More details on how the province plans to improve mental health services across Prince Edward Island with $40 million announced in the capital budget.
The province is already planning a new $60 million mental health and addictions campus — it was while planners were consulting with affected groups on that project that the need became clear for other improvements, said Health Minister Robert Mitchell.
“We did have shortfalls in areas, in the community especially, so we needed to make some improvements and enhancements in the community,” Mitchell told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.
‘Close to home’
One thing that’s needed is transitional housing and support for patients moving out of a mental health facility, he said.
“They could be close to home, they go to work if they need to,” Mitchell explained. “We want people to have their health needs met close to their homes.”
There will be four such community hubs across the Island — in Charlottetown, Summerside, eastern and western P.E.I., Mitchell said. Details like staffing have yet to be worked out.
“We have the ‘what’ we need, now we have to develop how do we move forward with it,” Mitchell said.
It also became clear P.E.I. needs a dedicated emergency room for mental health, he said, which the province is now planning.
While walk-in mental health clinics and youth programs have been “so successful,” Mitchell said, P.E.I. needs an adult day program.
Emergency response teams are also part of the province’s plan.
Last fall during the capital budget, the province said it would spend approximately $500,000 over the next two fiscal years to plan the province’s new Mental Health and Addictions Campus to replace the Hillsborough Hospital.
The province will release more details on its five-year plan next week, Mitchell said.
“The start of the campus will be next year,” Mitchell promised. “But that will continue over the subsequent four years until all the parts are put together.”
The $100 million the province is spending will “make a real difference in Islanders’ lives, and that’s what the goal is” Mitchell said.