It is very rare to find a family today that has not been touched by mental illness in one way or another. From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to have close family members suffer not only through the stigma of mental health, but giving them hope to find someplace they can call home.
That’s exactly what Valley View Centre is to nearly roughly 188 residents: home.
And family are the employees who work at the centre. They take care of residents and ensure they live in a place that is suitable and accommodating for their intellectual disabilities.
The centre will be closing in 2016, and with the recent announcement of the first wave of job cuts being made, the story of the Valley View Centre is becoming more tragic.
One can only hope that the employees and residents wont be forgotten, and that the government really does have an action plan in place to help the staff find new work, and help residents find new homes.
As a community, our responsibility is to ensure we don’t lose these people. These are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues. They make a positive impact on Moose Jaw, and it would be a disservice to our city to lose them.
Moose Jaw is our home, and we need to take control. We decide if we will allow the closing of Valley View Centre to impact our community negatively. We have an obligation to not sit back, but take control and demand to see these promised plans made by the Saskatchewan government come to be. I am anxious to see the action the government is willing to take to help our people, and so should you.
It’s never easy losing a job, or losing a home. I sympathize with everyone who is affected by the closing of the centre. I will not stop talking about this issue until Moose Jaw finally sees a positive turn-around than what is happening now. I will not stop talking about this issue until the employees who have dedicated their lives helping these residents get the respect they deserve. And I will not stop talking about this issue until each resident is in a new and equally accommodating and happy home.
We all have accountability and the closing of Valley View Centre is all of our problems. Because, from my perspective, it seems like these people are already forgotten, and that is unacceptable in my eyes.
Mickey Djuric can be reached at 306-691-1263 or @Mickey_MJTimes.