© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Richard Wedge, left, Health P.E.I., Minister Doug Currie, and Dr. Rhonda Matters, clinical psychologist, presented the review of mental health and additions services and supports in Prince Edward Island at the Murchison Centre in November, 2013.
Three psychiatrists have been recruited to the province – a measure the province hopes will help improve access to mental health services for Islanders.
In a news release announcing the new recruits this morning, Health Minister Doug Currie pointed to the recent mental health and addictions review completed by MRSB, which identified significant concerns regarding access to psychiatric assessments and psycho-therapy.
“Although we know access isn’t just about increasing the complement of professionals working in the system, the addition of these three new psychiatrists will provide more assistance to Islanders as government continues its work on a comprehensive, long-term strategy for mental health and addictions.”
Two of the new psychiatrists - Dr. Christine Beck and Dr. Abayomi Otusajo - began work in the province in September.
Beck completed her medical degree in Sherbrooke, Quebec and just finished her residency training program at the University of Ottawa where she was chief psychiatry resident in 2012.
Otusajo will be relocating from Berkshire in the United Kingdom. He completed his medical education in Nigeria and received his psychiatry specialist training in the UK and has been working in the field for nine years.
Dr. Akinole Fanafosi completed his medical training in Nigeria and his specialty training in Ireland where he has been working for the past eight years.
He will begin practising in P.E.I. in early January.
“Mental health is an integral component of an individual’s overall health. We also know that one in five Islanders will experience mental health issues during their lifetime,” Currie said.
“We know we need to transform the way mental health services are delivered in our province. That’s why Dr. Rhonda Matters, the province’s first Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer, will provide a strategy to help us address gaps in the delivery of mental health and addictions services.”