McNeil Liberals make community cuts to mental health

May 17, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Brad Johns, Progressive Conservative candidate for Sackville Beaverbank, called on the McNeil Liberals to explain why valuable mental health services are being cut in the community.

Participants at the Interpersonal Process Therapy Group have just been told the 10 person support group has been cancelled.

Gary Clark is one of the participants. He has PTSD and is devastated about the loss of the weekly support group, which is held at the Cobequid Community Health Centre.

“This support group is extremely important to my mental health,” says Clark. “I cannot believe this service will be cut. We should be encouraging community mental health supports, not putting them on the chopping block.”

Brad Johns agrees.

“What will happen to the members of this group?” worries Johns. “Too many people are falling between the cracks of our broken mental health system already. I fear these men and women just end up on ever growing wait lists.”

The group helps with a wide range of conditions such as depression, PTSD and anxiety. Clark says participants were told the health authority wants to get out of the business of offering long-term help. The group has been running for four years.

Clark says PTSD will be with him for his lifetime. He compares his therapy group to addiction support groups. The help is there for a lifetime, should the individual seek it out.

“There’s no short-term fix,” he says. “I make a decision every week to put my mental health first and go to this group for help. I can’t believe it’s going to be gone.”

A Progressive Conservative government led by Jamie Baillie will invest in the province’s broken mental health system to ensure it meets the needs of Nova Scotians.