Health and Community Services
July 4, 2018

Thirty-five Per Cent Reduction in People Waiting for Services After One Year into the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan

One year into the implementation of Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador, there has been a 35 per cent reduction in the number of people waiting for mental health and addictions counselling services across the province.

In Towards Recovery, the Provincial Government committed to increase spending on mental health and addictions care to nine per cent of total annual health care spending by 2022. The province is on the way to achieving this goal with mental health and addictions spending now at 6.4 per cent up from 5.7 per cent. Approximately $197.3 million has been invested in mental health and addictions for 2018-19.

Of the 54 recommendations in Towards Recovery, 20 have been completed. This includes the 18 short-term recommendations and two medium-term recommendations. The next progress report will be delivered in June 2019 and will be made public. Some of the other key highlights from year one of Towards Recovery can be found in the backgrounder below.

One immediate priority going forward is the transition of health services for inmates in a correctional setting to the Department of Health and Community Services. This will be completed within one year.

In The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government committed to transform the way mental health and addictions services are delivered. This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes

“One year into the implementation of Towards Recovery shows us what can be achieved with a plan, a vision and determination. The key has been partnerships between all levels of government, grassroots community partners, people with lived experience and health care providers. There is still work to be done, but we now have a solid foundation in place with Towards Recovery from which to build a more far reaching, person-centred system.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“As Chair of the Recovery Council, I am proud of the progress made in this first year on Towards Recovery. It represents hope for those living with mental health challenges each and every day. Not only are new and innovative care options being made available to them, but we are helping to remove the stigma associated with illness and treatment.”
Paula Corcoran-Jacobs
Executive Director, CHANNAL
Chair, The Recovery Council

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Learn More

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

Government Releases Action Plan to Transform Mental Health and Addictions Care - gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/0627n02.aspx

Towards Recovery six month update – gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/health/1220n04.aspx

The Way Forward - thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNLexternal link icon and @HCS_GovNLexternal link icon

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

Paula Corcoran-Jacobs
CHANNAL
709-725-5532
pjacobs@channal.ca

BACKGROUNDER

One Year Report on Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

Introduction
On June 27, 2017, the Provincial Government released Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Work carried out to complete the recommendations to date would not be possible without the support of the Project Teams and working groups. These teams and groups are comprised of people and families with lived experience, physicians, health care providers, regulatory bodies and community partners.

Progress to Date
Towards Recovery contains 54 recommendations.

  • 18 short-term recommendations to be substantially completed by March 2018.
  • 23 medium-term recommendations to be substantially completed by March 2021.
  • 13 long-term recommendations to be substantially completed by March 2022.
Progress of Recomendations
completeIn ProgressTotal
Short-term18-18
Medium-term22123
Long-term01313
Total 203454

Year One Highlights

Access

  • 35 per cent reduction in people waiting for counselling services.
  • Wait times have gone from 21 months to 24 days in centre city area of St. John’s.
  • The number of people waiting for counselling has decreased from 1,057 to 280 in St. John’s area.
  • Wait times have gone from 180 days to 0 on the Burin Peninsula.
  • The number of people waiting for counselling has decreased from 192 to 17 in Corner Brook.

Services and Supports

  • Doorways is available in 30 locations province-wide.
  • 1,641 people have received single-session walk-in services through Doorways.
  • Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is available at 15 sites.
  • TAO has been completed by 175 people.
  • 300 families participated with their children in the Strongest Families program.
  • Mobile crisis intervention teams in place in St. John’s and Labrador West.
  • Mobile crisis intervention teams made 84 visits last April before Memphis model.
  • Mobile crisis intervention teams made 161 visits this April with Memphis model.
  • Psychiatric services expanded in Labrador through telehealth and regular visits.
  • Two new permanent psychiatrists for the Labrador region

Infrastructure

  • New 94-bed, state-of-the-art mental health and addictions facility in St. John’s.
  • Series of community-based services to expand to communities province-wide.
  • New six-bed mental health unit in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Increased Investment

  • $197.3 million for mental health and addictions in 2018-19.
  • $28.8 million over five years through bilateral agreement with the Federal Government.
  • $4 million ($2.7 million from the province and $1.6 million from the Federal Government) through a second bilateral agreement under the new Emergency Treatment Fund.
  • Mental health and addictions investment increased from 5.7 per cent to 6.4 per cent of total annual health care spending.

2018 07 04                              11:50 p.m.