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Funding Announced for New Mental Health Initiative and Health Care Equipment for Northern Labrador

Executive Council
Health and Community Services
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
February 25, 2011

With over $258,000 in Provincial Government funding, residents will benefit from a new mental health initiative and health care equipment on the North Coast of Labrador. The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, was joined by the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services; the Honourable Patty Pottle, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs; Danny Pottle, Acting Minister of Health and Social Development, Nunatsiavut Government; and, Boyd Rowe, CEO, Labrador-Grenfell Health for today’s announcement.“Addressing mental health issues and providing access to quality health care services throughout the province are significant priorities for our government,” said Premier Dunderdale. “We will continue to make strategic investments in the right tools and programs needed to improve the overall health and well-being of residents living in northern Labrador and throughout our province.”

Approximately $144,500 in one-time funding will be invested for a new Suicide Prevention and Intervention Program, which consists of several initiatives to be implemented in Nain and Hopedale, including the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Program, Survivor Support Groups, and a Youth Peer Support Program. A two-day Culture as Healing Symposium will be held in five communities, including Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet. A Mental Health Intervener Train the Trainer Program will also be implemented, along with a suicide prevention promotional campaign and the creation of a virtual warehouse for suicide prevention and intervention resources.

“Our government is focused on meeting health care needs throughout Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Kennedy. “Each region of our province has different needs and priorities. With this investment we are providing needed support to address the unique challenges on the North Coast of Labrador.”

The Provincial Government has also provided $114,000 to support the installation and operation of a portable X-ray machine at the Nain Community Clinic. This also included funding for the purchase of a new computed radiography reader system. The X-ray machine is aiding in the testing of tuberculosis and has been operational since November 22, 2010.

“The Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador states that residents across the province should have the opportunity to avail of health care programs and services regardless of their location,” said Minister Pottle. “This announcement builds upon our long-standing commitment to suicide prevention as evidenced by the Provincial Governments’ Suicide and Detrimental Lifestyles Grant program. By investing significantly in suicide intervention and prevention, and equipment to aid in testing for tuberculosis, this government is making a difference to communities on the North Coast.”

“The initiatives announced today will provide much-needed support in helping to address some of the pressing issues facing residents of Nunatsiavut,” said Acting Minister Pottle. “It is my hope and, indeed, the hope of the Nunatsiavut Government, that this is only the beginning. There is still much that needs to be done as we continue down the path to building healthier, sustainable communities within Nunatsiavut.”

“Increased accessibility to health care services continues to be a priority for Labrador-Grenfell Health,” said Mr. Rowe. “We are pleased with these investments in mental health services and X-ray equipment, which will mean that the people of Nain will have increased access to these services locally, in their own community.”

Since 2003, the Provincial Government has invested approximately $155,000 for the purchase and operation of capital equipment at the Nain Community Clinic, and almost $1.1 million in construction and repairs, including the replacement of siding and windows; the development of a modular office building; and, the building of mini-homes for social workers and staff. Recent investments also include funding for the replacement of a snowmobile and snowblower at the Nain Community Clinic.

Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future includes an investment of $7.2 million to strengthen mental health and addictions services throughout the province, including $2.4 million for continued planning and construction of a new residential treatment centre in St. John’s for children and youth with complex mental health needs; $2 million to develop a new residential treatment centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for children and youth with addictions; $2 million for the planning and development of an adult residential addictions treatment centre in Harbour Grace; $482,900 to enhance child psychiatry services at the Janeway Hospital; and, $300,000 to support new community-based projects, with a focus on mental health and addictions issues.

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Media contacts:

Glenda Power
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
[email protected]

Milly Brown
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 631-8477
[email protected]

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-2646
[email protected]

John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762
[email protected]

Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
Nunatsiavut Government
709-896-8582
[email protected]

Alison Dower
Regional Director of Communications
Labrador-Grenfell Health
709-454-0128, 454-1205
[email protected]

2011 02 25