Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mental health group ‘hard at it’: Minister

An article published in yesterday's edition of Metro Halifax:
Health minister likes what she’s seen in mental health strategy

Liberal health critic says it’s time to focus on mental health issues

By Alex Boutilier

Nova Scotia’s minister of health says she expects a provincial mental health and addictions strategy by the end of the year.

Maureen MacDonald [pictured] said yesterday the volunteer working group putting together the strategy requested an extension of 30 days over their previous deadline of the end of September.

“The working group are hard at it, and I’m anticipating I should have this strategy certainly by the end of the year,” she said.

MacDonald said she was pleased at the pace of the working group.

“They’re a group of volunteers, they’re doing this on their own time, and I totally appreciate how much time it’s taken,” said MacDonald.

“They did a public consultation, they’ve seen more than 1,200 people participate in that process, they have some commissioned research.... It’s a big piece of work, and I’m very much looking forward to when they complete it.”

Some of the preliminary themes have been shared with MacDonald, and she said they look “great.”

MacDonald was responding to a call from the opposition Liberals, who demanded an update on the strategy’s progress.

Liberal Health Critic Leo Glavine said he suspects the strategy won’t see the light of day until 2012.

“There’s such a great need to get this out, to get it acted upon,” said Glavine.

“We’re hearing more and more from the school system and the early adult population that have major mental health needs … and we hope the strategy is going to address some of those.”

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