Nova Scotia health-care: Liberals call out counselling announcement

Halifax –

The Nova Scotia government’s free hour-long counseling sessions for residents are not enough, say the state’s social worker college and the official opposition party.

“Most people who need free mental health care have complex needs that require multiple sessions,” said N Siritsky, a consultant at the College of Social Workers.

“Practitioners never know if the current problem asking a person for help is the only problem,” said Siritzky, who uses the pronouns they/them, in an interview Monday.

“So some sort of evaluation is required, which usually requires at least one to three sessions.”

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party has expressed concerns about the program, with a mental health commentator from the party saying in a statement Monday that one session is not worth much if treatment is not continued.

Rafah DiCostanzo called the new program, which costs $2.3 million a year, an expensive “first aid”.

Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative government last week offered residents one free session of individual, couples or family counseling that can be done by phone, online or in person in Halifax, Sydney, Kentville and New Glasgow. He said he had contracted with Telus Health to

Silitsky said he was very concerned about the state’s decision to invest in the program through Telus instead of one of the many existing mental health nonprofits based in Nova Scotia. . They said there would be a greater impact if investments were directed to groups already working to increase access to mental health care, such as the Halifax-based North End Community Health Center. .

“Investing in[local non-profit]organizations will truly transform mental health care in a sustainable way, as opposed to investing in Telus Health, which is generally not accountable,” Siritsky said. says.

Siritsky also said he was concerned that the state’s choice to partner with Telus showed Nova Scotia was pushing for the privatization of some health services, adding that the project was a Telus He added that it looked like an advertisement for Health’s various services. at your own expense.

“I am particularly concerned that Telus Health is the organization of choice, as opposed to many great local nonprofits. Is this the normalization of the expansion of the for-profit industry into healthcare?”

The state said the recently announced free counseling sessions will complement existing virtual mental health tools available on Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addiction website.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 27, 2023.

This article was produced with financial support from the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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