Saskatchewan people want a New Democratic government to:Now, it's significant enough that the NDP is recognizing the need for significant systemic changes both in terms of the amount of resources allocated, and the priorities involved in mental health services. And the contrast could hardly be more stark when compared to a government which is (at best) making excuses for failing to follow through on the Calvert government's plans to update a single facility.
- Reorganize mental health services with the following guiding principles in mind: (1) protection of human rights; (2) accessibility; (3) comprehensiveness; (4) coordination and continuity of care; (5) effectiveness; (6) equity; and (7) efficiency.
- Increase inter-ministerial coordination to ensure that those with mental illness have access to the best possible services and protections.
- Provide sufficient funding to ensure that mental health programming is comprehensive, inclusive, coordinated and sustained. This should include increased support for community treatment, crisis lines, mobile crisis outreach, inpatient and outpatient mental health services, and respite care.
- Increase public education and awareness of mental health issues and services, including components that are specifically targeted at youth through the curriculum.
But the last point may be the most important of all. While public education and curriculum development figure to be relatively low-cost elements of an overall mental health plan, they have the potential to significantly reduce the public stigma associated with mental health issues which serves as an excuse for both systemic underfunding and personal prejudice. And that could be the first step in making Saskatchewan a leader in addressing mental health just as it became in pioneering Medicare fifty years ago.