Released on December 1, 2014
Dr. Fern Stockdale Winder, Commissioner of the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, today submitted her report to Health Minister Dustin Duncan, recommending improvements to how the province responds to people with mental health and addictions issues.
“This report is the culmination of extensive public consultations across the province with a particular emphasis on the voices of people with lived experience of mental health and addictions issues and their family members, service providers across the human service sectors, and concerned citizens,” Stockdale Winder said. “These collective voices were powerful in the call for change and this report reflects our process of careful listening and responding to this call for change.”
The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan outlines 16 recommendations that fall into seven categories:
Minister Duncan received and endorsed the commissioner’s report, emphasizing the government’s commitment to improving its response to people with mental health or addictions issues.
- Enhance access and capacity and support recovery in the community;
- Focus on prevention and early intervention;
- Create person and family-centred and co-ordinated services;
- Respond to diversities;
- Partner with First Nations and Métis Peoples;
- Reduce stigma and increase awareness; and
- Transform the system and sustain the change.
“I want to thank Dr. Stockdale Winder and the participants for all of their hard work in creating this report,” Duncan said. “The recommendations in the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan will guide our efforts to improve mental health and addictions services over the next 10 years.”
In 2013, Minister Duncan appointed Dr. Stockdale Winder as commissioner to develop a 10-year inter-ministerial action plan to address the complex and often connected issues of mental health and addictions. Lead by the Ministry of Health, partner ministries include Social Services, Education, Justice and Corrections and Policing.
Public consultations began in August 2013 and concluded in April 2014. Dr. Stockdale Winder and her team travelled the province learning from clients and stakeholders in more than 150 meetings, and heard from more than 4,000 individuals through a variety of ways, including an online questionnaire.
“The response to the consultation process is a reminder of just how important this work is to Saskatchewan families,” Duncan said. “We are already making improvements across the system, and the recommendations in this plan affirm that direction.”
Since 2007, funding for mental health services has increased 34 per cent.
Working Together for Change: A 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Saskatchewan is available online.
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