A note from Superintendent Don Spicer:
Yesterday was Bell Let’s Talk day and through their spokesperson, Olympian Clara Hughes, they invited all Canadians to break the silence and talk about mental illness to help fight the stigma around this disease; a stigma that prevents many people from seeking the help they need.
This initiative served as a reminder of this serious issue in our community, an issue that is too important to talk about on only one day. Given that 1 in 5 Nova Scotians will experience some form of mental disorder each year it’s important we get rid of the stigma and make it socially acceptable to talk about. Why is it we don’t mind talking about having gout but we don’t dare talk about a disease of the mind?
You may be wondering what this health issue has to do with crime prevention. Mental health issues were identified in the Mayor’s Roundtable Report as a factor contributing to the lack of safety in HRM. Mental health issues are also recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the main root causes of crime. As such, the healthier we all are, the safer our community will be.
Superintendent Spicer is the HRM’s Public Safety Officer. In addition to leading a coordinated response to the Mayor’s Roundtable on Violence Report, he manages the Public Safety Office which is comprised of the Community Relations/Crime Prevention Section, Community Response Team, Mobile Mental Health Unit, Traffic Unit, School Response Officers, Victim Services and Volunteer Programs.
For more on his blogs visit www.spotlightonpublicsafety.wordpress.com.