Category: government bureaucracy

Excerpt 66 from The lake Demon by Ken David Stewart


Chapter Sixty-Six
After Smackdown ended Winston made some more popcorn and offered the boys some more pop and popcorn. The conversation switched to the topic of mental health and life in psychiatric treatment facilities.
“The whole mental health system in North America is a disaster. The present system simply does not work. The only people it benefits are those who have important sounding job titles working in government bureaucracies,” Winston stated, pounding his fist on the coffee table. “From what I’ve heard, though, the Kelowna Mental Health Center is one of the better run mental health facilities in Canada.”
“That’s true,” Wally said.
“The front line rehabilitation staff is really cool and they know what they’re doing.”
“I have to agree with Wally,” Garry added. Our rehab workers, Todd and Shelly really seem to care about us and our psychiatrist, Dr. Weisenthall is also very good.”
“Well then, you guys are in the fortunate group of mental health consumers that are getting adequate treatment for their mental health issues. Many people with mental disorders, especially those with schizophrenia, simply fall through the cracks of the mental health system. A lot of them either end up homeless, in prison or are forced into living in filthy, cockroach and rat infested hotel rooms or old broken down rooming houses.”
“Nobody cares. That’s the whole problem,” Wally said.
“You’re right, Wally, but there are a minority of people who do care, but these are usually the underpaid and underappreciated front line workers.”
“Do you think that this situation will ever change?” Garry asked Winston.

“No, there are too many institutions, corporations and individuals who are benefiting financially from the way the system operates now.”
“This conversation is getting really depressing,” Wally said. “I’m getting really tired. Why don’t we call it a night?”
Winston said, “You’re right.
Let’s all get a little shut eye.
We’ve got lot of things to do tomorrow.”
Wally found two air mattresses and inflated them properly with a hand pump. The two young men were both very tired and fell asleep quickly.
In the morning the boys awoke to the enticing aroma of the bacon and eggs that Winston was cooking for them.
After consuming a hearty and delicious breakfast and a pot of coffee, Winston suggested that it was time to go for a boat ride.
“I was going to take you guys for a ride in my speedboat but on further consideration I decided we’d go for a ride on my big cabin cruiser. I’ve got a lot of brand new, cutting edge technology on the big boat that I’d like to show you guys. fantasy 6

Revised Edition of The Lake Demon Chapter Eighty-Eight


Chapter Eighty-Eight
“From what I’ve heard, Winston, you are a renowned and respected scientist. Why would the Department of Fisheries want to lose you?” asked Garry.
“That’s a very good question. You have to know how a large bureaucracy works, Garry, “said Winston taking a quick glance at the lake.
“When large government departments are involved, the top administrators never want to be challenged by their subordinates. They have big, but fragile egos that are easily bruised by anyone who thinks outside the box.”
“Like you,” said Garry.
“Like me,” said Winston. “I’ve always been one to speak my own mind, Come to think of it, I first got in trouble for that in kindergarten. I asked the teacher why we couldn’t have chocolate milk instead of white milk. If my memory serves me well, she sent me to the principal’s office to discuss the matter.”
“That is certainly starting young,” said Garry.
“Yes, it is, but I guess I haven’t learned my lesson yet,” said Winston. “Now instead of challenging my teachers, I give my supervisors headaches.
“Do you regret challenging authority?” asked Garry.
“No, only ordinary people don’t question authority. They live their lives in fear, frustration and desperation. They probably wish that they had the capacity to ask the hard questions in life,” Winston responded.

“Your supervisors didn’t believe your story about your diver’s encounter with Ogopogo, did they Gramps?” asked Wally already knowing the answer.
“Of course not. At least they would never say publicly that they believed me. They feared that if they sided with me they would be laughed at and possibly disciplined by their bosses. On second thought it’s highly unlikely they believed my story at all. They probably have me labelled as some eccentric old fool. We only have free speech in this country if we’re willing to suffer the consequences,” answered Winston as the breeze blew through his hair,
“Some people might say you’re not a good role for us,” joked Wally as he buttoned up his windbreaker,
“And they’d probably be right,” said Winston with a twinkle in his eye.
“It’s getting a little chilly on deck. I think I’ll put on a windbreaker,” said Wally.

Picture 47

Revised Edition of The Lake Demon Chapter Seventy- Three


Chapter Seventy-Three
“No, there are too many institutions, corporations and individuals who are benefitting financially from the way the system operates now.”
“This conversation is getting really depressing,” said Wally. “I’m getting really tired. Why don’t we call it a night?” asked Wally yawning.
Winston said, “You’re right. Let’s all get a little shut eye. We’ve got lot of things to do tomorrow.”
Wally found two air mattresses and inflated them properly with a hand pump. The two young men were both very tired and fell asleep quickly.
In the morning the boys awoke to the enticing aroma of the bacon and eggs that Winston was cooking for them.
After consuming a hearty and delicious breakfast and a pot of coffee, Winston suggested that it was time to go for a boat ride.
“I was going to take you guys for a ride in my speedboat but on further consideration I decided we’d go for a ride on my big cabin cruiser. I’ve got a lot of brand new, cutting edge technology on the big boat that I’d like to show you guys.
boats 2

Revised Edition of The Lake Demon Chapter Seventy-Two


Chapter Seventy-Two
After Smackdown ended Winston made some more popcorn and offered the boys some more pop and popcorn. The conversation switched to the topic of mental health and life in psychiatric treatment facilities.
“The whole mental health system in North America is a disaster. The present system simply does not work. The only people it benefits are those who have important sounding job titles working in government bureaucracies,” Winston stated, pounding his fist on the coffee table. “From what I’ve heard, though, the Kelowna Mental Health Center is one of the better run mental health facilities in Canada.”
“That’s true,” said Wally. “The front line rehabilitation staff is really cool and they know what they’re doing.”
“I have to agree with Wally,” Garry added. Our rehab workers, Todd and Shelly really seem to care about us and our psychiatrist, Dr. Weisenthall is also very good.”
“Well then, you guys are in the fortunate group of mental health consumers that are getting adequate treatment for their mental health issues. Many people with mental disorders, especially those with schizophrenia, simply fall through the cracks of the mental health system. A lot of them either end up homeless or are forced into living in filthy, cockroach and rat infested hotel rooms or old broken down rooming houses.”
“Nobody cares. That’s the whole problem,” said Wally.
“You’re right, Wally, but there are a minority of people who do care, but these are usually the underpaid and underappreciated front line workers.”
“Do you think that this situation will ever change?” Garry asked Winston.
lake monster

Chapter 15 of The Cover Up, A Novel by Ken David Stewart


“What kinds of things would Bret do to piss off Simon and Matthew?”

“Bret would spoil their game.

If he witnessed anyone bullying the other residents Bret would quickly put a stop to it. Bret didn’t have to do or say much to get a bully to back down. A good stern look from Bret was usually sufficient. Bret still went to the gym four or five times per week and he had developed an impressive physique. Simon and Matthew did not exercise at all and appeared scrawny by comparison. Another factor was that Bret was their intellectual equal. He had a university degree and read books voraciously. He was onto their game and they knew it.”

“So, Simon and Matthew would like to have Bret out of the program?” asked Barnes.

“No doubt,” Rick responded.

As the line of questioning continued Rick was starting to feel unwell. “Look detective, I haven’t had much sleep and I am really not feeling that well. I also have to phone Brett’s community mental health worker and try to get a hold of his parents one more time. Could we continue the interview at a later date?”

“Of course, Rick. I would like to see the medical examiner’s report anyway so that we would have more to go on. The ME’s report will likely not be completed until at least tomorrow morning. Can I call you tomorrow?” asked Detective Barnes, stifling a yawn.

“Absolutely,” replied Rick.
images_002

Chapter Ten Of The Cover Up, A Novel


Rick went back to his office and phoned the executive supervisor, Lisa Harrison.”
“Hi Lisa. Sorry to bother you at home but I have some terrible news. One of residents, Brett Harkness passed away during the night shift.” Rick then went on to tell Lisa as much information as he knew. He also asked her for two
extra staff for today. He asked for one extra RCW for the day shift and one for the evening shift.”
“Well, okay for today only, Rick. You know that we’re over budget for this month already,” Lisa answered letting out an exacerbated sigh.
Rick finished the phone call by telling the executive director that he would call her with updates as the weekend unfolded.
The House of Hope psychiatric wing was kind of a dinosaur in the mental health industry. It was a large facility that housed twenty-two men at capacity. All of the persons admitted to the program had to be referred by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. The House of Hope gave preference to clients who had a history of being hard to house and hard to manage. They usually had a number of places in the community that they had been evicted from for a variety of reasons. The clients mostly suffered from severe and persistent psychiatric disorders. The majority of the residents of The House of Hope psychiatric wing were men with schizophrenia. There were also some who presented with bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder, severe anxiety disorders and rarely with treatment resistant depression.
Schizophrenia is a severe and persistent psychiatric disorder that is characterized by hallucinations, usually auditory but sometimes affects the other senses also. People with schizophrenia often present with delusions or fixed false beliefs as well. These could be delusions of grandeur or most often delusions of persecution. These are what are known as the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The word positive, does not imply something good in this case, it means something added on that was not there before the disease started to manifest. Most medications used in the treatment of schizophrenia worked more effectively on the positive symptoms of the illness.
Schizophrenia is also characterized by negative symptoms. Theses include things like blunted affect, poverty of speech, social isolation, extreme fatigue and lack of motivation. The counselors and residential care workers at The House of Hope faced constant challenges in performing the daily duties of their jobs. The House of Hope was considered to be a dinosaur as the “best practice” had changed in the view of the mental health experts. The new paradigm was to get as many consumers of psychiatric medicine as
possible living independently and successfully in the community. 2012-07-20 16-56-00.438

Episode 134 0f The Lake Demon, A Novel


Episode 134:
“Your supervisors didn’t believe your story about your diver’s encounter with Ogopogo, did they gramps?” asked Wally already knowing the answer.
“Of course not. At least they would never say publicly that they believed me. They feared that if they sided with me they would be laughed at and possibly disciplined by their bosses. On second thought it’s highly unlikely they believed my story at all. They probably have me labelled as some eccentric old fool. We only have free speech in this country if we’re willing to suffer the consequences,” answered Winston as the breeze blew through his hair,
“Some people might say you’re not a good role for us,” joked Wally as he buttoned up his windbreaker,
“And they’d probably be right,” said Winston with a twinkle in his eye.
“It’s getting a little chilly on deck. I think I’ll put on a windbreaker,” said Wally.

Ogopogo Cover Picture.jpg 8