NB Health Minister Dorothy Shephard

A new five year action plan is promising increased access to specialized services by those suffering mental health and addictions issues. The plan was unveiled by Health Minister Dorothy Shephard today.

The plan is focusing on 12 key initiatives including walk-in addiction and mental health services across the province. Shephard says 14 centres should be open by October with communities deciding things like hours of operation to best serve their areas. The Minister also says discussions are underway with universities to establish on-campus centres.

Other initiatives will focus on implementation of the provincial treatment centre for youth – implementation of overdose prevention sites – and beefing up gaps in staffing in addiction and mental health services to prepare for increased demand from the impact of COVID-19.

Shephard says it is critical that this new plan is an inter-departmental approach with Justice and Public Safety. She says there will be about $6,000,000 in funding between the two departments for the plan. Initial funding for the plan was allocated in the 2020-21 budget.

You can find a full version of the plan here. And you can watch Health Minister Dorothy Shephard’s full statement in the Recent Video player to the right of this page.