Several individuals experiencing mental health issues had no choice but to sleep on the floor at a London, Ontario hospital while patients with physical illness were admitted into rooms with beds before them, according to an article in the London Free Press. “That sort of outcome isn’t acceptable. It’s alarming. It’s unconscionable (they) slept on the floor,” Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario told the newspaper. “Stigma is public enemy No. 1 because it prevents people from seeking the care they need.”
The newspaper recounts the story of six patients who were forced to wait about 20 hours, while they saw other patients with physical ailments go ahead of them. Three of the patients resorted to sleeping on the floor after waiting in their seats for so long. One nurse who had just started her shift had become concerned and eventually got stretchers for the patients.
Hospital officials are investigating what happened regarding the patients’ experience that day.
In the interview with the London Free Press, Quenneville further stressed that stigma remains the main factor that prevents an individual from seeking support for a mental health issue.
On its website, CMHA Ontario highlights the issue and offers various ways to reduce and eliminate stigma surrounding mental health conditions. Learn how to help others recognize the harm stigma causes in one’s effort to seek treatment.