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A Shared Path Towards Wellness: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, 2012-2015

Yellowknife (June 12, 2012) – Tom Beaulieu, Minister of Health and Social Services, has released A Shared Path Towards Wellness. The document is the GNWT’s 2012-2015 action plan to improve mental health and reduce addictions. It will achieve the 17th Legislative Assembly’s priorities by ensuring a fair and sustainable health system, by investing in prevention, education and awareness, and by enhancing addictions treatment programs using existing infrastructure.

“Almost everyone in the Northwest Territories is affected by mental health and addictions issues,” said Minister Beaulieu. “We must fight the impact of addictions and promote mental well-being.”The goal of A Shared Path Towards Wellness is to ensure that people with mental health and addictions issues have access to the full range of programs and services they need. The plan is based on a “population health approach”, a holistic method that includes physical, social, spiritual and cultural health.

Mental health is everyone’s responsibility. Individuals, families, communities, governments and the private sector must make a contribution if mental health and addictions issues are to be resolved. This plan proposes a Minister’s Forum on Addictions to seek advice and guidance on the medium- to long-term direction for the addictions component of programs.

“This plan calls for communities, Aboriginal governments, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to address mental health and addictions issues together,” added Minister Beaulieu. “I was pleased that we were able to host the regional launch of the National Strategy on Mental Health on June 7. Our action plan has similar principles and directions. I look forward to working with all of our partners on a shared goal of wellness.”

The Department of Health and Social Services spends $9 million each year to support mental health and addictions programming. The initial actions outlined in this plan can be funded within existing resources through internal reallocation and more effective use of existing budgets. As plans are fully developed to respond to service gaps, the Department will assess whether additional investment should be requested through the business planning process.

The 17th Legislative Assembly’s vision is of strong individuals, families and communities sharing the benefits and responsibilities of a unified, environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories. Improved access to mental health and addictions programming is key to achieving this vision.

For more information, contact:

Megan Holsapple
Media Liaison
Office of the Premier and Executive Council
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 669-2302
Fax: (867) 873-0111

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