New Brunswick Health Minister Madeleine Dubé has announced a new action plan for mental health services in the province which includes increased access to specialized services.
Dubé released the Action Plan for Mental Health on Tuesday in Fredericton.
"Moving toward patient-centred care means that the system will be restructured to be responsive to individual and community needs, rather than expecting people to adapt to what the system has to offer," Dubé said.
The action plan follows a 2009 report by the New Brunswick Mental Health Task Force, which was led by Justice Michael McKee.
Dubé said many New Brunswickers shared their ideas on how mental health services could be improved and it was the report from the task force that served as the foundation of the action plan.
The action plan aims to help people achieve a greater quality of life and to receive services and supports that work best for them. Dubé said the new perspective on treatment will emphasize promoting mental health and working to identify and treat mental illness early.
She said the individualized, patient-centred and recovery-based approach will include family, community and workplace support services.
Dubé promised to create what she is calling 'treatment teams' across the province. These teams will respond to individual needs and ensure that housing, employment and treatment are provided.
She also announced community advisory committees, guidelines for access to mental health services, more training for primary-care givers, video-conferencing to bring services to rural areas and a mobile crisis unit.
In a news release, Dubé said initial funding for the implementation of the new plan was included in the 2011-12 provincial budget, although details won't be released until she presents the departmental estimates.
"The goals identified in this plan are ambitious and far-reaching," Dubé said.
"Despite this time of restraint, our government is committed to improving the social conditions of New Brunswickers by funding and moving forward with the recommendations of the McKee Report."