Letter: Mountie’s efforts applauded

Dear Editor,

 I applaud the efforts of Constable Justin Guiel [Mental health Mountie patrols, May 14, Langley Advance].

 I wish I could join his team of one in assisting the street people of Langley.

 When I was going to RCA training in Burnaby back in 2010, I had the opportunity to do the right thing.  A distraught male was alone on one of the back patios of a business. I watched him as he paced like a lion, tweaking and calling out i.e. Turrets. He was hitting himself but a danger to no one.

 I called 911 and made it calmly clear to the person on the phone that he was not a threat, but was having a bad day and could use some assistance.

 In a short time, two officers calmly showed up, assessed the situation and calmed him down in a non confrontational way.

 I felt good as I walked past on my way to class; as well I was impressed with the empathy shown to the male. He was now calm and smiling.

 A recent story on the web of escalated info to first responders has led to bad endings, usually for the street people.

 I know over the years places like Woodlands, Riverview etc. have been closed and patients left to self medicate and fend for themselves on the street. Schizophrenia is not something you can take care of on your own.

 Shame on the government for letting these people down by closing necessary facilities.

 Police have been forced to become the front line, a lot of hats to wear for one wage; I appreciate your attitude, empathy, and caring way that you step up, Constable Guiel.

 You truly have the right stuff to deal with our forgotten/invisible people.  

“When we were born, we were all equal, what changed?”

  George Sliziak, RCA Brookswood, Langley

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