Province approves recommendations by mental health panel

The Nova Scotia government says it will implement recommendations from an expert panel to better coordinate mental health supports offered to children and youth.

The four recommendations include creating a single web and mobile-based platform and 24/7 live answer, toll-free phone line to provide information, support, and services, and ensuring all mental health service providers receive evidence-based suicide risk assessment and suicide risk management training.

Health Minister Leo Glavine says the province will develop consistent mental health and addictions curriculum for schools from primary to Grade 6, as well as for high school students.

Government also announced an additional $4.4 million as a permanent investment in SchoolsPlus by 2019-20.

This will support all schools Nova Scotia, and the province says it will add about 51 new mental health clinicians, SchoolsPlus facilitators, and community outreach workers.

The Department of Health and Wellness will work with mental health professionals, the Nova Scotia Hospital Authority, and the IWK Health Centre to implement the recommendations.