FREDERICTON (GNB) – Health Minister Madeleine Dubé used the occasion of Mental Health Week to provide an update on the Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018.

“Mental Health Week provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the progress we have made on this plan that puts patients at the centre of treatment," said Dubé.

Actions related to the plan include:

●    $480,000 was provided that will allow about 100 young adults to receive early psychosis intervention services by 2014. Currently, guidelines have been established and indicators are in place to monitor the performance of services;
●    $400,000 was provided to establish community-based beds at the Pierre Caissie Centre for youth who have a non-criminal designation. The first youth was admitted in February;
●    two Integrated Service Delivery sites have been introduced, one in the Acadian Peninsula and one in Charlotte County, to promote the positive development of children and youth and to enhance system integration and efficiencies to provide earlier access to services;
●    the Department of Health has joined the Department of Social Development's Housing and Homelessness committee since 40 per cent of homeless individuals struggle with addictions and mental-health issues;
●    the regional health authorities and Addiction and Mental Health services have re-established several community advisory committees, and are working to re-establish committees around the province, to give community partners the opportunity to provide feedback and direction on service delivery; and
●    the Department of Health is working with the Provincial Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation to ensure challenges faced by persons living with mental illness with respect to housing and income are considered in policy development.

The plan, announced in May 2011, puts patients at the centre of care by restructuring the system to be responsive to individual and community needs while increasing access to specialized services throughout New Brunswick.

“I am proud that our government was able to move forward on many of the initiatives set out in the mental-health action plan,” said Dubé. “Mental Health Week provides New Brunswickers with the opportunity to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health and I encourage all residents to take part.”

More information about the mental health action plan can be found on the department website. Information on Mental Health Week is available on the Canadian Mental Health Association's website.

LINKS:

●    Department of Health: www.gnb.ca/health
●    Canadian Mental Health Association: www.cmha.ca