An early interest in Autism led me to study psychology several decades ago and, eventually, to become a Psychologist. Therefore, it was with much interest that I read Peter Rukavina’s opinion piece “An Integrated Network” and listened to MLA Sidney McEwen introduce a private member’s bill to establish an Autism Secretariat. Integrating services will not only help families navigate the system, but will allow decision makers to identify gaps and create the best flow possible through the system for these Islanders.Read more
I read with interest Paul MacNeill’s editorial in the Graphic on August 29th and agree with his assertion that the time has come to rebuild trust throughout the Three Rivers region.
Amalgamation in Three Rivers has been described by some as “the threat of Amalgamation” and by others as “the promise of Amalgamation”. The conflict and divisive discourse is no secret. Conflict that, left unaddressed, could easily colour the nature of the regional relationships moving forward.Read more
I would like to thank Sidney MacEwen for responding to my recent opinion piece "Wisdom in the room going unnoticed" (The Guardian; July 13, 2018). It seems that there is more that we agree about than we disagree about and this instils hope for collaborative efforts moving forward. We agree that Eastern PEI is facing huge challenges with the failure to provide consistent access to acute and primary health care at KCMH. We agree about the high level of interest in the room the night of the community forum in Montague. And although Mr. MacEwen suggests otherwise, I agree with him that the people in the room that night voiced many concerns and solutions worthy of consideration. It was hearing this, in fact, which motivated me to write my opinion piece. Excuse me for repeating it, but I think the observations I made are important enough not to be dismissed: “Community members spoke of collaborative models and going beyond the same old, same old solutions for the challenges in acute care. They offered solutions, identified problems with professional territoriality, pointed out when the statistics being offered were inaccurate or misleading, and concerningly, spoke of the lack of consultation with frontline health workers and community members.”Read more
Over the past few weeks we have heard a great deal about the new funding being made available to PEI’s post-secondary students through bursaries and debt-reduction programs. This is fantastic news for young Islanders who are beginning their post secondary education and those who are going to stay here on PEI after they graduate. I look forward to seeing the details of how these new programs will roll out.
I applaud this effort, but have been surprised to see Ministers pointing to this as a ‘cure all’ for the problems facing Island youth. Of course, it would be impossible for one program or initiative to address every issue. The needs of young Islanders are complex and varied. Yet, in the current sitting of the Legislature, new bursary and debt reduction programs for post-secondary students have been presented as an answer to a wide range of issues such as affordable housing for youth, low youth income levels (see Hansard April 24, pg 1921), and perhaps most confusingly, as a response to why UPEI is not covered under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) (see Hansard April 12 2018, pg. 1561). Indeed, the new student bursary and debt relief programs were featured in Ministers’ statements three out of the four days the first full week the legislature was in session (see Hansard April 17-20). Unequivocally, this seems to be a go-to-answer for almost any question related to post-secondary education or young Islanders.Read more
It has been a stormy few months on the Island. Someone I spoke to recently likened it to a game of Whack-A-Mole. It’s almost frenetic as Islanders risk being vulnerable and speak up about challenges they have faced with their mental health, or a family member’s mental health, and their experiences in the health system. And as practitioners in health speak out in frustration. And as politicians offer solutions that may calm the storm, but don’t help navigate out of it.Read more