I write this letter with overwhelming gratitude and hope following a recent visit to Lakeridge Health during a very difficult time in my life. If the pandemic was not enough, I faced my first Christmas without a dear loved one who passed suddenly last Dec. 27, 2019. My visit to Lakeridge Health occurred one year to this day, Dec. 27, 2020. When I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted with a lineup that extended outside the emergency doors entrance. I was immediately struck by the staff’s composure despite the sheer number of people, many of whom were in distress seeking care.
Within a half hour, I was registered and seen by a triage nurse, then directed to the main waiting area. My visit was of a mental health nature, and as a result, I was called on quickly and redirected to a different area specifically intended for those in need of mental health services and assistance. I was seen by a small handful of professionals who demonstrated exceptional compassion, care, and professionalism for my wellbeing. Even as I type this, I’m humbled beyond measure.
This is a letter of sincere thanks and appreciation to the hospital and its dedicated staff who are working tirelessly and selflessly in this pandemic to serve the community in what for many is a very difficult time of year. I never understood the true scope or need for mental health services until I was knocking at the door for help. I want to thank Val Parsons, a crisis nurse specializing in mental health, who held my hand even when she could not; her caring words and passion for helping people gave me hope. She provided me with important community resources and followed up a couple days later to see how I was doing. These types of services are invaluable; they save peoples’ lives.
Following my visit to Lakeridge Health, I did some research and discovered Val Parsons, who runs the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic, received a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk grant. Her desire to help those in need is what drives her success. I am in awe of her. She is extremely inspirational and absolutely the best person for the important work she does.
As I leave behind 2020 and look ahead to 2021, I have a better understanding and appreciation for frontline workers, especially those working in mental health; their unwavering resilience is a fine example for those who have lost their way.