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Nova Scotia releases first provincial mental health strategy

May 17, 2012

Nova Scotia’s first provincial mental health strategy, entitled “Come Together: Report and Recommendations of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee”, was released in April by the provincial government. The report is the result of an extensive review of research, jurisdictional examples and consultations with over 1,200 Nova Scotians. The goal of the strategy is to improve Nova Scotia’s mental health and addictions services.

The strategy was supported by an advisory committee composed by two co-chairs, Michael Ungar and Joyce McDonald, and twelve diverse members. Members reflect the diversity of the province and a range of professional and personal experience with mental health-related issues.

The report includes 61 recommendations to improve the provincial mental health system requiring:

  • A revamped model of care with both a provincial and cross-jurisdictional focus
  • An increase in resources to enhance access to services, increase community capacity and address the social determinants of health
  • Social change to address stigma and discrimination
  • A commitment to care for, and empower people living with serious and persistent mental health conditions and/or addictions.

There are four priority areas for action:

  1. Invest in health promotion, earlier intervention and faster access to services
  2. Fix gaps within the systems of care
  3. Create supportive communities
  4. Strengthen collaboration.

To learn more about “Come Together: Report and Recommendations of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee”, please visit the Government of Nova Scotia website at www.gov.ns.ca.

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