Did I read correctly in today’s Citizen? There are only 27 mental health crisis care beds available in our city devoted to the youth at CHEO and the Royal? Let’s break that down in general numbers so we can all gasp in unison.
Approximately 1/3 of Ottawa’s population is under the age of 24. That rounds to about 270,000. There are only 27 beds available; One bed per 10,000 youths. If we know that 1 in 6 kids has mental health issues that means that about 45,000 kids in our city may require inpatient care at some point. But there are only 27 beds. Yes, I keep saying it. 27 beds!!
I am a solution oriented person. I would rather spend my time speculating on solutions than laying blame at the feet of the government. I hate wasted energy. So when I read the article at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/shortage+CHEO+raises+five+alarm+bell/3942701/story.html
my brain began whirling to find a grassroots solution to the problem.
Pragmatically speaking, to avoid the large need for crisis care beds we need to avoid crisis. While we can’t completely avoid inpatient mental health care crisis situations, we can all do our part to ensure that the supporting agencies in our communities are sufficiently staffed and funded. If we take care of our youth in a preventative manner we can reduce the demand on the limited resources noted in the article.
The holidays are when these agencies have the greatest demand. The government just doesn’t have the money. Corporate sponsorship for these agencies is ever decreasing. It is up to us to make sure our youngsters are well.
This link provides a list of charitable mental health care providers. Most have a service for our youth.
Times have changed and we have to take responsibility in our communities. We have to take responsibility for our own wellbeing. We must not waste time lamenting over the past.
Poor mental health in our youth leads to family crisis, addiction, crime, incarceration, patient management by medication, homelessness, and suicide. Is that the future we want for our youth because there are only 27 inpatient beds in Ottawa?
I know we are better than that. I know that you will all take the money you were going to spend on a video game and put it towards the charity of your choice this year.
I believe in you Ottawa!