Yesterday the Standing Committee on Health and Wellness met with the following agenda:
“The committee will meet with: Dr. Richard Wedge, Chief Executive Officer of Health PEI, and Dr. Rhonda Matters, Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer; to receive an update on the long-term strategy for mental health and addictions.”
I was also pleasantly surprised that constituent Dr. Therese Harper was also supporting Dr. Matters in her presentation! Also Verna Ryan – Director of Mental Health and Addictions – was the main presenter for Health PEI, with Dr. Wedge in a supporting role.
The full presentations are available in PDF format for download below:
- Presentation – Health and Wellness – Dr. Matters
- Presentation – Health and Wellness – Dr. Wedge and Verna Ryan
- Additional Info – Health and Wellness – Health PEI
The key things that I took away from Dr. Matters’ (Dr. Harper’s) presentation was:
- The full report of the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council will be completed and made available to the public in the next few months – i.e. mid-2016.
- Specific, measurable and time-specific goals for achieving the long term strategy will be formulated within the next year or two.
- All strategic priorities are given the same weight.
- Each year over the next 10 years one or two goals within each strategic priority area will be implemented.
- No metrics have yet been considered for measuring progress of long term strategy implementation.
The presentation by Verna Ryan (Dr. Wedge) contained much more detailed information. Along with an update on initiatives related to the Mental Health and Addictions strategy within Health PEI, it included an overview of the existing Mental Health and Addictions framework and tiers, and the work that is underway. The main points I took away were:
- Health PEI is focused on delivering programs and services based on policy / strategy set by the Department of Health. As such the presentation was focused on what has been implemented for treating mental health and addictions.
- The Health PEI mission for service for Mental Health Services is different from the Department of Health vision for Mental Health and Addictions that was articulated in their presentation. Work will be done to align these. (I will also note that I cannot find the mission for service on the Health PEI website.)
- There is a gap in Health PEI services addressing the “low risk/need” population where universal prevention and health promotion starts. This can be clearly seen in the two slides below where there are no “Tier 1” services offered (missing in second image below):
Across both presentations there was an inconsistency in how “youth” and “children” were defined and referred to. This is important as teachers identify mental health issues in elementary school – early intervention is key for preventing more serious mental health issues that may lead to addictions.