HALIFAX – With demands for services increasing, some local mental health experts say any help to the current mental health system in Nova Scotia is good news.
This after the government announced an extra $8 million to mental health initiatives with roughly half targeted at youth health strategies.
Health Minister Randy Delorey says the IWK Children’s Hospital will hire 15 new staff members to serve the mental health needs of youth and families as part of the funding announcement, with the hope of cutting down the wait list at the hospital.
Statistics obtained under a freedom of information request by Global News show between the final quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2016, 50 per cent of patients waited 100 days for a first appointment, with a maximum wait time approaching 350 days.
Sylvia Chapman has been the youth health coordinator at Auburn Drive High School for more than a decade, and tells Global this is a step in the right direction
“I do believe that we are starting that now, and so therefore I do think we’re going to end up with a more resilient population and people who are able to manage and cope positively,” said Chapman.
Olivia Conrad is a student at Auburn Drive and a volunteer for jack.org, a national network of young people who help identify barriers to positive mental health in their communities and work to break barriers down.
She says its still a work in progress to get people aware of what’s going on and what people are struggling with and while people are more accepting and willing to open up and talk about mental illness, there is still work to be done.