Deliver mental health support in schools, says PC leader

May 03, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Baillie introduces the Healthier Schools Act

HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie wants school-based adolescent mental health services and programming in all schools in the province.

Today, he introduced the Healthier Schools Act, which will provide access to in-school health services, including mental health services, by qualified health professionals to all students. It also makes mental health training programs available to all teachers.

“Let’s give youth the modern tools and the help they need, when and where they need it,” says Baillie. “We want to see every child reach their full potential. Identifying young people who are struggling with or at risk of mental illness and providing them with earlier interventions will give them a better chance to succeed.”

The new program will cover all the bases: education, diagnosis and treatment. It empowers teachers and students and connects youth who need help with the right community resources.

Laurel Walker is a tireless advocate for young people who are at risk for suicide. Tonight, she is being honoured as the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s Outstanding Individual.

She believes it is very important that we make mental health support and professionals more accessible for youth. She supports the Healthier Schools Act.

“The earlier we provide services, education and intervention to youth dealing with mental illness, the better their mental health will be for the future,” says Walker. “Teachers are often the first to recognize youth-at-risk for mental illness. It makes sense to provide both students and teachers with the support and resources to help and intervene before a crisis situation. If we can save one life, it’s worth it.”