Sask. government promises more support for mental health and addictions services
The Saskatchewan government said it is making its largest commitment ever to support mental health and addictions services in the province.
Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said $402 million will be invested during 2019-20, an increase of nearly $30 million from last year.
Part of the funding will be used for more than 140 new beds for treatments.
Roughly 75 new residential support beds will be for people with intensive mental health needs who are transitioning back to the community from hospital.
Health officials said this will free up space in hospitals for other patients.
The other new beds will be used for addiction treatment.
Approximately 50 will be for individuals transitioning between detox and in-patient treatment or back to the community.
Ten new beds will be added to Pine Lodge, located in Indian Head, six to Calder Centre in Saskatoon, and six for youth under the age of 18 in southern Saskatchewan.
Three Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics will be launched in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert.
Officials said RAAM clinics provide immediate access to addictions treatment and can help reduce emergency department visits, shorten wait times, and improve outcomes.
The temporary Mental Health Assessment Unit at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon will become permanent under a new name.
The seven-bed Mental Health Short Stay Unit will provide people with acute mental health care needs a place to stay for up to a week.
The province is also pledging over $2.6 million to hire more staff, including counsellors and social workers, for mental health services.