Mental health plan will 'enhance and build community resources' says minister
'We have to get people transitioned out to the community'
New spending announced in P.E.I.'s capital budget Friday will improve mental health services all across the province, says Health Minister Robert Mitchell.
Finance Minister Heath MacDonald included $40 million for new facilities in addition to the $60 million mental health campus already announced for Charlottetown.
"We need to enhance and build community resources, things such as housing, things such as our mental health professionals supports," said Mitchell.
Transition housing in rural areas is a key part of the planning, he said.
"We have to get people transitioned out to the community, so we will need to have transition housing there," said Mitchell.
"[If] they can get transitioned back into their normal life, and be productive and feel like they're serving their communities well, … that's what the best mental health care is, to get back out into the other parts of the world."
There are some existing supports, he said, but they clearly need to be improved.
Mitchell said the plan to expand services outside of Charlottetown came out of discussions with patients and their families, as well as looking at what was being done in other jurisdictions.
The construction of the mental health campus and the community supports is part of a five-year plan, said Mitchell, and at the end of those five years he is expecting the combination of the two will create a greatly improved mental health system on the Island.
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With files from Island Morning