Anybody who has been reading here for any amount of time is quite familiar with my an ongoing love affair with the Dept. of Community Services (DCS). Don't believe me? Follow the link.
On that note, I was very pleased to (very) recently learn about the Human Rights Complaint that has been brought forward against the
As noted in Beth's story, Emerald Hall is intended to be an acute care in-patient unit serving clients who live with intellectual disabilities as well as complex mental and/or physical health issues. What Beth's story fails to mention is that Emerald Hall is designed to provide only temporary (up to three months) stabilization care for people who are living in the community.
Note this comment from Capital District Health's Capital District Mental Health Program Services page:
Emerald Hall supports adults living with a mental illness and developmental disability who are not able to live in the community either because of a lack of available resources or a need for intense support that is only available in hospital. Many of Emerald Hall’s current clients are long-term residents. As such its occupancy is almost always 100 per cent. However, crisis admission is sometimes available to registered clients.Long-term residents is one way to put in I guess - some of those "residents" have lived there for 13 years. That's right - 13 years. And that's not because it was considered medically necessary - these
"Sad situation, indeed", you say. "But what exactly does this have to do with my family?", you ask.
Good question. Deserves a good answer.
But before we get there, let me point out one more thing. From the Chronicle Herald article:
A complaint over the province’s failure to provide supportive, community-based housing for people with disabilities has been accepted by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.Riddle me this, please. How is it even possible for a Human Rights Commission investigator to find that "the existence of discrimination cannot be denied in this situation", but then go on to recommend that the complaint be dismissed?
“There has been an investigation and investigative report prepared,” Donna Franey, executive director of the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, wrote in an email to the media late Friday.
“The report notes that ‘the existence of discrimination cannot be denied in this situation,’ yet the recommendation to the commission is dismissal of the complaint.”
Is it just me or does that sound awfully strange to you too? Fortunately this story is far from over.
But back to you. And me. And your children. And mine.
This complaint, if successful, has the potential to shake up the
Can you imagine being forced to be live in a locked unit in a psychiatric hospital even though you neither wanted nor needed to stay in the hospital, let alone in a locked unit?
Can you imagine being unable to properly develop or receive an education, of being deprived of the chance to work, make and interact with friends and do any of the myriad of other things that you and I take for granted in the community?
How about being exposed to the problems of living in a psychiatric ward, including noise and the risk of violence on a daily basis?
Can you imagine your feelings if you were repeatedly told that you would be found a home in the community but it never happened?
I can and it makes me shudder.
At this point, we can only hope and pray that reason and the rule of law will preside when the matter goes before the Commission for review and a decision is made on whether to dismiss the case or forward it to a board of inquiry.