An Open Letter to the Ontario Ministry of Health:

I am angry. I am frustrated. And I am fed up.

For six years I have been dealing with mental health issues. For the entirety of this time I have been actively, and aggressively, seeking treatment for these issues, and am refused time and time again. The refusal is not a blatant denial, but rather a long drawn out process that lulls you in to a sense of security before pulling the rug out from under you.

For six years I have gone from doctor to doctor, and received nothing more than a fake smile and a gentle shove out the door.

The first psychiatrist I ever met with told me after a few months of observation that I’m obviously “cured” because I enjoy traveling.

Another told me that I should stop my whining, as the referral I requested did nothing more than bog down the system.

And yesterday I met with  a new psychiatrist who told me that I wasn’t extreme enough a case to be taken on as a patient. And that I was more than capable of monitoring my own medication increases and reactions. So, after one appointment filled with condescending comments, I was handed a prescription for Prozac and told to have a nice day. She said that if I really felt I needed a psychiatrist I could request a referral from a family doctor to see someone else.

Gee, thanks. Can I mention that it takes at least six months to get in to someone after a referral is submitted? And that I’ve tapped out my options, as OHIP will refuse to cover a psychiatrist visit to anyone other than the one closest to the address on your health card?

So, basically, I’m not sick enough to warrant treatment. Mental health services are not important enough to warrant province-wide coverage. Oh, and as a student with no income I’m not poor enough to get help with covering the costs of my prescriptions.

There’s a flaw in this system.

There has been so much talk in the media this year encouraging openness and understanding when it comes to mental health. Yet the very system we’re to seek help from couldn’t give less of a damn.

Today, I am ashamed. Not about this disease, a shame that took me many years to get over. No, today I am ashamed of my government, and my country.

I know that in spite of these obstacles I will be alright. But I also know that because of them, so many others will not.

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One Reply to “An Open Letter to the Ontario Ministry of Health:”

  1. I’ve had similar issues with my work related injury. I went from doctor to doctor for several years with no answers, and had to keep on fighting to finally get a diagnosis, instead of a “mystery diagnosis”. Keep up the fight.

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