LETTER: Health issue in ‘dire need’ of solutions

Two stories under different headlines, but tied together nicely to show Nelson has an issue.

Friday’s Nelson Star front page had me shaking my head in disbelief. Two stories under different headlines, but tied together nicely to show Nelson has an issue that’s in dire need of solutions and Interior Health burying its head in the sand.

The unfortunate story about a mental health worker being allegedly assaulted outside the courthouse shows the terrible position health care workers can be put in as they try to make a difference. These workers deal daily with those suffering from an unfortunate disease. It certainly can’t be easy, even on the best days.

The other front page story was about the proposal for a mental health car being nixed by Interior Health. The proposal is piloted by Nelson Police Department chief Wayne Holland, a man who has spent decades on the streets of  one of the most challenging cities in North America. Vancouver is home to horrible mental health issues and for many years our chief witnessed positive solutions that make the situation at least a little bit better.

The dedicated mental health car is one of those positive steps towards making a difference.

Holland could not hide his feelings on the decision: “It’s very disappointing to have one key stakeholder stand in the way of us going ahead with this.” He should be disappointed.

In the 20 years I’ve spent in this community, the change on our streets when it comes to those suffering from mental illness has increased noticeably. Nelson is a great place to be. The same things that attract those fortunate to have good health are the same things that attract those who suffer from mental illness.

It’s a problem and some of those closest to that problem are the police. They deal with it every day. This isn’t some sort of product of chief Holland’s imagination.

“There’s always more that could be done for any population, but it always boils down to resources,” states IH’s Cheryl Whittleton. “We need to ensure we’re using our resources wisely.”

All it would take would be a weekend hanging around the downtown police station for Interior Health decision makers to get a better sketch of what goes on in Nelson on a typical night. It would seem much more wise after the weekend was over.

I completely understand provincial health costs are through the roof and running the system becomes trickier every day with increasing demands. But once in a while there’s an idea that just makes so much sense that it’s worth taking the chance and spending the resources. It’s clear Interior Health needs to just fess up and admit they are wrong on this decision.

Bob Hall

Just Posted

Nelson Leafs overcome injuries to beat Fernie 3-1

Hunter Young made 26 saves in net for the Leafs

Nelson Boxing Club sweeps fights in Idaho

Caeden Rennie, Marino Raffo, Stryder Sutton and Max Berkeley each won

School District 8 swears in new board

Four new trustees join the Kootenay Lake board of education

LVR Bombers finish 12th at field hockey provincials

The Bombers salvaged the tournament with a late win in the quarter-finals

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Most Read