Nova Scotians have been honest and open about their mental health struggles and demanding better services, even before COVID-19. With the pandemic and isolation taking a significant toll on too many, the PC Party of Nova Scotia wants to ensure that mental health services are available to everyone, regardless of circumstance.
“We must treat mental health on the same level as physical health,” says Houston. “People used to suffer in silence, now they’re screaming for help, and the Liberal government isn't listening.”
“And it is not just about adding more money; Nova Scotians need smart investments that address the core issues that prevent access to reliable mental health services.”
Houston will introduce an amendment to the Health Services and Insurance Act to recognize that not every Nova Scotian has immediate access to mental healthcare providers and therefore establishes billing codes for mental health professionals so they can treat everyone.
John Lohr, MLA for Kings North, will introduce the Addictions and Mental Health Act to establish a separate department and Minister of Addictions and Mental Health to appropriately recognize and address the unique conditions of each Nova Scotian.
Brian Comer, MLA for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, will introduce the Mental Health Crisis Hotline Act to ensure Nova Scotia adopts a three-digit crisis line with trained professionals, specifically for mental health concerns.
“Addictions and Mental Health is too important to fit within the purview of a Minister already responsible for a strained healthcare system, and an underfunded long-term care system,” says Lohr, PC Critic for Addictions and Mental Health. “It does a disservice to the front line professionals waking up every day trying to save lives.”
Comer, a mental health RN, says that we need to be resourceful and embrace technology to best deliver mental health services.
“The PC Party is committed to modernizing our province when it comes to mental health care,” says Comer, “Both with the services we provide - and the approach we take to providing them. That starts with a three-digit crisis line.”
Houston says that his party’s plan comes right from the people. The three bills tabled today are part of the PC’s Universal Mental Health plan that was introduced earlier this year.
“Addictions and mental health needs are not a niche problem that affects someone else’s child or happens only to the people you hear about on the news,” says Houston. “Mental Health is Health. That’s why we’ve put forward a comprehensive plan to address our outdated, underfunded, and inefficient mental health system.”