$2.4M for mental health care will cut wait times, Manitoba government says
Funding, spread out over 3 years, will aid programs at Klinic and Laurel Centre
The Manitoba government says it will reduce wait times and improve access to mental health care by spending nearly $2.4 million to expand walk-in services and specialized trauma counselling.
"Walk-in services and trauma care are an essential part of the continuum of mental health and addictions services," Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox said at a news conference Monday where she announced the funding.
Walk-in care provides rapid access to help and helps connect people to additional resources, she said.
"By reducing barriers to care and shortening wait times, we will ensure more Manitobans can access mental health services if and when they need it," Cox said.
The funding, spread out over the next three years, will be used to support:
- The expansion of Klinic Community Health Centre's drop-in counselling program by eight hours each week (which the province says will give access to more than 600 additional people each year).
- The creation of a seven-day-a-week centralized trauma intake and referral service at Klinic.
- The expansion of Klinic's longer-term trauma counselling program, allowing about 80 additional clients to be helped annually.
- Increasing the number of therapists to accommodate services for approximately 75 more women per year, reducing wait lists at the Laurel Centre, which provides individual and group counselling to women who have experienced childhood and/or adolescent sexual abuse.
"Expanding hours, bolstering our trauma counselling program and creating a centralized intake will make it easier for patients to get the help they need," said Nicole Chammartin, Klinic's executive director.
"This investment in mental health services will help a greater number of Manitobans in their recovery."
Cox said 88 per cent of women who completed trauma programs at the Laurel Centre either reduced their substance use or were substance-free, while 70 per cent obtained or maintained their education or employment or became volunteers.
By hiring additional therapists, the wait list for services will be reduced by up to 30 per cent, Cox said.
The funding is part of the recommendations from the review of the province's mental health and addictions services by Virgo Planning and Evaluation, Cox said.
The review was commissioned by the province and released in May 2018.