GNWT lays out new mental health and addiction action plan
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The Department of Health and Social Services has released its own action plan on mental health and addictions.
The three-year plan is called "A Shared Path Toward Wellness" and is designed to help improve the issue of mental health and reduce addiction in the NWT.
HSS minister Tom Beaulieu said the plan contains three elements, including community focus and engagement.
“Communities have said that they are in the best to determine their own cultural-appropriate solutions,” he said. “This plan will let communities drive and guide community-based mental health and addiction programs with our support, not the other way around.”
Frame Lake MLA Wendy Bisaro applauded the minister's announcement, but she cautioned that there has to be more than a three-year plan to deal with mental health and wondered if, and when, that was going to happen.
“What are we going to do beyond this three-year time period?” she said. “What has the department got in place for a long-term plan for mental health and addictions strategies?”
Beaulieu said the action plan is being used as a starting point to see whether they will renew this plan or build on it with new initiatives.
“We’ll see how this goes and have a good lay of the land on what we have out there as far as mental health and addiction issues and from there, build on something that’s long-term,” he said.
Beaulieu also said there will be a public forum set up in the future to help understand how community solutions can become a part of the action plan.
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