PC Party NL Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Opposition wrong on mental health investments

October 2, 2012

Minister Corrects Misinformation Regarding Mental Health Investments

The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services, today corrected misleading information provided by the Official Opposition regarding investments in mental health and addictions services. Minister Sullivan also reiterated the Provincial Government’s commitment to continue providing new, innovative and enhanced mental health and addictions services throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Our government has put great emphasis on the implementation of new mental health and addictions services through an investment of nearly $30 million in just the past three years and I am disappointed that the Official Opposition would use outdated, misleading information in the public,” said Minister Sullivan. “We have broken ground on two new youth mental health and addictions centres that will be the first of their kind in this province, a new adult addictions centre is in the works and we are moving forward with an innovative and interactive e-mental health project for our youth, health professionals and community stakeholders. Mental health and addictions is, and will remain, a top priority for our government.”

The Official Opposition issued a news release today that appears to reference 2003-04 data collected as part of a study released by The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry in 2008.

Over the past several years the Provincial Government has advanced mental health and addictions services throughout the province. In Budget 2012: People and Prosperity, $15.5 million was allocated for the continued development of the treatment centres in Grand Falls-Windsor for youth with addictions and Paradise for youth with complex mental health needs and the adult treatment centre in Harbour Grace.

Other recent investments include:

  • $4.5 million to begin the replacement of the Waterford Hospital;
  • $3.4 million to enhance rural mental health and addictions services to increase peer support workers, rural case managers, intake workers, counselling positions and to help open two regional offices for the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association;
  • $1.1 million to enhance child psychiatry services at the Janeway Hospital;
  • $1 million for a web-based e-mental health service and awareness campaign; and,
  • Continued financial support of mental health and addictions organizations that includes funding for day-to-day operations, projects and programming to help further their mandates and provide services throughout the province.

“If Opposition critic wants to cite provincial mental health and addictions expenditure figures from a 2003-04 study, he may need a little history lesson,” said Minister Sullivan. “When we took over office in 2003-04, our government had a significant job ahead of us to rectify the often short-sighted expenditures of the previous administration. Our government has no problems standing by what we have done and will continue to do for mental health and addictions.”

Link to the original news release

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RELATED RELEASE:

October 2, 2012

Mental Illness Awareness Week Proclaimed

Newfoundland and Labrador is joining jurisdictions across the country in recognizing September 30 to October 6 as Mental Illness Awareness Week. The Provincial Government continues to make significant investments to enhance mental health and addictions services throughout the province.

“Our government is working to promote understanding of mental illness and addictions within our province through community partnerships, educational opportunities and awareness activities,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services. “One of the greatest challenges in advancing mental health awareness and acceptance is finding ways to address the stigma that is often attached to it. Mental Illness Awareness Week is designed to end the stigma associated with mental illness by encouraging individuals to share their experiences.”

Mental Illness Awareness Week is coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, a national network of organizations committed to supporting mental health needs of people throughout the country. One of Mental Illness Awareness Week’s major initiatives is the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness.

For a listing of events taking place throughout the province in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, please visit the Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador Division website at: www.cmhanl.ca/.

“While a lot of progress is being made we must accept and recognize that many of us will experience a mental illness or an addiction,” said Vince Withers, Chair of the Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council. “It is important that we substantially increase our sensitivity and understanding for those who need our support.”

Through Budget 2012: People and Prosperity, $15.5 million was allocated for the continued development of a treatment centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for youth with addictions, a treatment centre in Paradise for youth with complex mental health needs and an adult treatment centre in Harbour Grace. Construction of the youth treatment centres began in May 2012. Eastern Health has also recently awarded a contract for the planning and development of the adult addictions treatment centre in Harbour Grace. Two Requests for Proposals have also recently been issued for innovative programs focused on providing access to e-mental health services and a mass media awareness campaign.

Over the past three years, the Provincial Government has invested approximately $29 million to enhance mental health and addictions services throughout the province.

Link to the original news release

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