Yorkton blessed with Pine Unit

Dear Editor,

My son recently had five day stay at Yorkton’s mental health residence at Pine.  

My reason for this letter is twofold. First, I want to thank all the nurses and staff for the excellent care they provided my son while he was at Pine. Second, I want to highlight some of the challenges in our health care system in dealing with patients with mental illness and how fortunate Yorkton is to have a facility like Pine.

Although my son has had two other psychotic episodes in his life this was the first time he has ever had to be hospitalized. For anyone living with someone who has mental illness this is a frightening, stressful, gut wrenching experience. Unlike other medical issues which would normally drive a person to get help, people with mental health issues often resist any kind of medical assistance such as a trip to the emergency department, anti-psychotic or anti-depressant medications or assistance from friends and co-workers. This often leaves the family alone to bear the burden of their suffering.

Adding to this burden is a health care system that is overextended to meet the ever increasing needs of the mentally ill.  If one is lucky enough to get their loved one to a hospital emergency room, by themselves or with police escort, often they are merely seen by a psychiatrist, prescribed medication and then sent home because of a lack of beds. Luckily my son ended up at Pine when there wasn’t a bed in our own community.

Coming to understand how to help those with mental health issues has been for me more of a journey looking backward than looking forward. It is trial and error as I learn more and more about what our system can and cannot offer.  

My son is home now and doing much better. He told me that he discovered a lot about himself and his illness during his stay at Pine. I attribute this to the right care being provided at the right time with the right professionals in place to coordinate that care. And, personally I am so very grateful for that care.  

So to his nurses Mary Anne, Deb, Kevin and Iris – thank you for the excellent care you provided to both my son (and me!) during his stay at Pine. Thank you for your professionalism, your kindness and your compassion. Thank you for all you did for us. We are forever grateful.   

The community of Yorkton is so very blessed by you as health care professionals and by the Pine Mental Health Unit which in our case served the needs of those with mental health issues beyond your own community. Thank you for providing us that care when we needed it most.

Linda Tomlinson-Seebach
Moose Jaw

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