Aylward wants update on Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
Summerside – Stratford-Kinlock MLA and Opposition Health Critic James Aylward wants an update from the MacLauchlan government on the province’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
“Mental health and addictions issues can rip families and communities apart. It’s a major public health issue. It can also lead to big costs in the health care and justice sectors along with economic impacts. I’d like to see an update on the strategy to make sure it’s flexible enough to adapt to rising challenges like the growing presence of methamphetamine and fentanyl on the Island. Especially in light of rumblings in the community about budget cuts and restructuring in the Chief Mental Health and Addictions Office,” said Aylward.
The Mental Health and Addictions Strategy was first released in 2013 and since then progress on its recommendations has been sluggish. Legislative committee meetings in the spring highlighted gaps in data and information from the Chief Mental Health and Addictions Office about the impact of the Strategy and improved access to services for islanders. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have increasingly expressed concerns about the growing use and availability of street drugs like methamphetamine in Island communities.
“Addictions affect too many people in our community. It affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. We have to have the proper supports in place to help deal with addiction struggles and strengthen our community here in Summerside,” said Summerside-Wilmot PC candidate Brian Ramsay.