We will Talk ~ beyond the closure of George Herman House
The women residents at George Herman House talk everyday. They share their feelings and struggles as they cooperatively cook meals and oversee independent household management.
The women on the Board of Directors talk often with the women staffers and our conversations insure that the House is running efficiently and that the tenants are well cared for. We’ve also formed friendships and talk about our own losses, transitions, traumas and misadventures in caregiving. We encourage Talking. Talking has the power to heal.
The Bell Let’s Talk Day encourages people to talk openly about their own mental health. It is a successful example of hashtag activism that relies on freely posted social media conversations. The more participation Bell Canada gets, the more they promise to gift tax deductible monies to organizations in the field of mental health. Most mental illness supporting organizations desperately need financing because Government funding is never enough.
We know. In an attempt to streamline budgets, Ontario’s Provincial Government has dissolved the Integrated Health Network (LHIN) that subsidizes this Transitional Home. As a result, the property management is planning to sell all such non profiting properties and we, like other smaller organizations are being forced to integrate with other mental health facilities.
George Herman House is closing and saying goodbye to decades of holistic living, compassionate care and hours of listening to timid voices and broken hearts. There ought to be a eulogy of sorts.
An integration team has secured housing elsewhere for the women, jobs for the staff and all of the women have been told. Everyone is now talking about the 44 year legacy that we are all moving away from. We will weep, for certain at the loss of a namesake and will forever honour the memory of an Unnamed Sister, whose story, started it all.
Let’s talk about Mental Health. Let’s talk about the closure of George Herman House because it deserves to be acknowledged as a pioneering model of how we encourage recovery from mental health diagnoses.