Nova Scotians will be able to help shape the province's future approach to mental health and addiction services as work on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy moves into the public consultation phase.Just passing things on ... respond as you see fit.
The Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee, which is leading development of the strategy, will hold six public consultations across the province, beginning April 18 in Greenwood and ending May 16 with a consultation for the Francophone and Acadian communities. Consultations will also take place in Amherst, Sydney, Halifax and Bridgewater.
"I urge Nova Scotians to help us to revamp mental health and addiction services across our province by participating in the public consultations," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald "Your input will help us ensure better health care for you and your family."
The Mental Health and Addictions Strategy was announced in the March 2010 Throne Speech. Ms. MacDonald anticipates receiving the advisory committee's recommendations by October.
The advisory committee is composed of 12 health experts, researchers, mental health clinicians and people living with or affected by mental illness.
The committee has also been meeting with mental health and addictions groups as part of its work. To date, committee representatives have met with nearly 50 groups with more meetings planned for this month and May.
"The stakeholder consultations have provided invaluable information for the work of the advisory committee," said Joyce McDonald, co-chair of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee. "We have had the privilege to hear from many different individuals and groups as well as from professionals who work in the field."
People can also provide input online or through the mail. To comment online, and for more information on the strategy, go to www.nshrf.ca/mentalhealthandaddictionsstrategy. Call 902-424-4043 for a copy of the consultation questionnaire.
Dates for the consultations are:
--Greenwood, Monday, April 18, 8 a.m. - noon, 14 Wing Greenwood, Birchall Training Center, The Chamber Room
--Amherst, Tuesday, April 26, 8 a.m. - noon, 98, Victoria St. East, Tantramar Theatre
--Sydney, Wednesday, April 27, 8 a.m. - noon, Cape Breton University, 1250 Grand Lake Rd., Multi Purpose Room A and B
--Halifax, Tuesday, May 3, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Saint Mary's University, Burke Building, Burke Theatre B (Entrance off of Inglis Street)
--Bridgewater, Thursday, May 5, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., South Shore Regional Hospital , Lecture rooms 1-3 (Third Floor)
The French consultation will be held in Halifax, Monday, May 16, 8 a.m. - noon at the Université Sainte-Anne, Campus de Halifax, 1589 Walnut St. It will also be broadcast to four communuities:
--Petit-de-Grat, Campus de Petit-de-Grat, 3433, route 206
--Pointe-de-l'Église, Campus principal de Pointe-de-l'Église
1695, route 1
--Grand-Étang, Campus de Saint-Joseph-du-Moine
12521, Cabot Trail
--Tusket, Campus de Tusket, 1, Slocumb Crescent
PS This came by way of Michele Raymond, MLA (Halifax Atlantic)