Health and Community Services
July 30, 2018

Primary Health Care Team Creating Positive Change on the Burin Peninsula

One year after it began, work to improve primary health care and the delivery of mental health and addictions services on the Burin Peninsula has created significant positive change to the way people receive care in the region.

The local primary health care team consists of community members from various organizations including schools, churches, community leaders, and people with lived experience. The team also includes frontline healthcare providers such as nurses, social workers, physicians, paramedics, psychiatrists and managers from a variety of program areas like primary health care, mental health and addictions, and emergency services. Members of the team work closely with the Burin Peninsula Community Coalition for Mental Health and Wellness and the Primary Health Care Community Advisory Committee to identify priorities for Grand Bank, Fortune, St. Lawrence, Marystown, Burin, Bay L’Argent, Terrenceville and surrounding areas.

Through their efforts, the team has eliminated the wait list for mental health and addictions counselling services, as well as eliminated the no-show and cancellation rates of appointments. Redesigning health care delivery through a team approach has enabled access to same-day, walk-in services whereas people previously waited up to eight months for service.

Some other initiatives completed to date include:

  • Partnered with area schools to offer mental health and wellness courses, services and walk-in sessions;
  • Delivered presentations and courses, such as Anxiety 101 and Improving Health My Way, to community groups and workplaces targeting youth, adults and seniors;
  • Mindfulness nature walks organized in partnership with the communities of Grand Bank, Fortune and Marystown;
  • Ongoing mental health and addictions education with paramedicine first responders;
  • Self-care presentations delivered to students at Smallwood Crescent Community Centre, Keyin College and the Student Leadership Conference at Lake Academy;
  • Healthy Youth Relationships program delivered at Linkages Program and Transitions to Work Program; and,
  • Cannabis Awareness presentation offered to the Linkages Program.

Primary health care delivery in Grand Bank and across the Burin Peninsula is informing work being led by similar primary health care teams across the province in the communities of Botwood, Bonavista, Gander and Corner Brook. 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

“A primary health care approach means increased collaboration among health care providers and better access to community-based services. Our approach is designed to empower frontline staff and people in the community. Through the hard work of our primary health care teams, we are seeing a positive impact on access and wait times for health care services in communities throughout the province.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“I applaud Grand Bank’s primary health care team, members of the Primary Health Care Community Advisory Committee and the Burin Peninsula Community Coalition for Mental Health and Wellness. Our community has not been immune to hardship. In response, you stepped forward to take action and help out a neighbor, a family member or someone in your community. You are an example of the change that can come about when people share a common goal and work together in partnership.”
Carol Anne Haley
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Community Services and MHA for Burin-Grand Bank

“It’s great to recognize the hard work and progress that this primary health care team has made throughout the entire region of the Burin Peninsula. By increasing access to services and supports and removing wait times, people are able to get the help they need where and when they need it most.”
Mark Browne
MHA for Placentia West-Bellevue

“I am so very proud of the work we have done here on the Burin Peninsula, developed at the grassroots levels with our community partners. Throughout this process, we listened intently to the voice of people with lived experience and when people really listen, big change happens. Our clients are accessing our services earlier, when they need it, and not when they reach a crisis point. We didn’t just think outside the box. We got rid of the box altogether.”
Evelyn Tilley
Regional Manager with Mental Health and Addictions, Eastern Health

“Our communities are starting to come out of the dark to stop hiding, and leaving the stigma regarding mental health (from years ago) in the past, where it belongs.”
Natalie Randall
Primary Health Care Community Advisory Committee

- 30 -

Learn More

The Way Forward -

Follow us on Twitter: @HCS_GovNL external link icon

Media contacts
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Eric George
Constituency Assistant to
Carol Anne Haley, MHA for Burin-Grand Bank

Tara Planke
Constituency Assistant to
Mark Browne, MHA for Placentia West-Bellevue

Tracey L. Boland
Eastern Health

2018 07 30                              1:50 p.m.