Quebec announces 5-year mental health plan

Quebec is launching a plan to tackle what Health Minister Gaétan Barrette admits is a problematic organization of mental health services, particularly for youth.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette says current organization of services poses a problem

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said that 40 per cent of Quebecers suffer from mental health issues at one point in their lives. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Quebec is launching a five-year plan at a price tag of $70 million to tackle what the health minister admits is a problematic organization of mental health services across the province.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said the goals of the plan are both to fight stigmatization associated with mental health issues and to provide better services.

"The first problem is not the number of specialists but the organization," said Barrette.

Young adults often become lost within the health-care system, the health minister said.

"We, as a network, we're not adapted to youth. As a network, our organization did not foresee having measures in place that guarantee an easy transition when a youth goes from being a teenager to an adult," said Barrette.

From 2015-2020, the province will take measures to improve clinical management and offer more services to youth with mental health issues.

It's also seeking more accountability at the upper-management level of health-care establishments. Quebec will ask individual establishments to come up with an action plan for mental health services.

Barrette said that 40 per cent of Quebecers suffer from mental health issues at one point in their lives.

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