Shelter worker

I work in a homeless shelter and I enjoy helping people, but I am frustrated at the mental health system in general. Everyday, I am seeing mentally ill clients are being dumped into homeless shelters instead of our healthcare system advocating them into supportive housing or organizations where they are care for and staff are better equipped. Unfortunately, once they get dumped into a shelter, I see our clients' mental health and/or addictions spiral out of control to a point where they are suicidal, in psychosis, unable to take care of themselves, or violent in the community. I give big thanks to all of the paramedics and police officers who respond to our calls for help. Everyday, I see our clients' eyes full of pain and hardly anyone cares about them. I do burn out and get frustrated, but my passion keeps me going for the clients. Every shift I am putting out fires to de-escalate aggression, intervening during a crisis, referring them to housing outreach, etc. I wonder how long will I last as a shelter worker and continue being frustrated at a system that doesn't care about mental health.....

12 Comments

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Sam Silver

Sep 16, 2020 at 12:50pm

Just change jobs before you burn yourself out.

7 8Rating: -1

L. Ong

Sep 16, 2020 at 1:11pm

As someone who’s struggled with mental health/substances the last ten years... you’re right. You seem to care a lot and I love seeing that. I would get out. Start your own private practice. Our system never truly worked. If I was a car needing repair... the engine light alerted me. So I brought my vehicle in to the mechanic. Rather than try to figure out the real cause... ie.brakes, clutch... my psychiatrist... I mean mechanic, just unplugged the “check engine” light... and thinks he’s fixed the problem. That’s all these “educated” doctors with antidepressants are doing... tranquilizing. Lazy, egomaniacal... overpaid. Surgeons deserve what they make. These pill pushers... “oh this pill made you more suicidal? Let’s try this one?” You clown’s are guessing and it’s beginning to show. There’s a special place in hell for you. You reap what you sow. Hide yo kids. Hide yo wife.

11 3Rating: +8

"Somewhere the hurting must stop" - Terry Fox

Sep 16, 2020 at 1:33pm

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for it's children"
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

12 2Rating: +10

My Theory

Sep 16, 2020 at 2:33pm

About 30 years ago, they started kicking patients out of psych wards well before they'd stabilized, and it was very challenging. My theory is that this issue - taking proper care of people with mental health issues - just isn't "sexy" enough to get sufficient attention or funding from the government. The patients are not in a position to speak up for themselves, and their families are emotionally drained and don't speak out. In my view, this has been a health care crisis for over two decades, with so many people having nowhere to go but the streets. (And others who are not on the streets are struggling.) We need more beds and support for those with mental health issues.

8 1Rating: +7

So sad

Sep 16, 2020 at 3:54pm

You can thank one of our previous governments who, many decades ago, decided to fix their budget problems by closing down mental health institutions like Riverview. Their stated reasons at the time were that those places weren’t helping, and patients would be better served in a community setting. However, instead of ensuring that those community settings were actually up and running and able to service all of the clients properly, they just locked the doors and threw those vulnerable people onto the street to fend for themselves. It was obvious at the time what they were doing, but they went ahead anyway in spite of the protests from people like me who could see right through their lies. The present homeless situation and drug problems can be directly linked back to that disastrous decision from the 80’s (or maybe early 90’s; can’t remember exactly). Our governments have been phenomenally crooked and corrupt for so long now, and we’re living in the hell that they created.

13 0Rating: +13

You can’t fix FAE

Sep 16, 2020 at 4:26pm

This is not a lack of goodwill or funding problem. This is an epidemic of chemically damaged people having large numbers of chemically damaged people. I can’t even begin to imagine the solution. In the meantime the saintly people like yourself are trying to bail out the ocean with a spoon. You’re awesome but when you feel yourself losing it (for me, crying all night was the clue) you have to get out of social services

8 1Rating: +7

@ L Ong

Sep 16, 2020 at 4:26pm

I'm with you about the drugs. Amazingly, I watched a lecture online the other day by a neuropsychiatrist and he admitted the regular drugs weren't helpful at all, and they should revisit using "street" drugs, pot, lsd, ecstasy, ketamine, etc!!

7 0Rating: +7

It's horrible....

Sep 16, 2020 at 4:58pm

how the Liberals systematically dismantled our Mental Health Care system.

13 2Rating: +11

Keep Going

Sep 16, 2020 at 6:27pm

This is what happens when the previous Liberal government closed most of the mental health facilities we had, sending those who are ill to the streets.

Most people have no idea what you face. I know that you are probably one of the few who actually show them compassion. Thank you for doing the job most couldn’t.

15 2Rating: +13

@“educated” doctors with antidepressants / lazy egomaniacal

Sep 16, 2020 at 6:31pm

One of the best movies about mental hell-th in our society is: 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' ... A number of mental health care workers that i've spoken with agree its time to get Dr. Sigmund Fraud and Nurse Rat-sh*t off their high horse. Its time for truly progressive politicians. law enforcement, academics and all to become 'Forever Jung' :-)

5 2Rating: +3

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