Speak up for better mental health and addictions services

A new survey aimed at young adults will help the Newfoundland and Labrador government "build a better system."

'Put forward your ideas on what you think the system should look like'

Health Minister John Haggie listens to suggestions about how to improve mental health services on Wednesday at Choices for Youth. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says a new questionnaire targeting people aged 12 to 25 years old will help build and develop mental health and services.

Specifically, government wants to hear people's opinions and experiences when it comes to accessing those kinds of programs. 

"It's an opportunity for you to put forward your ideas on what you think the system should look like. The whole purpose is to build a better system," said Health Minister John Haggie at Wednesday's event at Choices for Youth in St. John's. 

The anonymous survey can be completed online at engagenl.ca or people can request a written copy by calling the Mental Health and Addictions Division at (709) 729-4453.

Sheldon Pollett, executive director of Choices for Youth, said this is a chance for young people to really have a say.

"We've known for a long time that change needs to come to the system and how we approach addressing the needs of young people, and we have a huge opportunity," he said.

Sheldon Pollett, executive director of Choices for Youth, says there is a right, and a wrong, way to collect feedback from young adults. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Pollett is happy the opinions of young people are being solicited and is confident the information will be put to good use. 

"Asking young people what they need ... You've got to do it with sincerity, I do believe, you've got to do it with a real commitment to those voices and what they're telling you."

The results, according to government, will be used to develop a new plan on how to deliver mental health services to teens and young adults. 

The deadline to fill out the questionnaire is Nov. 15, 2018.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador