Almost a year ago my teen suffered what one would call a serious mental health episode. It was bad and it was scary, but the scariest part was the lack of mental health help for my daughter and teens like her here in Canada.
My daughter on March 27th, 2012 at the end of a long field trip at trip at school had a complete and utter breakdown in front on 3 teachers. How she ended up making it home safe that day I am not sure of, but very thankful for. When I finally saw my daughter it was l already 6 hours later, and her body was shaking, her eyes were glazed, her speech did not make sense. She was having visions ( her words,the medical word is hallucination) . Her eyes would dart and take her to another place. The scary part was about to get scarier.
As we sought mental health help for her, a teen who was considered in crisis by mental health professionals we were told we would have to wait for a hospital bed. Even though she was considered high priority, there were no beds in the GTA. Not one. The wait list were long.
We waited over 8 weeks to get her a hospital bed the first week of June and remember she was high priority.
She got diagnosed, and was released with lots of recommendations for community support.
When we tried and access those supports for her, the wait lists were long. She needed a section 23 placement for school or she would have to be Safe Schooled meaning she would not see a classroom for 10 months. She returned to a regular school for the first time in 10 months just last week, with never getting that section 23 placement.
As for community supports my teen remains on the wait list for several 10 months later.
I had to seek private support. Her therapy equaled my rent payment. Not that i minded spending a penny as I simply wanted her healthy. I am very grateful that I can say 10 months later I am getting my daughter back one day at a time. I am very grateful it has been at least 6 months since she last had a vision, or episode. Today, she is healthy and happy as she starts back to school. Yes she has to take medication every day, but now she has coping skills and can live well with her illness.
So many of our teens are not as lucky as my teen.
Here in Canada, according to my daughters doctor not a single bench mark is being met. Here in Toronto they have a plan to improve things but it has been more then slow in coming.
Lets really talk about it and just maybe our kids wont need to wait to help when they really need it.
now today on Twitter Bell Canada is giving 5 cents for every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk..
Share my daughter’s story or this infographic freely with the hashtag.