Alberta hospital is a critical element of the health care system in Alberta. It provides numerous services for the mentally ill and distressed, services that are not available anywhere else in the province and services that are critical to the community.
The conservative party as a cost cutting measure has decided to close the hospital down. Stating that the individuals it served would be better served in the community. This is the same argument that drove the de-institutionalization movement in the 1970s.
The problem with this argument is in many ways de-institutionalization was a failure. Many of those displaced from care became homeless. Which is why today a disproportionately large amount of homeless suffer from mental illnesses. The community programs that were supposed to help better serve these people never materialized or were never properly supported.
Ed Stelmach wants to repeat this set of mistakes by closing the last true facility designed to deal with those people who can't be treated within the community. It is a massive mistake and I worry about what will happen to a group of people who's needs are not served by society and politicians.
I am working on getting some number from a few of my old psychology classes to give a full picture of what the government is really doing to the mentally ill here.
Check out this commercial by the aupe and go here to get a petition.
Mental illness can affect any family at any time please help save alberta hospital.