Universal mental health care needed post COVID-19

The Nova Scotia Health Authority didn’t have a plan to provide Nova Scotians with mental health services in 2017 and little has changed since then, says PC MLA Tim Halman.

The Public Accounts Committee will dive into the Mental Health Services chapter of the November 2017 report of the Auditor General today. Halman says this already damning report hasn’t aged well.

“People were struggling with mental health back then. With COVID-19 running rampant, our mental health concerns are now at an all-time high,” says Halman. “The Liberal government has put money towards the problem year after year, so why is it we’re worse off?"

The PCs put forward their plan for a universal mental health care system in Nova Scotia last fall.

With wait times for non-urgent care ranging from nine days in Colchester County to a whopping 238-day wait at Cape Breton clinics, PC Leader Tim Houston says now is the time to take Nova Scotia in a new direction with mental health and addictions.

“It shouldn’t matter if you live in the middle of Halifax or Meat Cove, universal mental health care is a right, not a privilege,” says Houston. “It’s clear after years of failed efforts to improve physical and mental health in the province that we need immediate change. That’s why I am committing to creating the most progressive mental health system in Canada."

Along with a separate department dedicated to mental health and addictions, the PCs have committed to making mental health care universal for all Nova Scotians, establishing recruitment tools to attract mental health professionals to the province, and implementing a dedicated 24-7 mental health intake phone line.

“This isn’t politics, it’s personal,” says Houston. “Too often, people in this province have to do without because they can’t afford to. I won’t allow that.”