May 28, 2020

Winnipeg
9° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Access to mental health support, 24-7 virtual addictions clinic latest campaign promises for NDP, Liberals

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods</p><p>Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont speaks during a press conference in Winnipeg, Tuesday.</p>

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont speaks during a press conference in Winnipeg, Tuesday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/8/2019 (275 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Online counselling for post-secondary students and a virtual clinic for those coping with substance addictions were among the election promises the Manitoba Liberals and NDP made Tuesday.

Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont made a pledge to build a "24-7 virtual addictions co-ordination centre," to be staffed by medical professionals who could provide advice to those seeking treatment options. It would cost the public purse between $2 million and $3 million per year, and be modelled off a similar initiative in Alberta.

Manitoba has an addictions helpline (1-855-662-6605), staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Lamont highlighted the Liberals' virtual clinic would have a hotline and website available to any Manitoban anytime, making it more accessible than the five rapid access to addictions medicine clinics the Tory government has installed in Winnipeg, Thompson, Selkirk, and Brandon since 2016.

"(The RAAM clinics) could be expanded, but part of the thing is that they are extremely geographically limited. I actually think this could be a substitute, but we can keep them both going for awhile to see if it works," Lamont said when asked what he would do with the clinics.

"Ultimately, I think that having a virtual space is important because right now, RAAM clinics are so incredibly limited in terms of both the time that they're open — which is two hours a day, a couple of days a week — and their physical limitations."

Lamont said a virtual clinic could help those who are reluctant to seek help from family doctors or medical practitioners they already know.

The Liberals would also look to increase capacity in Manitoba for treatment options for those struggling with mental health and addictions issues, so they don't have to look out of province for rehabilitation or detox options, he said.

NDP leader Wab Kinew said an NDP government would provide grants totalling $1.5 million annually to  mental health organizations and counsellors who provide free counselling services so they can take on more clients.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

NDP leader Wab Kinew said an NDP government would provide grants totalling $1.5 million annually to mental health organizations and counsellors who provide free counselling services so they can take on more clients.

Meanwhile, the NDP promised to make mental health supports more accessible.

Leader Wab Kinew said an NDP government would provide grants totalling $1.5 million annually to organizations and counsellors who provide free counselling services or bill on a sliding scale, so they can take on more clients. He estimated the money would cover more than 13,000 visits.

Kinew said the NDP would also increase the number of counsellors in ACCESS centres to better integrate mental health care into primary care at a cost of $3.3 million over four years.

The NDP would also begin a pilot project, at a cost of $1 million annually, to bring a team approach in schools to support youth in need of mental health services. The "integrated youth teams" would help ensure clients get the service they need in a way that doesn't force a young person to tell their story over and over again, Kinew said at an announcement at West Kildonan Collegiate.

"These teams would include mental health nurses, social workers and youth workers," he said. "The exact makeup of each team would vary depending on the needs of the local community."

The team approach has been successful in New Brunswick, Kinew said, and is now being piloted in British Columbia.

As well, the NDP would commit $800,000 in startup funding as it works with post-secondary institutions to develop "virtual counselling" for students, including online chat, the NDP leader said.

Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10.

jessica.botelho@freepress.mb.ca

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 8:38 PM CDT: Adds photos

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us