By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Regional FCSS chapters are requesting that the Province provide more services in the way of mental health services, and the Town of Castor is supporting the endeavour.
With two suicides in the region in the last two years and clients having to wait for extended periods or leave the community for treatment, Castor & District FCSS made a request of both the County of Paintearth and the Town of Castor for support.
“Mental health support for clients has been a source of frustration,” writes Castor FCSS Director Mandy Fuller.
“On occasion I have been told to tell my clients that they need to go to Stettler if they want help.”
While going to Stettler for mental health services is an option for some members of the community, due to the increased costs, travel time, and numerous other commitments that community members have it isn’t an ideal solution.
Castor is usually served by a therapist once or twice a week, however when they are unavailable due to sickness or leave of absence, there is no one to cover in the entire East Central region leaving many in counseling without the help they need.
“It is not enough support to assist all the people requesting service,” writes Brenda Hepp, chairperson of the Castor & District FCSS.
“Our concern is with the lack of services in our area.”
Previously, Castor had a children’s worker who would come out and assist in the schools, in addition to the adult counselor, however the person in the position left and no replacement was hired again forcing families to seek these services out of the community.
Castor & District FCSS has drafted a letter to the Honourable Rajan Sawhney, the minister of Community and Social Services, outlining the request for more community resources.
The County of Paintearth council and the Town of Coronation have already drafted letters of support as well.
Castor council voted unanimously in favour of supporting this initiative to bring more of this much-needed service into the community.
Mental health issues affect one in five Canadians in a given a year, and by the age of 40 around 50 per cent of the population will have dealt with some sort of mental health issue.
These high numbers underline the importance of bringing adequate treatment to the region, council heard.