The Official Opposition condemns the Higgs government’s decision to cut funding to a province wide school mental health support program in the middle of a pandemic and calls on them to reverse their decision. The Link program provides important support to students who are experiencing difficult times and guides them to the appropriate mental health resources according to their needs.
“Providing the necessary mental health resources in schools is challenging enough in normal times, but with the growing needs caused by the pandemic it is absolutely unacceptable that the government would cut these services,” said Liberal Social Development Critic Robert Gauvin. “The isolation and uncertainty we are facing can be very difficult and hard to process for students. This is a time to increase mental health support for our children, not reduce it!”
Largely volunteer based, The Link program receives an annual grant of $40,000 from the government to serve 14 regions in the province.
“During the last election campaign, Mr. Higgs promised New Brunswickers that mental health would be a top priority for his government, but by abandoning our children in this way, he is clearly demonstrating that this is not the case,” said Gauvin. “We all know this government seems to only care about the bottom line and likes to make cuts to social programs to save money but cutting in mental health services to children just to save a few dollars is inexcusable.”
The link is a New Brunswick initiative started in 1999 that has been implemented in other Canadian provinces due to its success.