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Letters to the Editor: Issue 5

Concern about treatment of psychiatric survivors

Dear folks,

I’m writing another letter to continue my concern with the psychiatric population and the great number of suicides we have each month in Canada. At last count, there are supposed to be 4000 a month dying.

As I had said before in an earlier letter, language and discrimination are a large part of the problem.

But there is more to it than just that. Because people have been skeptical about how well the psychiatric survivor gets on medicine, we are treated with kid gloves.

We have no jobs, no education, no means of survival other than a pension, which is insufficient.

We need money to keep up a lifestyle that can sustain us properly, provide us proper housing, and, if possible with some of us, get married and have families. We need to normalize our lives to the degree that we feel productive.

The medical profession has to stop taking out the sex organs of both male and female psychiatric survivors and give us a chance to have a family.

I have a child who has a Master’s degree in sociology. My parents and my family doctor protected me from others, who wanted to neuter me. Because of this, I would guess my desire to survive has been quite high. I am now 67 years old and going strong.

People could take an example from myself. I’ve educated myself with a degree from the University of Western Ontario, I’ve kept busy doing odd jobs, I married and had a family, I’ve outlived 90% of the people I’ve known as a psychiatric survivor, and I’m still here. As we speak I am writing a book on my life.

What else is there to say? Unless we show compassion for our fellow man we will continue to have an increasing number of suicides and a great deal of despair.

Bob Bowers

Volunteers needed for Warming Room season

To the community,

The Warming Room is preparing for another winter season thanks to support from the City of Peterborough, St. John’s Anglican Church, Murray Street Baptist Church, along with many other churches and community organizations.

The Warming Room is an emergency shelter open to the most vulnerable population of Peterborough 7 nights a week from 8:30 pm to 8 am. This year, it will be held exclusively at Murray Street Baptist Church.

As we anticipate another harsh winter, the Warming Room is set to open its doors on November 1, 2014 and will close on April 30, 2015.

We are currently accepting applications to volunteer at the Warming Room for the upcoming season.

Volunteers are asked to commit to one 6-hour shift every two weeks. Shifts are from 8pm to 2am and from 2am to 8am.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn from others and to support your community.

For information on how to donate to the Warming Room or to apply to volunteer, please visit our website or call 705-745-7624 ext. 35.

Ashley Dinga

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