If I knew that my last column was going to send a wave of testimonials through my mailbox, I had no idea that this wave would in fact be a tsunami.
At a time when many organizations and citizens are calling for mental health to become an election issue, I can only add my voice to theirs.
Willing to lose everything to save their child
I've spoken to parents who are out of breath, desperately looking for resources for their teens. These are mothers and fathers who are willing to do anything to ease the emotional pain of their children, even remortgaging their homes.
This is what this mother did, who wrote to me via social networks. When her daughter fell ill, she had a precarious job and her husband had just lost his job. This was followed by unsuccessful attempts to find care in the public system. Desperate, they then turn to the private sector and pay several times a week for the services of a psychologist and various specialists.
How long did it take for their name to finally be pulled out of the hat and the girl to be at the top of the waiting list? Six years. During this time, the little one made multiple suicide attempts and her condition seriously deteriorated.
If this mother refuses that I name her, it is because her daughter is completely unaware that her parents almost went bankrupt to save her. She doesn't want her to feel guilty. And even if it was difficult, his mother assures me that she would do it again tomorrow morning.
She tells me that her daughter is doing better and is studying to become a social worker. She wants to help people herself. This experience could have put her off the system, but no. She wants to be part of the solution.
Four years to be believed
Then there is Audrey Parenteau, a mother-warrior who did everything to help her 11-year-old daughter, who had serious behavioral problems. To the point where the school no longer knew what to do with her. To the point where the daycare didn't want to take her anymore.
Audrey knocked on every door. But his case was not considered a priority. “I was told that it was the education I was giving him that was the problem. Yet I have read all the books on ADHD and “others”. I even took a university course to train myself and attended workshops to be a “good parent”.
“Even her pediatrician let her down. His case was, he said, "too complex." For three years, the mother made arrangements to have access to another pediatrician. When she finally found him, he referred her to a child psychiatrist whom she was able to meet... ten months later.
It was therefore only four years later that her daughter was finally taken care of by the machine. Diagnosis: Tourette's syndrome, oppositional disorder, OCD, verbal giftedness and mood disorder.
It was not the education that Audrey Parenteau gave to her daughter, the problem. The problem was the system. A system that classifies children as if they were numbers. An inhumane system that drags the families of those who suffer from mental health problems into a great endless pit.