Last week, the Government of New Brunswick released the Inter-Departmental Addiction and Mental Health Action Plan, focused on addressing the increasing demand for addiction and mental health services. The plan includes five overarching goals:
- Improve population health
- Improve access
- Intervene earlier
- Match individuals to care
- Reduce drug-related impacts
Notable priority areas of concern to individuals with a dual diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability and a mental health issue include:
- Walk-in mental health services across the province
- Additional mental health resources to fill current staffing gaps
- Supportive housing for people accessing mental health services, including a clinical consultation model for people who need out-of-home placement
- A provincial treatment centre for youth
- Development of a service model for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders
- Regional inpatient youth psychiatric care where needed
A new “Stepped Care Model” guides the plan. This model focuses on matching individuals with the least intensive treatment required with the greatest likelihood of improvement, in addition to rapid, same-day access to services. It also includes a strong focus on health promotion and prevention.
So far, the Province has provided a broad overview of their plan. The New Brunswick Association for Community Living continues to communicate with the government to ensure the needs of people with an intellectual or developmental disability are included in mental health planning and care. We will share more details as they are released.