August 21, 2023
You know the feeling when you wake up in the morning and for a split second, you do not know where you are. That has been my experience for much of this year, especially since the doors of Spectrum opened April 1st. I am on an exciting learning curve.
My work and life experiences had prepared me for the cause of mental health having worked on the front lines of prevention and care for many years. What I had not been prepared for was the rapid changes in the sector, working in a highly regulated profession, antiquated views of non-profits and for-profits and the policies. Change is certainly taking place. During this time #MentalHealthIsHealth became a rallying cry for universal mental health in Canada. Almost over night, change blew much stronger, like the eye of the storm coming out of the worst of Covid-19. Around our opening reception we received an encouraging letter from the Chief at the Office of Addictions and Mental Health sharing many of the steps the government of NS is taking toward Universal Mental Health coverage.
As mentioned, there is the cause. We all know someone that has struggled. The problem with working in mental health is it affects absolutely everyone at some stage of life. Fifty percent of Canadians encounter challenges by the age 40. People of all sectors, levels of education, age, gender, community, religion, race, sexual orientation suffer. From the brave women and men on the frontlines to the politicians sharing their personal experience to celebrate recovery we hear the facts. It has been hard some days. Just the other week at the First Responders conference, I heard stories of past traumas and challenges. Hoping support is found.
The regulatory systems and processes in the sector are incredible. I have never worked in a sector so committed to professional development. A model counselling therapists embrace. It is so cool to watch. I often think Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT) and the other original regulatory bodies need to applaud their own success. I see them as trailblazers, promoting a regulated, safe, professional mental health sector in Nova Scotia and Canada for nearly three decades. Just the other day I received a petition to stop taxing counselling therapy/psychotherapy services in Canada. We have come a long way.
Then there are the people. People laughing and crying, all supporting each other. Therapist hear a lot in a days work. To work with them is awesome. It truly is an incredible opportunity.
I have a long way to go. I am still trying to remember acronyms like WCB, EAP, NSCCT, DID and PTSD, while connecting the dots of a sector united around universal mental health here in Nova Scotia.
Thanks for sharing our journey.
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Spectrum Therapeutic Solutions was Founded in 1989 as an occupational health service it grew to include therapeutic counselling in 2005.
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