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Letter: More money to mental health

Maple Ridge News - 4/14/2019

Editor, The News:

One of the saddest things I have ever seen was that of a tiny lady bent over trying to pull up a sock, tie a shoe, not sure what she was doing.

A cigarette was in her mouth, which contained few teeth. All I could see were rotten and greeny-brown.

Her hair was all over the place, dirty as her face and body. She could barely stand up in her not-too-bad looking, but dirty clothes – someone's mom, daughter, aunt, sister.

It pulled at my heartstrings.

Putting a recovering addict in housing close to buddies and access to drugs is like being an alcoholic trying to recover, living with other alcoholics above a bar.

Since they closed Riverview, this is what we have come to expect to see, and this is the treatment addicts and mental health sufferers can expect to get.

Our town and others have become havens, and not safe ones, for too many people while putting our communities, ourselves and our children at great risk.

I believe it is not the people, but the way things are being addressed that has made this an intolerable situation.

Housing is a wonderful thing for these people to aspire to, but not to start with.

Let's get them the help they really need in a way that can actually be helpful, and at the same time treat them with the love and dignity all of us deserve.

Let's help others before they are at this point, with a lot more money going to mental health being a great start.

Kathy Mang

Maple Ridge