are occurring, and the money raised. This is all good however, I think we have sometimes forgotten that change begins at home... in our own town rather than on a bigger scale. Its all about funding and lack of services, plain and simple. Stigma continues to be alive and well within our health system, whether people care to admit it or not. Mental and physical health is all the same and should be treated as such.
It's very frustrating to be able to know where the services are at however unable to reach them. I would equate it to being in the desert and being thirsty, the desert being our healthcare system. There is a fountain (the treatment needed) that is accessible on the other side of huge fence(a boundary) that could quench your needs and thirst. You know this is what you need to get back to health as you have tried every other thing out there possible.. However, no matter how hard you try, you cannot get over that fence. The fountain is for anyone that lives on that side and it seems like they are not willing to share. So, right now all you can do is look over the fence, exhausted and worn out from trying to think of ways to reach the fountain. No one seems willing to even offer to bring you over a cup to pour through the holes in the fence for you. Everything seems hopeless, utterly hopeless.
Its a very hopeless and frustrating system to have to fight when exhaustion and depression kick in. Its no wonder there are some people out there who have given up trying to access mental health services. Hence, as I battle with my own struggles I hope that I am a beacon in the dark for those who are not able to advocate for themselves.