Three provinces – New Brunswick, Québec, and Newfoundland and Labrador – have announced new efforts to strengthen their mental health systems.
New Brunswick (NB) has launched an innovative new seven-year provincial mental health plan. The Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018 outlines priorities for mental health promotion, service delivery changes for all sectors, early identification and intervention, and changes in residents’ attitudes and values on mental health. The plan will promote greater collaboration between government, non-governmental organizations, educators and employers, and outlines specific targets and a plan for increasing access to specialized services.
In their plan, the NB government identifies strategic goals, commitments to action for each goal, and a monitoring framework with concrete and specific targets to track progress (see pages 18 to 20). Goals include:
- Transforming service delivery through collaboration;
- Realizing potential through an individualized approach;
- Responding to diversity;
- Enhancing knowledge;
- Reducing stigma by enhancing awareness; and
- Improving the mental health of the population.
Key principles of the plan include dignity, diversity, equality, excellence, holism, hope and partnership.
The Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018, May 2011, can be viewed at the Government of New Brunswick website atwww.gnb.ca.
During Mental Health Week 2011, the Québec government announced that mental health is among its priorities and committed to developing a plan of action for 2012 to 2017. This plan will continue the work set out in the 2005-2010 action plan, which saw an $80 million investment for mental health. Priority issues for the future plan include: improvements to front-line mental health services; maintaining community-based services for people with moderate mental health conditions; developing a service model for marginalized clients; improving coordination between relevant health providers; implementing a rapid assessment process for learning disabilities and mental health issues, and a prevention and anti-stigma campaign targeted at children and adults.
For more information about the Québec action plan, view the press release (in French) at www.communiques.gouv.gc.ca.
The latest budget by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador includes over $8.7 million for mental health initiatives. Of this, $4.5 million will be used for planning the replacement of the Waterford hospital with a new specialized mental health facility in St. John’s; $1 million will go towards three anti-stigma initiatives; and $3.2 million will go towards increasing rural capacity.
The remaining funds will go towards additional initiatives including: peer support through the Consumer Health Awareness Network of Newfoundland and Labrador; establishment of two new regional offices of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland and Labrador; and additional programming, case managers and intake workers.
To read the news release about the investment, visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website at www.releases.gov.nl.ca.