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Six months after our son went missing I purchased a scanner and it took a while for me to program it.  I found a site that has a list of all the codes and what they mean and  I have a whole new appreciation for the RCMP and the job  they do.  Sometime the voices I hear on the scanner sound like teenagers to me.
I have also discovered that we only hear a small percentage of what the RCMP is dealing with on a daily basis.  I now recognize some of the repeat offenders and also know the bad areas of town a lot better.
The most astonishing thing that I have learned is how much mental illness we have in our society.  Between Christmas and New Years there were over a dozen calls about a suicidal person.  At one point the RCMP were patrolling the Kelowna bridge looking for a depressed person.
The really sad thing about mental illness is the stigma that is attached to it. Society feels uncomfortable about mental illness.  We don’t look down on someone who has cancer or diabetes but people seem to believe that a person with a mental illness has a weak character or is dangerous. Mental illness can be called the invisible illness. Often, the only way to know whether someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness is if they tell you. The majority of the public is unaware of how many mentally ill people they know and encounter every day.
We  see movies or TV shows that display a mentally ill person that is crazy and out to kill. Society will use words like”lunatic” or “crazy,” along with jokes about the mentally ill. Not often you hear jokes about someone with cancer or diabetes.
Mental Health should be our number one health issue as our mental health effects our whole health.  Listening to the scanner I have come to the conclusion that over half of the  addicts have some sort of mental health issue.

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