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Opinion

Naming stigma as a public health crisis is brave, bold, and necessary

By Louise Bradley      

Some people living with addiction or with concurrent mental health and substance use disorders are more likely to be evicted from a hospital than they are to receive care.

Louise Bradley writes, 'I’ve been on both sides of the divide. I have worked as a nurse and received mental health care as a patient. Much as the thought once made me uncomfortable, I have come to embrace the fact that there is very little that separates me from the patients I once dismissed as other.' The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

OTTAWA—As a former nurse, I’ve been guilty of standing by as colleagues stigmatized patients. It was easier to say nothing when my fellow nurses referred to familiar faces as “frequent flyers”—an allusion to the fact that many people living with mental illness rotate through the hospital doors on a regular basis, often having nowhere else to go.

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