Mentally-ill patients wait two days in ER, sleep on the floor

The emergency entrance at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont. is pictured in this February 3, 2014...

The emergency entrance at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont. is pictured in this February 3, 2014 file photo. (Mike Hensen/QMI Agency)

Jonathan Sher, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:36 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. — Mentally-ill patients were left to fend for themselves over the weekend in a London hospital emergency department so overcrowded, they ended up sleeping on the floor.

Six mentally-ill patients were left on chairs for 20 hours in Victoria Hospital while some with physical illnesses were put in beds.

That sort of outcome isn't acceptable, Camille Quenneville, chief executive of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said.

"It's alarming. It's unconscionable (they) slept on the floor," she said. "Stigma is public enemy No. 1 because it prevents people from seeking the care they need."

Long waits for hospital beds and crowded emergency rooms have become common in Ontario hospitals.

The London ordeal took a toll on Jenepher Watt, 18, who for five years has worked hard to cope with depression and anxiety.


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