Quebec Action Plan: More Than $1 Billion in Mental Health

The Quebec government will invest more than $1 billion to improve access to mental health care and services.

The Interdepartmental Mental Health Action Plan (PAISM) announced Tuesday by the government spans a five-year period, during which 10 ministries and agencies will work together with several other partners. In total, a budget of $1.15 billion will be allocated to PAISM, including $361 million in new investments.

“This is the first mental health action plan with investments of this magnitude, which will, among other things, help improve access to services, provide restorative care and promote the implementation of best practices.” in a press release.

The goal is to provide all Quebec residents with timely access to the services they need. Keep in mind that in the public sector the waiting period varies between 6 and 24 months.

  • Listen to the interview with Lionel Carmant, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services

Thus, a total of 43 actions, divided into seven broad areas, are presented, from prevention to improving access to care and services, including partnerships with civil society organisations.

“The pandemic has certainly not made it any easier for us, but our teams have redoubled their efforts and adapted our actions to the new reality created by this unprecedented crisis,” said the deputy of the Minister of Health and Services. social, Lionel Carmant .

Comments in the network

While the government’s desire to invest new amounts in mental health is welcomed by the CSN, it regrets that “what limits the effectiveness of the network remains untouched, namely embedding clinicians and users in a rigid approach”.

The CSN points out that professionals in the field are seeing a loss of autonomy and a multiplication of stages in the patient care pathway, which discourages many.

“We need an overhaul of our mental health services and we need to do it before it’s too late,” said Federation of Professionals (FP-CSN) Vice President Jessica Goldschleger. “Patients should not be like ping pong balls thrown from one team to another,” she added, explaining that rather, the FP-CSN provides “a global approach that focuses on the individual’s needs during their lifetime.” care pathway in the public network”.

Therefore, the union recommends assigning a person or a pivot team to the treated patients so that they are followed up for all their problems in a short time.

The Avant de Craquer Network, which offers relatives of people with mental health problems, was also “happy with the tangible measures” that were announced on Tuesday.

“The families have finally been listened to. The government has moved from words to actions and is taking concrete steps to better support families with mental illness. (…) Unfortunately, our young people had forgotten the great ones in mental health. Thanks to a $7.5 million investment, these young people can now be reached and better supported in the community,” said CEO René Cloutier.

Upstream Problems

According to the CSN, Quebecers’ psychological distress may be related in part to major stressors such as poverty, the lack of affordable housing and violence against women. So solving these problems upstream could help improve the mental health of the population.

“It is a social challenge that lies ahead of us. We need to rebuild our social safety net because it has withered. Raising the minimum wage, strengthening workers’ rights, ensuring access to housing or quick access to various support and emergency services are some examples of the levers available to the government to prevent deterioration and improve things,” the statement said. Chair of the CSN, Caroline Senneville.

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