January 27, 2017
To: Mayor Ryan Windsor, Councillors Christopher Graham, Alicia Holman, Carl Jensen, Zeb King, Niall Paltiel, and Bob Thompson – District of Central Saanich
People are dying.
Families are grieving.
First responders are exhausted.
The attached letter from a mother was recently sent to me.
I hope that when you read it, you find it in your hearts to begin working collaboratively with our organization, toward supporting our contribution to solving our community’s crises – addictions, mental illness and homelessness.
Our Woodwynn Farms treatment program sits highly under-utilized.
As you know, we recently submitted a permit application to establish and expand our program, to your offices. And that our proposal essentially brings a world-class solution to this problem, to our community.
The issues are urgent and the stakes are high.
We request that you take measures to significantly accelerate processing our application and urge you to be bold and decisive and accept our invitations to work together to fully realize the potential of our Woodwynn program and build a highly valued community asset.
“Believe in People…
Attention Editors of CTV.
What came first the Mental Illness or Drugs. The Chicken or the Egg conundrum.
Is this a question that I can afford? No, this is a question that the Health System regurgitates with no solution nor path to follow.
I am a mother who has had 2 children killed by the drug tainted with Fentanyl. 2013 was the beginning of the drug epidemic, the culling? A beautiful daughter living a life on her terms, yet, killed by a drug unknown to her. A spice of death for the wounded hearts the lost souls, the lonely. My sunshine son with a heart of gold, using to dull an ache in his heart, was killed 13 days prior after taking what he thought was a painkiller that was shared around town between his peers. Now, I know my children were walking wounded, they had seen counselors and attended programs for the pieces of their hearts to be mended after being orphaned by their father in 1997 when he chose a permanent way to end his bipolar episodes by using a thirty-odd-six.
There is no room in my life for unappreciated time or ungrateful moments. Yet, I am on the front lines – I stand weary with a faith tested and torn. My loving surviving son who shares the darkness of suicide’s wrath. He struggles with mental illness. Bi-polar – the depressive type. The one where his highs are never as high as an average person. The unfairness of this gene and blood memory of his ancestors. I begin this narrative of my son’s daily struggles and recent incidents of the social system that I have believed in. Dillan, the middle child, a smart, articulate, creative guy with a heart so true with love and kindness, with empathy to spare. A man with tortured thoughts of misery, angst and paranoia. A good day with him consist of a wonderfully humorous wit, yet, dashed with sparks of doom and dread. I have led Dillan to water many times, searched his feelings for hope, sent mentors to show him the light, to which he always accepts, but falls short of the time needed to heal and balance. Dillan has been to the ER in Nanaimo many times with feelings of fear and anxiety that fuels his beliefs of harm coming to me or himself from an unknown source. His reality is shaken with these feelings of pain lurking around the corner. His first psychotic break was at the age of 14. This is a young man who at that at the pure age of 6 saw his father grab a police officer’s gun and run into the bushes for a certain death-by-cop. Dillan told his younger brother to go to sleep, that he would take care of him while the police ran after their father. They brought their father out of the bushes naked and afraid. Afraid, the police didn’t end his life. That was the first psychotic break my husband took from reality.
Time passes and his little brother dies. 13 days later his sister. He sees them lying in their coffins. I wonder what he feels. I wonder what he thinks. He finds a horrific relationship with street drugs that bring his demons out, that scramble his brains, that keeps him from being loved or loving anyone or himself. This month I prepare him for the Trigger and association of money and drugs. The correlation highlighted for the suffering. Wednesday my son finds the poison that is killing him harder. In the dead of night and isolation of his room he phones the police for the third time this month so they can do a welfare check on his mother, me. I am sleeping in my room when a heavy knock knocks me from a much needed peaceful sleep. “Miss Wilson, are you ok?” I open the door as three burly police officers tell me of my son’s dread that I am dead. Friday Dillan and I head to Victoria with my hopes of reconnecting him with resources and with our home town so that he may get the services that he needs so desperately. Friday night he goes to the Open door. Saturday I can’t get a hold of him. My friend, her son and I search for Dillan on Sunday, walking talking and crying through out our tour of the homeless, hopeless and mental illness. Monday I begin my trip back up Island, but first I take one more drive around town looking, hoping to find my son. Turning right onto Douglas in front of Shoppers Drug Mart I see him. I am struck with first fear, then awe that he is still standing from the poison he has consumed since Wednesday. My son, my Dillan is yelling out loud to no one that the Devil is around. This is all I hear as he sees me pull over in front of a City Bus that allows me to park and run out to cajole my son into the car. Packaged needles, condoms and other bits of harm reduction items fly all around him as he runs in a circle as a kind lady tries to show the way to my car. I put the car in gear and head for the hospital, sure they will help my son save his life.
The First Video is of Dillan in my car, cursing and yelling, flailing and slamming his arms around the car in fit of aggression I never see. While pulling into the ambulance bay, Dillan tells me how he is going to walk in front of a bus and be done with it. It being the mental illness or poison, I don’t know. What does it matter. Our arrival at the hospital is untested yet flawless. I call 911 and ask for assistance, knowing he will run away. The Security guards are empathetic and professional the police are kind and decent. Dillan is taken into the emergency psychiatric part of the hospital, while I am met by a kind social worker who listens to me while she tears up. I tell our story – Dillan’s fears of his future, his torments of daily life. I show the 2nd video of Dillan handcuffed and sitting on a chair with his pants almost down to his knees and rambling like an insane man. I am filled with hope and given pamphlets to read at my leisure. Today I phoned the hospital to hear the next plan of action for my mentally ill son, who takes poison for his demons. I was told by the Clinic Nurse he is discharged and they will give him a bus pass to the streets. I am flabbergasted that there is no plan. There is no hope, there is no funding and there is no Doctor to talk to about my sons demise. I ask what kind of meds he was given and if may I talk with the doctor. I was told Dr. Simms is too busy. That is when the security guard, who so kindly helped yesterday, says hello and I ask why he is there and three others are coming through the door. He says the clerk called them. As Jenn the clerk comes back, I ask her why does he need security if he is better? Then My son, my middle loving child stumbles forward and bounces off a wall with eyes he can’t seem to open. I take out my phone and start to video tape (3rd). I start to cry, hard, not caring who can see my tormented face. I take him out to eat knowing he has not eaten for days. The 4th video shows my son, my Dillan, who was being sent to the streets with a bus pass.
I hope that these words find their way into the hands and heart of someone who cares.
Sincerely, Dawn Wilson