National Post (National Edition)
Re: An inspiring true-life tale of surviving mental illness, Marni Soupcoff, Dec. 18
The elephant in the room as it pertains to treating schizophrenia, is that 50 to 90 per cent (as commonly cited in medical literature) of those with the illness don't believe that they have it or require treatment. This lack of insight into their illness is unequivocally, by leaps and bounds, the greatest obstacle to their receiving adequate treatment. After all — why would anyone accept treatment for an illness that they don't have?
Fortunately the mental health laws in Ontario and generally throughout Canada do under certain circumstances allow for involuntary treatment for such individuals. This allows them to remain stable and living their lives out of hospital. Unfortunately, in much of the United States and a number of other countries, such individuals are allowed to languish in the types of squalid and dangerous lifestyles described in the article, all in the name of protecting civil liberties above all else — no matter the cost to the patients and their families. David Kantor MD FRCP, Toronto