The Office of the Official Opposition is repeating it’s call for the Higgs government to move more aggressively on the mental health crisis in New Brunswick.
“The difficult realities of living through a global pandemic have shown us that New Brunswick is in a mental health crisis” says Rob McKee, MLA for Moncton-Center and Liberal spokesperson for mental health. “There is urgent need for increased access and more robust funding for mental health services in our province. It’s time the Higgs government put their money where their mouth is and invest in improving services for those who are looking for help.”
Three mental health centres set up in 2017 as part of a national pilot project called ACCESS Open Minds, lost their funding in March 2021 when the project’s terms came to an end. They have since been in limbo, unsure of what funding the provincial government will put towards these centres.
“There is no justifiable reason these centres are not already receiving the funding they need to continue operating. These community-oriented mental health centres have been helping youth for years, all they need is some funding to keep doing their important work” says Robert Gauvin, critic for Social Development. “The Higgs government has expressed their willingness to keep funding these centers but are keeping them in the dark in terms of how much funding they will receive and when to expect it. In the meantime, they are losing staff and the services are being reduced. This is unacceptable.”
The MLA for Moncton-Centre recently introduced a motion which was passed unanimously urging the Higgs Government to accelerate the timeline for the implementation of its mental health action plan to 3 years, immediately enhance the funding for mental health services to achieve this objective and establish the position of Mental Health Advocate without delay.
“The Higgs government has a history of saying they will do something, but not really following through. The Liberal opposition will not let them ignore the mental health crisis in the province and will continue to push for immediate and significant investments in mental health” says McKee.