April 25th, 2018

Liberal government needs to invest in and track mental health services

HALIFAX – Today, the Department of Health and Wellness acknowledged it has not formally evaluated the province’s Mental Health Strategy, the plan that was meant to ensure mental health services are delivered effectively in the province.

“Like access to a family doctor, access to mental health services is essential for people’s health,” said Sackville-Cobequid MLA Dave Wilson. “The Mental Health Strategy was created to make sure services were effective and meeting community needs. Evaluating and updating the mental health strategy ensures the government is accountable to communities.”

The NDP government introduced the Mental Health Strategy in 2012, after in-depth consultation with over 1200 stakeholders. The strategy was the first of its kind for the province and the Liberal government has never updated that plan. The current budget sets aside $287 million for mental health.

“When people are waiting months to access basic service, there is something seriously wrong,” said Halifax Needham MLA Lisa Roberts. “People have a right to know what the province’s plan is when it comes to lowering wait times, increasing community based mental health services and improving programming for people with addictions.”

The federal government has earmarked money for mental health in the provinces. New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, and the Northwest Territories all have written agreements in place, while Nova Scotia is still working out the details for how that money will be used.

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