The Question: My partner has been trying to get help for depression, addiction and anxiety issues. He was put on a wait list for a prescription assessment but won’t be seen for three months. Unless you are at serious risk of suicide or about to physically harm others, the system doesn’t seem to care. Is there any way we can speed up this process?
The Answer: It sounds as if your partner may have what health-care providers refer to as “dual diagnosis” – a substance-abuse problem combined with a psychiatric disorder. It can include a patient with psychotic illness using crack cocaine or someone with anxiety trying to quell symptoms with alcohol. You want to make sure your partner gets into the right treatment program as one size definitely does not fit all.
“There are real obstacles to accessing service, whether it’s in a major urban centre in Toronto, or in a small, northern community,” according to David Goldbloom, a professor of psychiatry at University of Toronto, who pointed out that six million Canadians each year meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental disorder.
While going to a family doctor is the usual route to help, don’t count on that physician being able to fast-track your partner to a specialist. It’s not for lack of effort; it’s just that many doctors have similar problems obtaining help for their patients due to finite health resources and a system that isn’t well-organized.
“What general practitioners have encountered often is either tremendously long wait lists or people [psychiatrists] saying, ‘I’m not taking any patients,’” notes Dr. Goldbloom, who is also senior medical advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
A recent study in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that of 230 Vancouver psychiatrists contacted regarding a depressed man, 160 were unable to accept a referral; 70 would consider a referral but could not provide estimated wait times. Six offered appointments, ranging from four to 55 days from the date of enquiry.
Even within provinces, accessing care can vary. Victoria Mental Health and Addictions Intake will accept referrals from physicians and nurse practitioners; in Vancouver people can self-refer by phone through Vancouver Coastal Health. For more specialized care, physicians can refer patients to BC Mental Health & Addictions Services.
My advice is to start but don’t stop with your family doctor. Since you are based in Toronto, your partner could also self-refer to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which will be able to do an assessment. The wait list there is weeks and it can match your partner with services within or beyond CAMH. Self-help groups can also be useful.
I wish there was a magic bullet for your partner’s problem but there’s no easy way to fast-track a referral in the public health-care system.
The following list of websites and resources may be helpful in obtaining mental-health services.
Candian Mental Health Association
BC Mental Health & Addiction Services
Alberta Health Services
Government of Saskatchewan
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Drug & Alcohol Helpline
Adult Addictions Services in Manitoba
Nova Scotia Mental Health Services
IWK Health Centre
Mental Heath Services in New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Mental Health and Addictions Division
PEI Department of Health & Wellness
Metro Addiction Assessment Referral Service: 416-599-1448
The Patient Navigator is a column that answers reader questions on how to navigate our health-care system. Send your questions to email@example.com.
Notice the article says "my partner", it leaves out the gender and therefore
the relationship, which does not augur well for the objectivity of the writer.
Take a look at the list of names.
The CMHA, supposedly a mental health association.
It is also a beehive of extreme feminism, often the management and key people are all lesbians and operate the local women's shelter.
That makes the CMHA the Canadian Association of Man Hater's, and if any 'woman, that's right, "female partner" goes to them for "help", her mental health issues are probably going to be put aside while they convince the vulnerable woman that she is perfectly ok, that all her problems are due to her husbands abuse.
Its this kind of abuse of the victims of mental health that fills our family courts, deprives children of fathers, creates endless destruction, endless litigation and another generation of dysfunctional children who grow up in fatherless homes.
The CMHA is not alone, almost every mental health organization in Canada has been taken over to some extent by extreme feminist man haters who use and and abuse their powers and influence to convince female sufferers that its all his fault and their problems will all be solved by joining their lesbian cults.
Readers should note that several posts regarding feminist abuse of mental
health agencies to promote their own agenda, that is, blame a man for a woman's
mental health problems were all deleted by the feminist lobby group.
Fact is, any female victim of a mental health problem is at grave risk of having her illness ignored while she is brainwashed that all her problems are a result of abuse by her male partner even when its very obvious that the abuse causing the problems was carried out in childhood.
Childhood sexual abuse is a primary cause of mental health problems. Unfortunately, the mental health agencies, run by extreme feminists, are obsessed with promoting hatred towards men while leaving endless trails of utter destruction and repeated generations of children who grow up predisposed towards a generational cycle of mental health and personality problems.
Its not just the conservatives, society in general treats mental health as a
The underlying most serious factor that undermines the acknowledgement and treatment of mental health problems is abuse by those who choose to use their positions of power to promote their own agendas that have nothing to do with mental health.
Its a tragedy that the average GP has next to no experience or training in
mental health. Those who do have some training, know that it requires
professional training and experience. They refer patients to real mental health
The cost to society is astronomical and beyond the comprehension of our politicians who need to adopt a collective approach to come up with a policy that they all agree is necessary.
Many who are seriously affected with mental health problems border on genius IQ, and its a common trait amongst the most gifted to suffer mental health problems that are often inherited or caused by a traumatic childhood experience such as childhood sexual abuse.
They need professional support from real professionals and not those with their agenda that has nothing to do with mental health.
Schizophrenia is suffered more by women than men, unfortunately, more often
than not, female victims of Schizophrenia are used as sacrificial lambs in the
extreme feminist agenda of promoting hatred towards men.
That generally results in another generation of fatherless children thanks to a society and a judiciary that are obsessed with the extreme feminist doctrine that criminalizes men for no other reasons than by having been born with testicles.
Further, "Counseling" is frequently used to brainwash a victim that they are OK and all their problems are caused by someone else, generally a male partner.
Then its off to the local GP or a hired gun shrink who writes a letter that every thing is OK now.
They are coached how to avoid having their problems observed by others and in their twisted minds, if no one can see the symptoms than they are OK and not "ill".
And so another generation of children are raised by another mentally ill woman.