Manitoba looks to recruit five clinical psychologists

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The province is looking to hire five more clinical psychologists and is spending more than $800,000 to make it happen.

On Monday, Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard announced the goal of hiring more psychologists will be to reduce wait times for children and adults.

"We know that stress related to the pandemic has increased mental health issues across Manitoba and Canada. This has created added pressures on an already taxed mental health system," said Guillemard.

The minister said the province is putting $853,000 towards the recruitment and hiring of five clinical psychology positions – two will work in child and adolescent services, two in adult services and one in adult forensic services with the justice system.

Jo Ann Unger, president of the Manitoba Psychological Society, said with so few psychologists in the publicly-funded system, many clinical teams have little to no access to psychologists.

"With the mental and physical health needs of Manitobans increasing due to the stressors of living through a global pandemic, the urgency to address this shortage has been further escalated," she said, adding Manitoba currently has the lowest rate of psychologists in the country.

Guillemard said recruitment for these positions is underway.