Mental health needs attention

Citizens need to insist on more government funds devoted to care and treatment for the mentally ill, says letter writer.

To the Editor,

A Vancouver mother was not among the many extra thousands who stood at cenotaphs across the country on Remembrance Day, as she had just been killed by her mentally-ill son. He was in the headlines recently for beating his dog and tossing it into a dumpster, and it eventually died.

Dog-lovers turned up at the courthouse for the man’s trial, incensed that the poor animal suffered such an awful death, and complained that the sentence of a couple month’s jail time did not fit the crime. The judge acknowledged the mental state of the man he sent to jail, but said he was no further threat as long as he took his anti-psychotic medications.

His mother’s death proves the meds were not taken as prescribed.

No doubt, most of those standing at the cenotaphs on Nov. 11 had the senseless death in Ottawa of Corporal Nathan Cirillo on their minds; his killer was another mentally-deranged man who had served jail time while pleading for help with his drug addiction, and met his death in dramatic fashion in our parliament’s Centre Block.

Ironically, the psychotic killer managed to galvanize a nation to attend cenotaph services remembering those killed in wars, just as Canada wages war against ISIS in Iraq costing upwards of $250,000 per day, and dropping bombs that cost about $40,000 each.

Would that all those who recoil and react to these awful killings in Vancouver and Ottawa, be willing to galvanize together and insist that more government funds are devoted to treatment, care and rehabilitation of the mentally ill.

Bernie Smith,

Parksville