FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new online resource, “Bridge the gapp,” has been launched to help connect New Brunswickers to services related to substance use and mental health.

The information hub is being offered by the provincial government in collaboration with both regional health authorities and in partnership with Canada Health Infoway and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I am so pleased to see the introduction of this website,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “This year has underscored the urgent need for more mental health resources in our province. I am thrilled to work with partners across Canada to implement this initiative at home. This is only one initiative we will bring forward to improve mental health services.”

Bridge the gapp was co-designed by governmental and community partners and people with lived experience with mental illness and addictions. Originally developed in Newfoundland and Labrador, it has been recognized nationally and internationally, and has been a trusted source for resources and services since 2015.

“Canada Health Infoway is pleased to support the expansion of Bridge the gapp to New Brunswick as part of our Atlantic Initiative,” said Michael Green, president and CEO. “Virtual mental health services are in demand now more than ever before and Bridge the gapp will help New Brunswickers get the support they need, especially during this challenging time.”

This is the first of a three-phased launch and currently only includes addiction and mental health services that are delivered and managed by the regional health authorities or specific community-based addiction programs that are funded by the Department of Health.

Subsequent phases will include addiction and mental health services specific to First Nations as well as other community-based, non-government-funded addiction and mental health programs.

“It is time, particularly with the past year we have experienced, to create an accessible mental health resource, available at any time,” said Shephard. “Any New Brunswicker with access to the internet can instantly obtain support when they need it.”

More information on programs in each region, as well as information on how to have a program or service included in the service directory, is available on the Bridge the gapp website.