LETTER: Mental health institutions don’t exist

Saying people need to be treated in supervised institutions is next to impossible.

I am writing in response to a letter published in your newspaper regarding the proposition to end homelessness in Abbotsford by Mr. Redekop.

He talks about treating the homeless in institutions. In Canada, there are no institutions existent due to the government’s de-institutionalized policy. The institutions were closed with plans to treat people with psychological issues in the community.

Therefore, to say that the people need to be treated in supervised institutions in order to receive funding is next to impossible.

Regarding the fact that the homeless people who are addicted need to be placed in recovery centres,  we need to ask ourselves, “Will this placement of the people in recovery centres make them a better addiction-free person?” A person enters a rehab centre to become a better person than they were before. However, after coming out of the centre,  most of them lack the healthy social support. This leads to them becoming the same person they were before going to into rehab. This will lead to a failure in the government system of recovery centres.

A homeless people can never be considered a healthy person as a whole. They may seem healthy and able-bodied from the outside, but when a person does not have a fixed address, limited access to personal care facilities, and the food may or may not be outdated, these forces are likely to hinder the job opportunities for an individual.

For achieving a job, there are many processes involved such as interviews, smart dresses, and relevant education history. Also, in order to become employed, a fixed address is needed. If this is not considered then it would inhibit the employment process.

As a community, we need to analyze our policies in order to see the realities of what is happening in society and what needs to be done in order to eliminate this problem.


Renu Gill