New Brunswick Health Minister Lay Down a Five Years Action Plan to Increase Mental Health Services


Dorothy Shephard, New Brunswick Health Minister, has lied about a five-year action plan meant to improve its mental health services. Shephard said in a press conference that the plan is intended to help people get services before getting into a more profound crisis.
The plan is designed to do a same-day counseling service similar to that offered in a walk-in clinic. In its first six weeks, Shephard said the clinic has 97 people get helped without an appointment. She added that 94 percent of the patient expressed satisfaction with the counseling session.

Shephard announced that the model is expected to be implemented in 13 other locations in the province by next October. The plan will make use of professionals who include therapists, counselors and social workers. If the plan is implemented, it will free psychiatrists and psychologists to cater to acute needs patients.

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The minister intends to channel $900 000 toward mobile crisis clinics, partnering with RCMP AND Vitalite Health Network. Vitalite will operate similar crisis units in Kent County, Campbellton, Bathurst, Edmundston and Acadian Penisula under similar funding.

Apart from the emergency crisis clinic for the mental health plan, the province also wants to open a youth center by 2024. The facility is expected to be a center of excellence for youth mental health.

According to Canadian Mental Health Association director Christa Baldwin, as the pandemic continues, mental health support demand is increasing. The pandemic is stressing people; according to a CHMA, 38 percent of 3000 people said that covid-19 has caused their mental health to decline. Deteriorating mental health may permeate thoughts of self-harm.

Those struggling with addiction will also be taken care of in overdose protection sites scheduled to be in place by the end of 2021. The site will also offer testing material to examine what is in the drugs. Shephard says the site will help the community and provide service to people where they are located.