Health

Government responds to mental-health task force report (09/09/29)

NB 1444

Sept. 29, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government released today its formal response to the New Brunswick Mental Health Task Force report, Together into the future: a transformed mental-health-system for New Brunswick, also known as the McKee Report.

"Our government has heard the recommendations contained in the McKee Report and accepts the themes and issues identified," said Health Minister Mary Schryer. "We have heard the impassioned response of more than 2,000 stakeholders who made presentations to the task force, and we have already started working to address these recommendations."

To respond to thematic subject areas of the McKee report, the Department of Health will undertake a number of initiatives, including:

"This response aligns with other government initiatives to improve mental-health services in our province, including Reducing the risk, addressing the need: Being responsive to at-risk and highly complex children and youth, as well as initiatives to combat poverty and improve access to social housing," said Schryer.

Also included in the formal response:

"The task force spelled out a number of recommendations to build on existing strengths within the mental-health-care-system so that persons with mental illness may have the means to participate in their recovery, lead purposeful lives and contribute to their communities," said Schryer. "This vision will become the foundation of New Brunswick's forthcoming mental-health-care-strategy, expected in spring 2010."

In May 2008, the provincial government created the New Brunswick Mental-Health Task Force, headed by Judge Michael McKee of Moncton. The task force held public consultations around the province. In February 2009, the task force released its findings in Together into the future: a transformed mental-health-system for New Brunswick.

In advance of the task force report, the provincial government had implemented a number of initiatives to improve the delivery of mental-health services, including:

The official response document is available on the Department of Health website.

09/09/29

EDITOR'S NOTE: Health Minister Mary Schryer will be available to the media to discuss the provincial government's response to the Mental Health Task Force report at 10 a.m. TODAY on the 5th floor of HSBC Place, 520 King St., Fredericton. MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.

09/09/29