• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Confidence is the Canadian (mental) Health Profession


TRIBE Member
Recent incidences have cause me to have grave concerns about the quality of mental health in Ontario.

Despite all the optics, on television, online, politickery, etc. the fact remains that there must be serious problems. It's not a lack of money, and it's not a lack of infrastructure; it's some kind of systemic problem that I'd like to touch on briefly here on a Saturday afternoon, you know, nearly a week after I was put into handcuffs and forced into a hospital. Again.

We'll start with the positive. I start with this because it is a positive change and pretty much the only good thing I'm going to say about "the system" from henceforth.

I had a question about some medication I take. Specifically I was wondering about what I should do, given that I had missed a couple day's doses. Should I just take one dose right now? Should I take two to make up for it? Should I go to bed? They didn't really answer my question but I could tell they were arranging for cops.

So, of course, I was right, cops showed up about 30 minutes later.

I was having tea with my mother at the time. So I warned her,

me> "You know what, based on experience, I'm pretty sure cops are coming. You should probably leave."

And you know, cops are really rude. They do not take off their outwear, specifically salt encrusted boots, and just presume to walk in all over the place. They won't even take a cup of tea or coffee, they just stand around like overbearing bullies.

They spoke with my mother and asked her if she was in danger. She laughed. I learned this after the fact.

Now, here is the positive point. They recognized that I had committed no crime and and hurt nobody and had no plan to hurt myself or anyone. In the past, they've hauled me to the street under similar situations.

So *new* they called in a nurse or a, social worker? I don't know what his title was. So one cop left and the other cop finally sat down and was civil and we had a chat. Nice, normal conversation, waiting for this nurse to show up.

Now the nurse took about 20 minutes but when he did show up it was obvious that his M.O. is to get everyone into the hospital. I mean otherwise, there isn't much point to his job. Otherwise he just shows up, says a few good feeling points, and leaves. Well that would be Robbin Williams, not a nurse on the public dime hell bent on "assessment".

SO on the nurses bias, the cop puts me into handcuffs. Oh he tells me that I'm lucky because he puts his handcuffs in my front, rather than my back. I ask "Well, which law have I broken? What are the reasons for these handcuffs?" No response. Once again, I've proven that you can be handcuffed in your own house without having broken any laws.

So they take me to the hospital, which is better than the drunk tank, in a way. Maybe not.... And I start pusing the question,

Me> "Officer "Mark", you even freely admit that I've broken no laws, how is it possible that you can handcuff me and take me here? This must be some violation of arbitrary detention if you can't even name a law that I've broken?"

He couldn't answer.

Many years ago, when I worked at the cell phone company, and most people hate their cell phone provider... (much like their ISP)... I actually received a lot of useful training in de-escalation of a situation. Appeasing people to make a situation more solvable. I don't think cops get that training or else they ignore it; because, as I'm sure dear Reader would agree, being handcuffed and taken out of your house is not a "deescalation".

So the hospital admitted me almost immediately.

NOTE BENE: If you want fast service from a Canadian hospital? Show up with in handcuffs with a COP... Suddenly they have all the resources in the world

I was put into a nice room and they treated me quite well and then, this is where the comedy of errors began. This is where the real illumination for me started. The above can all be construed as a mistake but the below:

They took my bloodwork. I took a nap as there is literally nothing else to do.

The next day I asked the doctor,

me> "So what was the result of my bloodwork?"
doctor> "Are you concerned about it?"
me> What kind of stupid question is that? "I'd just like to know the same information that you have."
doctor> "Well I haven't looked at it yet. But you're alcohol level was 0.58%."
me> "Doctor xxx that doesn't make any sense, that's a fatal level?"
doctor> "Hahaha, well you just take these pills and I will come back tomorrow."

Nurse comes in about an hour later. Takes my "vital signs" as if I'm dead.

me> "So Dr. xxx said my blood level was 0.58%? Is that true?"
nurse> "Well, you can get a temporary suspension for that."
me> "Well, 0.05 yeah, but there's a ten times difference between the two?"
nurse> "Oh, yeah, I guess so."
me> "Well 0.05 really isn't much, I think I should leave, I gotta work."
nurse> "Well it's a very high reading so you should listen to the doctor."
me> "The doctor who doesn't recognize that a fatal level of alcohol is in the total contradiction of me being alive and here? Can I see the results myself please?"
nurse> "Just take these pills, relax, and sleep." She offered 20 mg of diazepam so I figured, yeah, I can do that.

The next day, the incompetent doctor came back.

Dr. > "You are taking xxxx? I've cancelled that prescription now."
me> "Dr. that was 5 years ago. I haven't taken that for ages."
Dr. > "Oh. What are you taking then?" he's shuffling though only 3 papers.
me> "Well I take ..... "

Then there was a question about one of the pills, whether it is 0.5mg or 1.0mg. I really don't know, cause I've just been taking it forever. But the bloody doctor, instead of looking at my sheets, deferred to a VOLUNTEER who asked me what it looks like. I said "Really small, maybe a orange, pink sort of colour. Really small." And this teenager told the doctor his opinion and then he wrote it down. I later confirmed his guess was 50% of what I actually take. The point of this is, can't a doctor read recent charts to determine what he himself prescribed me 2 years ago?

So hours pass, and I'm just sitting there. Well frankly a day passed. Just sitting there. I'm worrying about work. More comedy of errors.

This is a private matter for me. But I'm making it public, so that perhaps any reader here can get a basic understanding of the foul nature of meltal help issues that are happening in this province and presumably the country.

Now, that's me, fully employed, wonderful benefits, etc. What about the poor in this country, how do they get treated? They probably can't even afford the drugs I take. The ward I was sent to is a "bring your own prescription" which I could do easily but someone with no benefits could not do.

Off topic but related, a lot of people use these places as homeless shelters. Depending which ward you're in, they'll give you food three times a day and tell you to sleep for the rest of it.

TO be fair, the inpatient care is relatively good, but not sufficient to help a large population.

There's also very quickly a point where we need to tell these people to shut down their institutions because people are better served at home with rest than operating some kind of social club for the perpetually unemployed.

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
It's not a lack of money, and it's not a lack of infrastructure; it's some kind of systemic problem that I'd like to touch on briefly here on a Saturday afternoon,

I'd like to touch on this topic too.

When people praise or complain about the Canadian health care system, they usually have one of two points: That it's too costly, or that it's non effective.

I can only speak about our local hospitals here in KW, but I imagine the same problem exists across the country.

First of all, absolutely all the infrastructure is THERE. The government, ie politicians, have (not to give them compliments) put the money in place so that rooms, beds, equipment, is THERE.

Next of all, doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers, interns, they are THERE.

So it's kind of like we have all the stuff we need but nobody to bake the cake. That comes down to a management function.

All this money, all these people, all this equipment, is not being used efficiently to deliver the best health care that is possible with our limited resources.

Every government just follows the same ideal, just throw more money at it. More money and maybe it'll get better.

That's not true. We already have what we need, what we need is someone who can manage each hospital better.




TRIBE Member
Sometimes, I've heard those anti depressants make shit worse. I don't know if that's true.

But as long as you're not worse for the wear, just carry on. Just don't fucking get yourself worked up to that point. Managing a lifestyle kind of thing.

But, I don't know shit about any of this to be honest. I love reading your happier endeavours about dive bar bouncer fights.

To be honest. It's like you need to have a set of months where you wake up and say, did I do anything really really retarded last night. The more you say no, the better shit gets.

Anyway, you're pretty famous, and the best stories second to none.