Posted by: Jack Hope | Saturday June 23, 2012

Update: Hanging In There

Well, another week has passed and I’m still no closer to getting in to see a psychiatrist here in Calgary.  The health care system here truly is an embarrassment.  My investigations into pursuing other options continue to be stalled at the moment, but hopefully that will change at the start of next week.

Some small good news items though:

  • My purging project is starting to near its conclusion, although the most difficult part, sorting the collections of loose papers still lies ahead.  It will however, make the entire task of relocating back to Vancouver permanently very much easier when I am able to do so.
  • My blog got it’s first re-blogging, of my Mental Health Must Reads, by the Beauty From Pain Blog.  Thanks very much!
  • I’ve also received a number of additional suggestions of items to  add to that, which I am currently going through and hopefully we’ll be adding some of them soon.  Thank you to those who’ve sent them in and please feel free to continue suggesting ideas to build up this page.
  • I’ve also been able to add a number of other resources to hopefully people who happen to come across these pages will have more resources to access to help them or their loved ones.
  • I’ve started to participate in Pinterest, as another avenue to provide and gather resources both for my own depression fight and hopefully for others.  You can find me here:

Well that’s everything for now.  Hope you’re all having a terrific weekend!



  1. Followed you on Pinterest, but I’m not sure how much helpful mental health stuff there is there. Unless it has expanded. I am in Boston but I have a friend in Toronto & I understand access isn’t at a therapeutic level, nor in the UK for that matter 😦 Hope this week yields good things.

    • Thanks for your comment. The thing with Pinterest and most social media is that it takes time for demand to build up and resources to be accumulated. So it’s still a relatively new social media venture and the resources for mental health are still being assembled by its users and that’s one of the things that I hope to do.

      • Sounds great!

  2. I remember when I was so desperate to get in and see a psychiatrist–I wasn’t going back to my meds being handled by a GP and since I was psychotic, I wanted the best. It was a year waiting list where I’m at (that’s Canada for you!)

    My plan was to jump through a glass window (seriously) so I would end up in the psych ward and be assigned a psychiatrist (I didn’t even know if that would work but I was determined to get a psych). Not recommended btw.

    What happened is one of my best friends happened to be seeing a psych and he got me in. Yes, I did have to get a referral from my GP but the process was much shorter given I had someone to be referred too (about a month).

    My more rationale plans (alongside jumping through a widow) was to get into see a therapist who consulted with a psych. I had heard of how that can get you appointments with a psych and at least, have them manage your meds.

    All the best to you Jack.


    • Thanks for your story Trish, I wish incidents like ours were not such frequent occurrences. In my case, there’s irony abounding too in that I moved from BC to Alberta on medical advice, to get family support while I try to learn to manage my condition. However, moving effectively cut me off from medical support for a still as of yet undetermined time period. Worse, no one back in BC was able to get accurate information ahead of time so that we could have at least made the decision in context and evaluated the trade offs.

      On top of that I think it’s incredibly short sighted that because I change provinces I’m effectively back to square one from the point of view of the bureaucracy. If a person with cancer relocates from Saskatchewan to Ontario to be closer to their family, they’re not going to be dropped to the bottom of the queue to see an oncologist. Nor would they be expected to wait this long.

      There’s further irony when I consider the fact that I’m now in Alberta, awash in oil money facing a nine month wait in one of the wealthiest places on Earth. In BC, they got me into see a psychiatrist for an initial assessment within a month and after my family Doctor at the time felt I needed ongoing regular monitoring, it was perhaps six weeks before my first regular appointment.

      Alberta is wrecking it’s environment, it’s reputation and selling it’s soul (what little it had) to enrich foreign conglomerates and it can’t even manage to use the enormous amounts of money it’s getting for that to at least make sure it’s people have timely health care?

      I am genuinely ashamed to be an Albertan after all of this.

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