It’s time for the Ministry of Health to look at the root causes behind the violence and injuries that are taking place in the province’s hospitals that provide mental health care.
Given persons who are mentally ill are no more statistically inclined to be violent than anyone else, clearly something is changing in these settings to push reports of violent incidents upwards.
While the union is privy to statistics around injuries experienced by its own members, we do not see the parallel data around patient-on-patient violence. Why is it one can go on-line and look at the record of critical incidents at a long-term care home but not at a psychiatric hospital?
Sadly, workers being injured in such incidents barely make the news. Some believe that getting punched, spit at or slammed against a wall is part of the job (it shouldn’t be). Hospital managers and Ministry of Labour officials have shown little sympathy for workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — surprising given where this is taking place.
Workers at these hospitals tell us repeatedly it’s just a matter of time before someone dies.
In fact, that time came this spring.