Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Government of Nova Scotia releases Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

May 15th, 2012 – The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) is pleased with the release of the Government of Nova Scotia’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The document, Together We Can: The Plan to Improve Mental Health and Addictions Care for Nova Scotians, is a five year strategy with 33 actions. The Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee’s recommendations released on April 23, 2012, set out a roadmap for the plan.  

The strategy is focused on health promotion, early intervention, closing gaps in the system, improved cultural and other competencies, peer and community supports and reducing stigma through greater public awareness. These are similar to the key themes that the Advisory Committee identified.

The NSHRF congratulates the Province on the release of the strategy. It is gratifying to see the work of the Advisory Committee reflected in Together We Can, and to know that NSHRF played a role in gathering and generating the evidence that informed it.

The plan and the Advisory Committee's recommendations can be found on the Department of Health and Wellness website.


Mental Health, Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee to Release Report, Recommendations

April 23rd, 2012 – The Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) is pleased that the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee will release its report and recommendations today. The committee has been working on the report since the fall 2010. Their recommendations will inform the province's first mental health and addictions strategy, which the Department of Health and Wellness states will be released later this year. 
 
The NSHRF’s participation in the development of the report was a significant undertaking for the organization. It is gratifying to see the final product and to know that it was informed by evidence gathered/generated by NSHRF.
 
Our contribution to the development of the report came in a number of ways; NSHRF acted as secretariat in support of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee; developed and implemented the consultation process – including analysis of consultation findings; and provided evidence throughout the process to ensure that discussions were evidence-informed.
 
The document is available on the Department of Health and Wellness website.
 

Mental health and addictions issues impact all age groups, all social economic levels, and all areas of the province. In March, 2010, the Nova Scotia Government announced that it would be preparing a Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to revamp mental health and addiction services in the province. The Strategy will address concerns raised in the May, 2010 Auditor General’s report. The Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will also identify ways to address access to limited services available for Nova Scotians impacted by mental illness and addiction, and will reinforce the Government’s commitment to this important issue. 

We were asked to support the development of the Strategy by the Minister, Health and Wellness. In our role, we oversaw a neutral, comprehensive consultation process to ensure that the knowledge and input of stakeholders was included. Full details on the consultation process can be found here.

We also acted as secretariat to the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee, which was appointed by the Minister. The Advisory Committee developed recommendations for the Strategy, which were presented to the Minister.