Glavine: Mental Health Strategy Far Overdue
Liberal health critic Leo Glavine says that the Dexter government’s delayed mental health strategy shows a lack of concern for the 20 per cent of the Nova Scotian population suffering with mental health issues.
“The government is fond of saying what changes it would like to see in our province,” says Glavine. “But it doesn’t seem like a government actually committed to taking action, however - we’ve been waiting for this strategy since it was first announced in 2010.”
“The NDP government needs to commit that the mental health strategy will be delivered before the next session of the legislature and that the strategy itself will be supported in the upcoming budget.”
Glavine says it’s known that those suffering from mental health issues are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system and they are at increased risk of abusing drugs.
“Despite the increased risks faced by this group, this government is sitting idly by while we wait for a strategy and recommendations we were supposed to have in the fall,” says Glavine. “We still have no specific deadline for the recommendations – Nova Scotians were merely told that recommendations would be made available in ‘early 2012.’”
Glavine says continued inaction could cost lives and that more accountability is necessary on this file.
“This strategy is needed to prevent further harm to Nova Scotians with mental health issues,” says Glavine. “We need this minister to push forward, demand recommendations and finally deliver the strategy that Nova Scotians were promised years ago.”
“The minister can no longer merely offer words – we need a plan and we need action from the Dexter government.”