Mental Health

Two Tiered system

A well funded mental health system can help more people. With low public funding and private care, a two tiered system fails many more.

How can we help the maximum amount of people with a two tiered system?

It should surprise no one that 2020 is one for the history books. I mean, whoever thought wearing a mask would become a standard accessory? Not me, so many changes. Sadly though, so much has remained the same. From my view, many of the things that need to change to keep us safe are being neglected. Most notable are the two tiered system we are all forced to live with.

For me, when the pande`mic began, I was, like many of you, scared to death. I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on?” The world as I knew it seemed to make a permanent change overnight. If it weren’t permanent, other things about COVID-19 got penned under the category of undetermined.

Experts warn that mental illness will be the next pandemic

The best example I can think of for this was the quarantine. No one could tell us how long we would remain in our homes. Although being stuck within the four walls of my home at the time was painful; it was not as painful for me as it was for most; I assume. Living with PTSD, I prefer the solitude that only being at home brings.

For me, being isolated was easy on my battle with PTSD. My depressive disorder, however, not so much. That was hell; its flames fuelled by the chronic worry that only clinical anxiety can bring.

Essentially, I was a hot mess but as up and down as I was; I could still put a lot of energy into thinking about how we can use those tragic times to identify some of society’s biggest social challenges or the lack thereof. Maybe this is exactly the type of thing we needed to force the changes that would better everyone’s lives.

tiered system
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Having what seemed like all the time in the world to solve these things, I concluded that this two tiered system has left the vulnerable even more so. What’s worse, a pandemic will leave an untold amount of people who lost loved ones and their jobs in this vulnerable category.I thought this is the time to push because this influx would have to get addressed.

Having said that, I am a mental health advocate; I have spent a lot of my time thinking about the potential damage COVID-19 would have on the pre pandemic and post pandemic populations. The ramifications, I thought, will be enormous.

Coping with mental illness during the pandemic

So, after all that thinking, what did I conclude? I saw that the current mental health system as insufficient. What I was two main issues; One, the public system is severely under-funded and two, the private mental health care sector is too expensive for the many who were already suffering from a mental health condition. Now, as the dust settles and we are free to move about; many more people are in desperate for help. Makes sense, right? But if this broken, two tiered system was failing us before COVID, it was sure to leave those in need out in the cold afterwards.


Being through the public system, I saw how precarious it was before the world ground to a halt. So many people turned away or otherwise discouraged because of the long wait times that they give up trying.A sad and disturbing reality.

With this in mind, the pandemic excited me in a sense because I hoped that governments and citizens alike would see this two tiered system for what it is, divisive, costly and morally wrong.

Want to hear more about the struggles of people fighting mental illness? Go to A New Dawn podcast.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Unfortunately, the “new normal” seems to only consist of social distancing and mask wearing. Other than that, it’s business as usual. What does this mean for us? Well, from my perspective, it’s also business as usual. So far, there has been no move to increase mental health funding, no legislative move to make the system accessible to everyone, and no outcry to demand change…. We can do and must do better.

However, we live in a society where money will always trump compassion and thus funding will always flow away from the right thing and into the corporate branch of our society. That is precisely why we need to merge our voices as one and insist on the necessary changes needed to get away from this two tiered system.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada


Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

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