Since the beginning days of the renovations at Three Oaks Senior High (TOSH), concerned parents have been expected to simply “trust” that their children have been safe throughout construction, though it was found that breaches in asbestos safety protocol have occurred.
Air quality test results that started being shared with these parents in April 2018 have led to email exchanges and a few select meetings with representatives from the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, the Department of Education, the construction company leading the project, and others. However, many questions have been left unanswered, and concerns for the current and future wellbeing of students persist. Some parents have even been forced to request (and pay for) information through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy act- a process that has been slow and frustrating.Read more
When a system is failing there are stopgap measures one can put in place to keep it running - albeit much less efficiently than if it had a complete overhaul. We have all kicked various motors or rebooted our computers or pleaded to inanimate objects. Sometimes effective in the short term, but eventually the things that these objects or machines can’t do increase and accumulate and the system fails.Read more
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
The recently released annual report from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) outlines the financial status of the organization and highlights recent enhanced education efforts to increase employee safety in the workplace -- a worthwhile endeavour for prevention of workplace injuries. In the report, the WCB board also celebrates that “the average duration for a claim was 20 per cent shorter, with more workers returning to work more quickly than the previous year” (Guardian, July 2018).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
Caring for our Health Care system is a complex, multi-faceted task, just as caring for our own health is. While having a consistent relationship with a family doctor is essential, there are many resources, beyond family doctors, that we might access to support our health and our family’s health. In the same way, a healthy Health Care system is best achieved when decision makers think more broadly, more holistically, and, above all, more sustainably; when they look beyond the usual short term or singular remedies.Read more
I have learned over a lifetime of personal and professional relationships that suicide and the thought of ending one’s own life is a complex and heartrending experience. I don’t know how many people have shared with me their belief that suicide was a real choice for them - possibly hundreds. A belief that arose from despair and hopelessness.
Responding to suicidal ideation or behaviour in the moment, through initiatives such as Help Lines or peer support, is different than helping people to no longer consider suicide as an option at difficult times in their lives. And this is different again than preventing, or at least reducing the incidence of, suicide in our society as a whole. Or as the final statement in the recently released Suicide Prevention Strategy The Building Blocks of Hope describes it: “make Prince Edward Island safer from suicide”.Read more
Hoping for something does not make it so - a lesson most of us learn early in life when the magical thinking of childhood is lost. Training teachers to deliver curriculum designed to increase knowledge of mental health issues does one specific thing - increases knowledge of mental health issues. A worthy goal in itself, but what does the evidence actually tell us about this program’s ability to support student mental health and wellbeing?Read more
This past week the Speaker of the House ruled against MLAs speaking to the gallery outside of the rails. The rails became a focus again later in the week when courageous MLAs chose to speak of their personal experiences with trauma in the House - and the government listened and responded - yet information obtained directly from Islanders about their experience with mental health, including trauma, was devalued and discounted. Perhaps MLAs need to do less speaking to people outside of the rail and more listening.Read more
Essential Island workers dying at their workplace, doing unpaid job of caring for children
Since January of this year, six young Island women have died in their workplace.
To my knowledge, there has been no investigation by any government agency leading to an identification of the circumstances that led to their deaths, an implementation of - or increase in - safety measures to make the job safer or support for the family members left without a mother, wife, sister, or daughter.
The Island women who died on the job were doing the unpaid and essential work of caring for children; their workplace was the home. They suffered with postnatal (postpartum) depression, which eventually led to their deaths.Read more