Saturday, April 3, 2010

Facts don’t concur


A letter to the editor published in today's edition of The Chronicle Herald:
In his March 24 opinion piece, "Mental health clinics work," Dr. Ian Slayter states, "priority is given to people with more serious mental illness."

Dr. Slayter’s statement is inconsistent with the facts for the Dartmouth Community Mental Health Clinic. Of the 137 new referrals to the Dartmouth Community Mental Health Clinic in January 2010, the most recent month where data is publicly available, none were seen as "urgent/rapid follow-up."

In November 2009, the next most recent month, 94 people were referred to the same clinic and none were seen as "urgent/rapid follow-up." In October 2009, none of the 92 new referrals were seen as "urgent/rapid follow-up."

In total, of the 323 new referrals to the Dartmouth Community Mental Health Clinic over a four-month period, excluding December 2009 because the data are not publicly available, none were seen as "urgent/rapid follow-up."

Wait-time data for the five community mental health clinics in the Capital Health district can be accessed by visiting its website (www.cdha.nshealth.ca), clicking on "Accountability" and selecting "Mental Health Community Team Wait Times." A dash means there were zero people in a category.

Stephen W. Ayer, executive director, Schizophrenia Society of N.S.

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