NDP Introduces Mental Health Bill Of Rights

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 17:16 PM

The Nova Scotia New Democrats are calling on the provincial government to  make mental health a priority.

They introduced a Mental Health Bill of Rights in the legislature today, that would enshrine the rights of people experiencing mental distress and require the province to increase funding for mental health services.

NDP leader Gary Burrill says when it comes to mental health, the promptness of treatment depends on if you have coverage or enough money for private care.

While those without, can see wait times anywhere from two months to up to a year.

"We would not do this lets say in cardiac care, we wouldn't say 'if you have money, you get treated quickly and if you don't, you get treated whatever wait times work out,' we would treat everybody the same."

He says many in the province do not have coverage through work or otherwise.

The NDP is asking the province to follow the World Health Organization's recommendation of spending 10 per cent of the health care budget on mental health care services.

Burrill says the province currently spends about two per cent of the health care budget on mental health.

The NDP has third party status so there is little hope of the bill passing but Burrill hopes they can influence the problem to work on the issue.

Story by Brittany Wentzell
Twitter: @BrittWentzell
Email: [email protected]