Executive Council
Health and Community Services
June 27, 2017

Government Releases Action Plan to Transform Mental Health and Addictions Care

The Provincial Government today released its Mental Health and Addictions Plan. The Mental Health and Addictions Plan sets out short, medium and long-term goals to ensure implementation of all 54 recommendations contained in Towards Recovery: A Vision for a Renewed Mental Health and Addictions System for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The majority of recommendations will be completed in the short to medium term. All of the recommendations will be implemented within five years. The breakdown of the recommendations is as follows:

  • Short term: 18 recommendations substantially completed within one year (March 2018);
  • Medium term: 23 recommendations substantially completed in two to four years (by March 2021); and
  • Long term: 13 recommendations substantially completed by year five (March 2022).

As part of today's announcement, the Provincial Government has started work on a series of immediate actions which can be found in the backgrounder below. To support the plan, Budget 2017 included $5 million for immediate implementation of several initiatives, with another $7.5 million to advance the replacement of the Waterford Hospital. The province’s 10-year, $73 million agreement with the Federal Government will also help to support the plan.

The Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council will continue to have an important role in the governance structure in partnership with a new recovery council, providing oversight to the implementation process. The advisory council comprises people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge and experience in mental health and addictions, including community service providers, advocates, social activists, health care providers and persons with lived experience.

Progress reports on implementation will be provided to the public. The first progress report will be provided in December 2017.

Quotes
"Our government recognizes the urgency of reforming mental health and addictions care in this province. This will be achieved by continuing to work closely with people with lived experience, with mental health and addictions experts at the community level, and our skilled health care professionals throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“The time to act is now. We will advance an innovative plan to replace the Waterford Hospital, we will launch a dedicated inpatient care program for eating disorder families, and we will enhance access to Suboxone through a new, opioid dependence treatment model. The Provincial Mental Health Advisory Council in partnership with the new Recovery Council will drive the plan to fruition, and work with us to ensure mental health and addictions care in our province is transformed."
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“The people of Newfoundland and Labrador now have a clearly laid out mental health and addictions plan, complete with budgets and timelines, to which they can hold the government to account. It is ambitious and recovery-oriented, with community-based supports at its core. I commend the government for its bold and decisive leadership.”
Louise Bradley
President and CEO
Mental Health Commission of Canada

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Learn More
Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/pdf/mentalhealth_addictions_plan.pdf PDF

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link and @HCS_GovNL external link

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
michellecannizzaro@gov.nl.ca

Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292
EmilyTimmins@gov.nl.ca

Hélène Côté
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-847-0840
hcote@mentalhealthcommission.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Provincial Government Begins Immediate Action to Transform Mental Health and Addictions Care

The Mental Health and Addictions Plan sets out short, medium and long-term goals to ensure implementation of all 54 recommendations contained in Towards Recovery: A Vision for Renewed Mental Health and Addictions System.

As part of today's announcement, work has started on a series of immediate actions to begin transforming the mental and addictions system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • The Provincial Government will harmonize mental health and addictions programs and services offered through the four regional health authorities under one provincial model. This means that approaches to care will be consistent across all regions of the province.
  • The Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council will continue to have an important role in the governance structure in partnership with the new Recovery Council, providing oversight to the implementation process.
  • The Department of Health and Community Services in collaboration with the four Regional Health Authorities will assume responsibility of health care for people in corrections facilities throughout the province.
  • The Provincial Government will deliver a combined in–patient and community-based service model for mental health distributed across the four health authorities to replace the Waterford Hospital.
  • The Provincial Government will establish a dedicated four-bed intensive care inpatient unit for people with eating disorders and their families at the Health Sciences Complex. An interdisciplinary team will be created to support the unit.
  • The Provincial Government will establish walk-in mental health clinics throughout all regions of the province.
  • The Provincial Government will implement a new model, the Memphis model, for Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams. The teams will include a mental health worker and a plain clothes police officer working and traveling together in an unmarked car to respond to people in crisis. It will begin with a train-the-trainer program for police and involve health care providers throughout the province.
  • The Provincial Government will introduce a pilot project for people to receive therapy online with a Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) service.
  • The Provincial Government will continue to support the Opioid Action Plan with the purchase of more Naloxone Take Home Kits and expansion of distribution sites.
  • The Provincial Government will implement an opioid dependence treatment model for the province. This model will provide case management and rapid access to Suboxone through regional service hubs and a center of excellence in opioid dependence treatment.
  • The Provincial Government will introduce legislation in the upcoming fall sitting of the House of Assembly to support delivery of a comprehensive prescription monitoring program.

2017 06 27                              10:25 a.m.