P.E.I. is facing a crisis in mental health and addiction and the provincial government is making the problem worse, says NDP Leader Mike Redmond.

Mike Redmond -Custom

The province is cutting addictions treatment when it needs to build them, says NDP Leader Mike Redmond. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

The P.E.I. Nurses Union expressed its concern last week that Health PEI is cutting registered nurse positions at the Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility in Mount Herbert and in the mental health unit of the Prince County Hospital. The change is being made under the province's new model of care, which in many treatment areas is cutting back on the number of RNs and adding licensed practical nurses and resident care workers.

Redmond said in a news release the changes risk potential suicides in the Island population.

“I was shocked to hear about the cuts to RN positions at the inpatient mental health unit," he said.

"We now have an Island wide crisis in terms of inadequate services for addictions and mental health problems. Meanwhile, the Registered nurses who are being cut have the knowledge and education and critical thinking to do the assessment & care of our most acute mentally ill and addiction clients."

Redmond said while the government has talked about improving mental health and addictions services, they are either cutting or letting services deteriorate.