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 www.gov.pe.ca/mhareview.