Monday, October 19, 2009

Government Gets it Right - Mental Health Act

The Government of Alberta has proclaimed an amendment to the Mental Health Act, loosening involuntary admissions criteria to "likely to cause harm to self or others, or to suffer substantial mental or physcial deterioration or serious physical impairment."

Bravo for implementing a much-needed change.

I know the government has been under fire lately with news that a wing of Alberta Hospital will be closing; but in the storm of criticism, mustn't we also pause to thank them when they get it right?

With so many close family members who are mentally ill, and having spent many, many hours with mental health professionals, with the police, with the court system, I can say with a great gust of relief that this change was needed. The burden on family members I can tell you; when everyone knows that your parent/child is ill but you must stand by and watch their fall - until their fall is so terrible that they are in immenent danger - it is a horrible feeling. How close do you want your loved one to get to the edge before you yank them back?

Which is probably why I won't watch horror movies. I don't need the vicarious thrill. I've lived it, and it's not nearly as thrilling in real life.