Officer’s response to mental-health crisis appalling

Dear Editor:

The video showing the extreme handling of a nursing student during a wellness check is disturbing and appalling.

Understanding the challenges of confronting a person suffering from depression, I am shaken to the core by the handling of a student at a very low and dangerous moment in her life. She was treated like a criminal.

For the RCMP to stand behind this conduct indicates this is common, acceptable practice.

Wake up, Canada. Mental health is an epidemic and we need to confront this epidemic with the same vigour we have given to COVID-19.

The fact that a university student

suffering alone still can’t find the resources she needs leaves our family feeling relieved we never turned to the RCMP for mental-health support and exasperated that, in spite of the money and resources been thrown at mental health in this community, a young, educated woman still can’t access the help she requires.

She even had someone try to advocate on her behalf.

Instead of defending the officer’s

conduct, it’s time the RCMP takes a hard look at themselves and their practices.

If you don’t understand suicide and depression, you are not the agency to respond to the 911. Shameful.

Diane, Kuner, Kelowna

Officer should be fired, victim deserves large settlement

Dear Editor:

Const. Lacy Browning of the Kelowna RCMP has no place in any policing organization.

When she dragged nursing student Mona Wang down the hall and stepped on her head before lifting her head by the hair, she showed she has no regard for human dignity.

Any semi-intelligent person would have realized particularly now with all the attention on police brutality that what she was doing was wrong and would likely have serious consequences.

There is no justification for any of what she did. You do not drag an ill or incapacitated person down the hall like that. You call for medical assistance.

Hopefully, Wang will receive a large settlement. Unfortunately, us taxpayers will be on the hook for it. In the meantime, Browning should be fired and stripped of any pension benefits.

Gord Marshall, Kelowna

Interior Health providing inferior health for seniors

Dear Editor:

Why are the seniors in Interior Health’s long-term care facilities not being given the same consideration as seniors in long-term care in other health authorities in the province?

It is well documented how seniors social well being and mental health have been affected by this COVID-19 crisis, and that there is increased death due to functional decline due to isolation.

A family member was admitted to long term care on May 11. I was only able to drop off a few items of clothing at that time. I completely understand that.

However, my understanding has been challenged since that time. I have not been able to drop off so much as a family picture to allow some familiarity in a new and frightening situation.

On June 9, a parcel that had been in the mail for six weeks coming from the U.K., containing individually packaged teas, packaged shortbread and chocolate bars, was refused because it contained food. It seemed that the limits of reason had been surpassed.

I was told that this issue had been brought forward and would be reviewed. That evening, a friend with a family member in a long-term care facility in the Fraser Health Authority, informed me that they have been accepting food from families for the past two weeks. I thought I would give IH a little time to change their two-plus month old policy.

I have since contacted facilities in Northern Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Island Health asking whether or not this package would be accepted in their facilities. The replies ranged from “of course,” “no problem” and “you can also leave items in a plastic bag at the door of the facility.”

Can’t the health authorities communicate with each other? Do we have so many layers of administration that no one can make a common-sense decision anymore?

We were fortunate not to have any outbreaks in our facilities, but does that mean that these vulnerable members of our society are being ignored because the focus was never placed on them in IH?

These people are at the end of their life’s journey, and anyone who has had to be admitted to long-term care at this time have only a few pieces of clothing that are familiar to them in their new and often frightening new surroundings.

I am not appeased by hearing that courtyard visits may be coming soon. Let these residents feel that they have some familiar things in the place where they now reside.

Interior Health or Inferior Health? You decide.

Nancy Jones, Kelowna

Local MP offering flags for Canada Day

Dear Editor:

Many of us will be celebrating in our homes and backyards this Canada Day with July 1 celebrations and other local events not occurring this year. This pandemic has tested us during these unprecedented times, but what has remained steady is our connection to our community and pride to be Canadian.

I am very pleased to offer a Canadian flag to hang from your home deck, fence, or window, as well as a vehicle window stand-up flag and pin for you to wear. If you would like this Canadian flag set, complimentary, please reach out to me and we will deliver these to your home prior to July 1.

Please contact us by phone at 250.470.5075, email tracy.gray@parl.gc.ca, or go online to: forms.gle/uqXVPgaoC63QzoAd7 with your full name, address and postal code.

These are on a first-come basis for residents in Kelowna-Lake Country and there is a limited quantity so be sure to reach out soon. Please note that these are home-use flags and not the heavy, flagpole models.

This is an opportunity for our community to feel connected even if we are not able to celebrate physically all together.

Let’s come together at this time. Happy Canada Day!

Tracy Gray, MP, Kelowna-Lake Country