8 Ways Your Liberal Government Will Improve Access to Mental Health Care Services

Your Liberal government is investing more than $34 million over the next four years to improve access to mental health care services.  Through this investment, services will be enhanced and more than 100 mental health care professionals and support staff will be hired across the province.

“Our four-year plan for mental health focuses on making sure Nova Scotians get the care they need, when they need it. Not only will we make it easier to access those supports, we will ensure there are more mental health professionals to provide that quality care,” says Premier Stephen McNeil. “Whether in school or in the community, we want to make it easier for Nova Scotians to access the supports and services already in place, and ensure our mental health care professionals have the tools they need to continue providing quality care.”

Here are 8 ways your Liberal government will improve mental health services:

  1. A new central intake system that improves access to services, so patients can receive care as soon as possible. This will ensure that no door is the wrong door for accessing mental health care.
  2. Increased access to community-based supports through individual treatment, as well as support and group programs across the province, with 35 new mental health clinicians added over four years.
  3. Expanded crisis services for those who require more than the regular community supports, but are not in need of an inpatient hospital bed. This will ensure patients discharged from the emergency department receive rapid follow-up by mental health clinicians, care plans are developed, and emergency department physicians and staff are properly supported to provide the best care possible.
  4. Mental health support workers placed in collaborative care clinics across the province, to help family physicians treat mental health issues in their early stages.
  5. Expand the SchoolsPlus program to all schools by 2019, hiring 51 new mental health clinicians, facilitators and community outreach workers. This will allow all our children to have access to support if they need it.
  6. Develop new Youth Health Centres in our schools. At the urging of the Mental Health Panel, an evidence-based standard model will be developed and tested in four schools to work in conjunction with SchoolsPlus.
  7. Develop an action plan to address opioid addiction. In the short term, $1 million has been committed for urgent actions, such as naloxone and safe needle exchanges. With the help of addictions experts, a long-term action plan will be developed to better treat and prevent abuse.
  8. Pass legislation that makes it easier for emergency response workers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to access benefits. Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act will ensure police, firefighters, paramedics, corrections officers, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will no longer need to prove the incident was workplace related. These changes will eliminate a barrier to benefits and service.

As Liberals, we know how important it is for Nova Scotians of all ages to have access to mental health services. We are committed to ensuring the people in our province get the help they need, when they need it, as well as ensuring ‘no door is the wrong door’ when it comes to accessing mental health services.

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