RIVERVIEW (GNB) – The Integrated Service Delivery model for providing mental health, addiction, intervention and social services to children and youth has been expanded to all public schools in the province. This fulfills a government platform commitment.

“We are proud to scale up this program all over the province, as it helps provide the mental health support our children need in a timely fashion,” said Premier Brian Gallant during an event at Riverview Middle School. “Giving our children this support will strengthen our education system and support families.”

As part of the provincewide expansion, the government is investing $8.8 million, which includes the hiring of more than 100 new front-line staff in addition to the more than 200 existing staff.

Through the model, government departments, schools, community agencies and service-providers have come together to help children and youth who have emotional, behavioural, mental health or addiction needs. Services are available in schools and other community settings. Services are provided by Child and Youth teams which are made up of professionals with training in counselling, social work, occupational therapy, psychology, education, nursing, mental health and addictions who specialize in working with children, youth and their families.

The government implemented the model in 34 schools in Charlotte County and the Acadian Peninsula in 2011. Since then, positive outcomes have been achieved and wait lists for services have been eliminated in these regions.

The model was expanded last year to another 112 schools from Saint John to Sussex and in the Miramichi and Chaleur-Restigouche regions.

Improving mental health services for children and youth is a component of the government’s 10-year education plans, strategies for crime reduction and harm prevention, and the Mental Health Action Plan. Supporting people with mental health challenges is also one of the seven priority areas of the New Brunswick Family Plan.

The Integrated Service Delivery model received a national 2016 IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award.

More information on the model is available online.