NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Wellness.
Mental health and addictions is an important topic. It affects our family and friends in many meaningful ways.
Stigma about mental health and addictions is on the decline, as we are becoming more aware of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
In many respects, Nova Scotia is ahead of the curve. Three years ago, government released Together We Can, a five-year mental health and addictions strategy. Since then, Nova Scotians have experienced greater access to assessment, treatment, and care in their own communities.
People think of mental health care as primarily a service offered inside an institution, like a hospital. The reality is different. Today, people are accessing care and support through peer-support programs, hospital outreach clinics, offices, schools, homes.
Evidence suggests that most people benefit from outpatient or community treatment, but when Nova Scotians require in-patient care, they will receive it.
We are working with health professionals to help their patients manage mild to moderate mental illness. We are expanding training and raising awareness to help clinicians work more effectively with all Nova Scotians, including those from culturally diverse groups such as First Nations people, African Nova Scotians, and immigrants.
Mental health and addiction challenges are a shared challenge. These important issues affect our communities, workplaces and families.
Together we can make a difference in the mental wellness of Nova Scotians.
For a strategy update, visit novascotia.ca/health .