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5-Year Mental Health and Addiction Action for New Brunswick unveiled by NB Health Minister
At a press conference held in Fredericton on February 23, 2021, Minister of Health Dorothy Shephard unveiled a five-year action plan aimed at addressing the increasing demand for addiction and mental health services. The plan is intended to increase access to specialized services and will include the implementation of 14 walk-in addiction and mental health clinics across the province this year.
“This plan serves as a framework to guide and align current plans and priorities, as well as to foster increased collaboration among our stakeholders and partners in the delivery of mental health services,” said Minister Shephard.
The first of the new walk-in mental health clinics has been operating in Campbellton for the last eight weeks and is already showing promising results.
"The Campbellton clinic is a demonstration model. In the first six weeks of operation, they received 97 walk-in visits. 94% of those visits were satisfied with their first visit and received the proper guidance they needed for the next step in their mental health journey. The wait list of 37 people was eliminated because of this," said Shephard.
The Inter-Departmental Addiction and Mental Health Action Plan: Priority Areas for 2021-2025 has five goals: to improve population health and by reducing risk factors and providing improved access to services required to maintain health; to improve access to services by providing faster first contact and reduced wait times for services; to intervene earlier: by providing greater access to prevention and early intervention support and services; to match individuals to care: by providing a more complete continuum of services and support which is easier to navigate; and; to reduce the impact of drug addiction, such as crime, illness, injury and death, upon communities.
According to Shephard, the new plan will improve access to mental healthcare for all New Brunswicjers and aims to better match individuals to the best programs suited to their needs with the least intensive treatment required.
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