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More voices slam mental health bed closures

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posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 09:15 AM
Article Written By:
Kerry Diotte
Sun Media

The closure of mental health beds at Alberta Hospital Edmonton (AHE) is being hammered right, left and centre. The just-announced decision by the province to close 100 to 150 acute-care beds at the facility is being criticized by a federal Tory MP and by the provincial NDP and Liberals. All of them worry the decision by Alberta Health Services could force patients onto the streets of Edmonton's inner city. "It's unconscionable," said Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring. "That's why the homeless population has exploded in the inner-city areas," said Goldring, who worries discharged mental patients could harm themselves or others. "Once they're off their meds they don't make rational decisions," Goldring said. "At least 25% of the homeless people in the community have serious mental problems." Provincial NDP Leader Brian Mason fears the bed closures -- to happen over three years -- will compound an existing problem. "We have a very serious shortage of mental health beds already," said Mason, who also fears psych patients might wind up on the street. Liberal health critic Kevin Taft said his phones have been "ringing off the hook" from people in the health-care field who believe the bed closure move is foolish. "On paper, some of these people could be supported in the community, but in reality the resources are simply not there," said Taft. "Everyone is right to be very, very skeptical about this," Taft said. Alberta Health Services spokesman Marianne Stewart deflected the criticism, saying "research and best practices" show many psychiatric patients are better off living in the community than being at an institution. "We want to make sure we've got the right people in the right setting," said Stewart. "We need to do better for the people in the AHE and they should be in our community." Stewart insists nobody will be thrown out on the streets, saying people will only be moved when there's a place for them elsewhere. The placements could range from "everything from a lodge-type setting that's their home and is supervised ... to group homes."

This issue has been in local news for the past week, basically the Alberta health services board wants to close bed at Alberta hospital to "save money" and allow patients to recover in the community.

Not great idea from the standpoint of local residents however, they feel that crime rates will increase and violent attacks on average citizens will be more rampant because of the closures.

My standpoint on the issue at hand is 50/50 at the moment, but that's likely to change in coming months and years ahead.

posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 09:32 PM

¿50/50? C´mon...

I will say I´m a 100% for the poor folk that don´t have all their mental faculties. The main reason being is that there are real power broker´s who are sucking all the tax monies across the world down for their own petty greed.

These same freaks, then turn around, and tell us that there´s not enough taxes...............Even though it is all in their pockets........... The Power Broker´s are the ones that need to be 'cut off¡

Isn´t Edmonton the furthest large city in Canada?.......Either way Canada is cold in the winter, and throwing dinked People out on the streets when it is cold is just messed up.

I say give them their beds, and care...........Hey, maybe the Albertan People could steal a few mines, or some of that ther´ Alberta black gold?


posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:36 AM
reply to post by sanchoearlyjones

that's no joke. they huddle around exterior return-air vents in the winter. used to see it all the time near the university. it's amazing what i've seen some of those guys live through. seen a guy covered in snow one morning on the way to work. about minus 25 c no joke. thought he was dead, but nope, told me to piss off. so i did.
what i don't get is they're doing things like this and then they're trying to do things like host expo, and also earlier this year they got rid of the minute fees for health care. fees suck but to say "hey no more fees" only to make cuts to those who need it doesn't make sense. the fees weren't much at all but hey recessions suck. if oil stays above seventy per barrell maybe they'll allot more who knows.

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 07:12 AM
reply to post by sanchoearlyjones

The homeless population in Edmonton has always been this way, these folks have been neglected by society. In way I feel for them, the various government agencies use these people for there own selfish purposes whether they like it or not.

As for bed closures I think a majority of Edmonton residents and law enforcement are going to protest this issue in the name of safety. Why because the EPS is already over worked, most beat officers put in 14 hour days and the department has been having problems getting new recruits.

With that being said it's going to suck for everyone

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 02:43 AM
OMG, snow men that jump out at You!!! At least that's what I'm picturing right

eh, er, so yes, the polipuppets there will 'fight for the homeless' when necessary, and then ensure they stay in the gutter for the next campaign...

Hey, that's smart!!! Always have a pool of down trodden People to make the 'Cause' for the next fund raiser............

Sign Me UP; I've got governer potential in me!

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by sanchoearlyjones

dude guy jumped outta four inches of snow ready to stab me lol. well he wasn't gonna stab me but it makes me think that guys like that push the limits physically pertaining to brute survival.
minus twenty five with no windchild in alberta is goddam cold.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 05:15 AM

Originally posted by sanchoearlyjones
Sign Me UP; I've got governer potential in me!

Well first of all it's called Premier, two a lot people here would much prefer electing (the rich choose the right man for the job and the people just make it easier to narrow it down) someone from Calgary who will represent big oil or will ignore the common man altogether in the favor of corporate gifts.

posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 05:43 AM
I live in Edmonton and I have worked in the mental health industry as a security guard (though not at the Alberta hospital, but at other ones). I completely disagree with this decision. We already have bed shortages as it is, and not only that, but the Alberta hospital is where we keep most of the more violent, severe, and long term mental health patients. It will place a huge strain on the rest of the system.

I'm not sure how many beds the Alberta hospital has, but as of 2004, the hospital I worked in had 30 beds for long term mental health patients, and 99% of the time they had all 30 full. They had another 3 or 4 for short term (

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