I’m writing in response to the letter recently posted about addressing the underlying causes of homelessness. I appreciate the acknowledgment from the paper to publish this letter and to the person who wrote it.
As a nurse who has worked in this community and am also specializing in psychiatric nursing, this is an area of focus that I feel very passionately about.
Addressing the underlying causes and preventing homelessness, simply put, is complicated but not impossible. It will take time, dedication, understanding and basically a complete overhaul of how we utilize our services.
For the sake of keeping this readable, I will try my hardest to simplify and condense some of my ideas that can help and prevent mental illness and homelessness.
1. Utilize our health care professionals more efficiently.
Campbell River has many health professionals that need a larger voice. The City of Campbell River should utilize our skilled professionals and give them a consistent platform to reach the public. The radio, newspapers, live interviews that can have a question and answer period and social media pages can have weekly discussions and highlight the services that we have in our community.
Why not have doctors talk about health concerns that they are seeing and educate the public on a larger scale?
Mental health professionals could give advice on how to help with anxiety and depression.
Information about substance abuse and domestic violence could be given from trained professionals.
Mental health issues that youth are facing.
The topics and possibility’s are endless.
These are all issues we face as a community, having a platform that is run by health professionals that is consistent, informative, inclusive and viewable by all will help educate our public and promote engagement to the public of health services. It will also solve the issue of having services more well known instead of operating individually and separate from each other.
2. Early childhood education.
96 per cent of addiction issues stem from unresolved childhood trauma. Parents need information about breaking abusive cycles, as well as how to emotionally regulate themselves and their children.
Because it is unrealistic to think this will happen in all children’s lives, Mental health professionals should teach these skills in our schools. This should not be the teachers job. Skilled professionals have the training to adapt modules of care that are age appropriate and specially focused to what that age group is dealing with. Data has shown significant improvement in the mental health of children and youth with mental health programs are taught in schools by Mental health professionals. Children also feel safer speaking with trained professionals compared to there teachers.
Though these are only two ideas for an issue that needs many, I hopeful that these could spark some type of interest in ways we can talk about solutions.