Mental illness is a pervasive chronic condition that many Islanders face. According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, the proportion of Canadians in the last 12 months that consulted their family doctor about their mental health is 57%, while the chance of having a mental illness or substance use disorder will be 1 in 3.
Liberals know that mental health and addictions are health issues. That’s why previous Liberal governments stepped up to introduce new initiatives, including a mental health campus, mobile mental health services, and mental health walk-in clinics.
Over the past four years, the current government has failed to increase the supply of mental health services to meet growing needs. We need new and expanded initiatives to ensure Islanders have access to the help they need when they need it most.
Today, Liberal Leader Sharon Cameron announced how the Liberal Healthcare First plan will increase access to mental health and addiction services for Islanders.
“Mental health and addictions are health issues,” said Cameron. “A Liberal government will ensure there are sufficient resources and attention placed to support Islanders facing these health challenges. To do so, we will establish a dedicated department, budget, and Minister for Mental Health and Addictions.”
“The need for mental health and addictions support increased with the additional stresses of the pandemic, the growing lack of affordable housing and the rising cost of living increasing,” said Cameron. “Yet, this government has done very little to increase access to the help Islanders need, underspending on its mental health and addictions commitments by $1.5 million in 2021-2022.”
The PEI Liberal Party’s Healthcare First platform provides the vision and the plan to improve access to mental health and addictions services for Islanders. A Liberal government will:
- Establish a dedicated department of mental health and addictions with its own Minister, budget, and Deputy Minister to deliver enhanced services to Islanders;
- Expand the number of mental health walk-in clinics and mobile mental health to increase services to Islanders, including 24-7 coverage;
- Increase the number of psychiatrists practicing in PEI;
- Provide expanded online access to mental health and addictions services to be available for every Islander in need;
- Expand access to mental health services through the use of psychologists as part of the PEI Health system on a fee-for-service basis;
- Introduce a 10-year plan on housing and accommodations for Islanders living with mental illness without stable housing.
- “PEI can be a leader in supporting our population’s mental health and addictions, yet we are seeing very little effort to take action upstream and end the stigma,” Cameron stated. “Islanders need our help, and we cannot continue to shovel this under the mat or behind chain-linked fences.”
A Liberal government will put mental health at the forefront and put Islanders’ Healthcare First.