FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is organizing a roundtable discussion on mental health in Fredericton on Oct. 23 to identify immediate steps that can be taken to improve services provincewide.

“The purpose of this discussion is to identify immediate action we can take to address concerns in the community,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “We will be looking at steps that can be taken in the short and medium terms to help us achieve a better outcome in the longer term for those who need our help.”

Shephard will lead the discussion, which will include subject-matter experts from around the province as well as senior government officials.

“When we work together, there is more support for individuals, families and communities to thrive,” said Christa Baldwin, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick. “People are not alone. There are good things happening in New Brunswick and we need to explore how to expand upon that. There is an expressed desire for all sectors to collaborate for the betterment of services in our province.”

“There are no easy answers and we know we can not fix everything,” said Shephard. “But we also know that if we get the right people in the room with a conviction to move forward with a sense of urgency, there are steps we can take. Now is time to have an honest discussion, make thoughtful decisions and take concrete action.”