Province conducting mental health, addictions survey

Ryan Ross
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Health minister says it's important to get feedback from Islanders

As the provincial government undertakes a mental health and addictions services review, it’s looking for input from the public about their experiences with the system.

As the provincial government undertakes a mental health and addictions services review, it’s looking for input from the public about their experiences with the system.

Health Minister Doug Currie announced the launch of a new survey Wednesday and said it’s important to get feedback from Islanders as part of the review, especially those who have had experience with mental health or addictions services.

“There’s nothing more powerful than personal experiences,” he said.

The survey will be available for two weeks, but Currie said that may be extended if necessary.

Currie said the objective of the survey is to get people to share their thoughts about mental health and addictions services.

“If they have insights or opinions on things that need to be done we welcome those as well,” he said.

In May, Currie announced the government’s plan to conduct a mental health services review involving not only the Health and Wellness Department, but also the education, community services, seniors and labour, and justice departments.

Currie said an expert panel has been conducting the review and has consulted with about 25 stakeholders across the Island for input.

When it comes to changes to the system, Currie said they are coming and work on the review should be finished by late January or early February.

In response to the announcement of the survey, opposition health critic James Aylward said he is aware of how serious addictions have become in P.E.I., including among youth and some people refer to it as an epidemic.

“If it’s not an epidemic I would dare say it’s close to one,” he said.

Aylward said it’s terrible to see what happens with youth who get addicted and the impact it has on their families.

Not only is there a human cost, but there’s also a financial cost to Islanders when public services such as the courts and health system get involved, he said.

“We really need to get a grip on this.”

Paper copies of the survey are available through Island Information Services in the Jones Building at 11 Kent St. or online at

Organizations: Health and Wellness Department, Island Information Services

Geographic location: Iceland

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Recent comments

  • Diane
    November 16, 2012 - 15:39

    A Survey / That is suppose to be acceptable to get input from average Islanders? How about well advertised community meetings also . The "experts" on Mental Health and Addictions are those who have experienced or those who provide the services ,so give them sufficient air time and then truly listen to their ideas on how to improve the systemic flaws. Can we do this right for once ,its' not rocket science Premier Ghiz and Minister Currie.

  • Thirty years sober
    November 16, 2012 - 06:55

    First tagging addictions on to a survey about mental health reveals the total lack of understanding of the nature and depth of addictions on PEI. Reading further into the survey reveals just how limited this survey is... a bunch of yes or no boxes and little appreciation for the situation at Mount Herbert. This will only be used to continue with the same failed addictions services. Tying these two issues together into the same survey reveals what the provincial survey is all about - it see's addiction in the same light as people with mental health diagnosis like bi-polar etc etc...It is at the end of the day a very not funny joke!

  • islandergirl
    November 15, 2012 - 20:14

    Hey "Upwester". I completed the survey online. When you go to click on the big button that says "survey".

      November 15, 2012 - 21:19

      Thank you. Found it. Was looking at the one you had to print and mail.

  • Some survey
    November 15, 2012 - 17:06

    I have to agree with PEI observer......There survey don't seem to get to the root of the problem...Trying getting into Mount Herbert for help and if you do they just keep you long enough to dry out.....

  • Joe Blow
    November 15, 2012 - 16:23

    The Ghiz government needs to be the first people to get their mental health checked....they are the only people on PEI that aren't living in the real world!!

      November 15, 2012 - 16:50

      Why can't this questionere be completed on line? To have to print this off and mail in is ridiculous. This is 2012, not 1812. Get with the times. For those who don't have a computer, they can drive to Ch'Town and pick one up. This doesn't seem to be to well thought out, or was it intentionaly done this way for a purpose other than getting input. Worked for me.

    • To Upwester
      November 15, 2012 - 20:33

      Hi upwester, the survey is available online or you can print off a copy.

  • Another anonymous Islander
    November 15, 2012 - 16:09

    Anyone expecting this survey to be a geniune expression of government interest must bew new around here. A pretty standard format here, the public is coopted in the form of a survey which has/will be manipulated to whatever the government needs. Never seen that before on PEI eh? Want to know what's coming in mental health? The same as the rest of health care: less!

  • Shirley
    November 15, 2012 - 15:32

    I think the stigma attached to mental health is just terrible and the reason why so many do not seek help as they feel people will think they are on drugs ect... when for a fact some people just have had bad things happen to them out of their control and thorough time it just wears the person down where they are unable to cope and it is then that person needs help and compassion not be made to feel they are a lesser human been as they would not be made to feel like this if it was cancer or some other sickness they suffered from.

  • Concerned in Montague
    November 15, 2012 - 15:21

    After reading this article I feel sick, because the only facility of its kind to study addiction is in our town. What is our government thinking, when they plan to close this. You members may not have experienced an addiction problem or a mental health problem in your family. Many of us have, please for once listen to the people who need help and do not waste and spend good money after bad. Many projects are convenient but not necessary, in these times we need all the health care help we can get. Really Concerned

  • PEI Observer
    November 15, 2012 - 13:14

    I would urge The Guardian reporter to have a look at the survey. I completed it online this a.m., and it appears to be designed to prevent true input! It has very little qualitative questions, ie. how well were you served by the system, and no place to express your own experiences with the addition counselling services in PEI. There are two places where you can comment, but you're limited to 450 characters and the questions are not directed at trying to understand the weaknesses in the current system. In my experience, high school counsellors and the youth Addition Services counsellor in Mount Herbert have no issue with teenagers using marajuana and soft drugs, and the response we received was that we, as parents, were over-reacting. We were concerned about a decline in our child, yet we were told to back off. Now we have a drop out who doesn't go to school, or work, or sports, or anything that gave him great job before. Now it's chronic, but the counsellors basically told him that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing 3-4 years ago, and that we were being too strict. I hope this gets addressed before other promising youth and their families are "helped" by the system in the future. We should have followed our instincts in the first place instead of listening to the "experts". It's truly sad.