NS. coalition applauds mental health commitment

'The department has clearly said they are prepared to work with all stakeholders.' - Joan Jessome, NSGEU president.

Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE)Halifax (12 April 2010) - The Mental Health Coalition of Nova Scotia (MHCNS) is pleased with the reception it received at a meeting with Kevin McNamara, Nova Scotia's deputy minister of health.

Coalition representatives met with McNamara to seek support and assistance from the department for developing a provincial mental health strategy.

"We saw an openness and willingness by the department to work collaboratively with us,” Gail Gardiner, coalition co-chair and also the new executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division.

Joan Jessome, who is also a coalition co-chair and president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), expressed similar sentiments.

"The department has clearly said they are prepared to work with all stakeholders to make this strategy a centerpiece of its mental health initiatives," Jessome said.

Vince Daigle of the Healthy Minds Cooperative (HMC) added: "We heard a sincere commitment from the deputy minister (about) ensuring that consumers of mental health services have a real say.”

The coalition is working collaboratively with the One-In-Five campaign to hold another public forum this fall with a specific focus on a provincial mental health strategy. It is hoping to have strong support from the department for this forum and for the further work to be done in developing this strategy.

The coalition is a non-partisan group of more than 200 concerned individuals and organizations seeking to raise the priority of mental health issues before the government agenda and to end chronic underfunding of mental health services.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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