It's okay to not be okay.

The world is different post COVID-19, and while mental health concerns were top of mind for our Party prior to the pandemic, we are even more focused now. We see job losses, financial uncertainty, reduced social interactions, increased substance abuse, domestic violence, and so many other pressures and situations piling on to people.

Statistics suggest that at least one in five individuals experience issues related to their mental health - and we know that the numbers are climbing.

Thousands of Nova Scotians of all ages, backgrounds and communities, struggle with mental health conditions that are likely manageable - if they have access to appropriate support.

But the support is too often elusive. Instead, They are being penalized by bad government policy. Government is failing them.

For me, making sure that they have access to regular, reliable, publicly-funded mental health and addictions support is not politics. It’s personal.

Progressive Conservatives are committed to modernizing our province when it comes to mental healthcare, both with the services we provide - and the approach we take to providing them.

Our plan includes:

  • A separate department dedicated to mental health and addictions.
  • Opening billing codes to allow private practitioners to deliver their service to everyone.
  • A 24/7 mental-telehealth service.
  • A 9-8-8 mental health crisis line, separate from 9-1-1.
  • Attracting new mental health professionals to Nova Scotia.
  • Increased training options for health professionals and educators.

Nova Scotia cannot continue to treat mental health and addictions like a niche problem that affects somebody else’s child, or happens to the people you hear about on the news.

Treating depression is just as important as treating physical ailments, and having support for addictions will save lives the same way as having surgery for an appendectomy.

We can’t afford to do nothing. The McNeil Liberals have tried that.

Mental health care IS health care - And access to mental health care is a right, not a privilege. As a province, we must mobilize our collective resources now. Above all else, that is what our plan does.

For the the government to provide mental health care, it must be:

  • Free of Stigma for those who need it.
  • Accountable to those who rely on it.
  • And Universally Accessible for those who cannot afford it.

That is why we are committing to build the most progressive mental health support system in Canada. A PC government will not only acknowledge the challenges faced by those living with mental health concerns, we will embrace them and establish a system that makes treating mental ailments the same as treating physical ones.

Read Tim's Plan for Universal Mental Health Care

Building Accountability

We will create a separate department for mental health and addictions.

And making someone accountable.

We currently have one Minister responsible for 45% of the budget, while 16 other ministers oversee the remaining 55%.

Mental health spending on its own makes it the size of the 7th largest government department, yet we let it fall through the cracks of an already fractured health system.

Universal Access

We will make the system Accessible. For the first time in Canada, we will be investing in universal mental health care.

This means opening the billing codes for certified mental health professionals for the services you need, whether that’s in person or online counselling, psychologists or addictions treatment.

No more waiting on an inefficient NSHA. Just access to the care you need when you need it. Even if that means making public, pieces of the private system.

Immediate Support

There must be more accessible, modern options. So we will create a 24/7 mental telehealth service to conduct proper triage, intake and funnel patients to the proper channels, and a 24/7 9-8-8 crisis line, so when you’re in a bad place, you’re not in the same 9-1-1 lineup.

It's a recognition that no one can remember a ten digit number in a state of crisis, and that crises don’t only occur from 8:30-4:30.

Through both of these access points, you have access to individuals who are trained to deal with a crisis.

Signing My Name

These are not political promises. These are personal commitments.

They will benefit everyone from youth, to those with addictions; to individuals with anxiety, depression, or any other ailment.

My focus is on rebuilding the system, and repairing the confidence that Nova Scotians have in it.

We will give people the care they need for better health outcomes, attract new mental health professionals to Nova Scotia, work to remove the stigma associated with mental health, and save on other costs in emergency rooms, correctional facilities and community services because too many people should not have interacted with them in the first place.

It starts here.

It starts today.