Public forum to discuss future of mental health services as cuts to beds and programs loom
North Bay - The union representing employees at North Bay Psychiatric Hospital will host a community forum to consult with patients, community agencies and the public on the future of mental health services in the North Bay area.
Date: February 25
Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Place: Davedi Club on Airport Rd
“There will be a major downsizing of beds and out-patient services when North Bay Psychiatric Hospital is divested from the provincial government,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, First Vice-President/Treasurer of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “We’re concerned that services are not in place in the community to
help the mentally ill when beds and programs at the hospital are closed.”
OPSEU has been told by the province that the divestment is pending.
Admission to the forum is free. The public is welcome. Speakers include: Barb Anello, Disabled Women’s Network Ontario; Arif Majeed, People for Equal Partnership in Mental Health; John Bowcott, North Eastern Ontario Networking; Lana Mitchell, Low Income People Involvement of Nipissing; Rev. Terry O’Connor; Bill Kotsopoulos, North
Bay General Hospital; and Warren (Smokey) Thomas, First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU. The moderator is Stan Lawlor.
On June 3, 1998, then Minister of Health Elizabeth Witmer told the Ontario legislature, “Until such time as we have the services and programs that we feel are going to respond to the needs of the individuals in the psychiatric hospitals, there will be no further closure of those beds.”
In November, OPSEU released a report, Reality: Ontario’s Mental Health Care System isn’t Working. The report details cuts to mental health services across Ontario and is available at http://www.opseu.org/bps/health/mental/index.htm
For more information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, (613) 329-1931 or (416) 443-8888 ext. 303
Anthony Morabito, (705) 476-3023 or (705) 499-5942