Now that the federal election is over I can turn my attention fully (or as fully as I can get it) back to our very important mental health in youth work. And my attention has been caught by the following article: “NB Unveils Mental Health Plan”
The Minister of Health announced the new plan which is supposed to put people at the center of interventions (I assume these include prevention, early identification, treatment and ongoing system improvements) and identified an additional 12.6 million dollars to help do that.
Now that sounds like a lot of money but apparently it is to be spread out over 7 years. So lets see what that translates into: about 1.8 million per year. If all of that money is put into human resources that can meet mental health needs of people then that will result in a good improvement in service availability. If however, much is put into administration there will be little to show for that investment. Some also must go into training as we know that substantive concerns about diagnostic and treatment capacity, especially in the primary health care system exist: not only in New Brunswick but across Canada. Some must also be spent on evaluation and quality assurance. How else are we going to know if the investment results in improvement at the personal, family and the system level?
So what will happen in New Brunswick to improve mental health care in that province? Follow the money!