Health and Community Services

2005 Provincial Policy Framework

2005 Provincial Policy Framework for Mental Health and Addictions Services

Working Together for Mental Health was the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2005 Provincial Policy Framework.

The 2005 policy directions include:

  • Prevention and Early Intervention
  • Consumers and Significant Others
  • Bridges for Better Access
  • Quality Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Accountability and Measuring Progress

Under this framework, significant accomplishments have been made under each of our five policy directions for both mental health and addictions. During this time, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has invested $25.1 million in new Mental Health and Addictions initiatives with an additional $8.7 million committed in budget 2011. The following summary highlights a sampling of the key accomplishments under each policy direction:

Prevention and Early Intervention:

  • Addiction prevention consultants and mental health promotion consultants hired in each Regional Health Authority.
  • 20 youth outreach workers hired throughout the province to engage with youth in their own environments
  • Community Addiction Prevention Mental Health Promotion Grants program made available for promotion/prevention community activities.
  • Partnership with Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), police and Eastern Health for a position which focuses on substance use education and prevention.
  • Mental health literacy and anti-stigma project in high schools throughout the province (CMHA-NL).
  • Local playwright/author/actor Joel Hynes wrote and performed a one man show called “Incinerator Rd” in high schools throughout the province.

Consumers and Significant Others:

  • A Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council established with family and consumer representation.
  • Consumers’ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador (CHANNAL) received significant funding to strengthen peer support throughout the province.
  • Training for public provided through the “Mental Health First Aid” program to increase the ability to help persons experiencing mental health problems.
  • Province wide family education initiatives have been funded including the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Family to Family Support and Schizophrenia Society of Newfoundland’s (SSNL) Strengthening Families.

Bridges for Better Access:

  • Integration of mental health and addiction services through common intake processes and co-location of services.
  • Mental health and addiction staff integrated on primary health care teams or provide outreach such as in downtown St. John’s.
  • Link workers have been identified in each region to liaise with the Janeway Psychiatry program.
  • A provincial senior’s mental health consultant position was funded and a provincial senior’s mental health working group has been established with links to the Canadian Coalition on Seniors Mental Health, the Canadian Dementia Research and Knowledge Exchange and the Seniors Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
  • The provincial geriatric psychiatry program at the Waterford Hospital received enhanced resources to hire a discharge liaison nurse to increase access to discharge planning back to community living.

Quality Mental Health and Addiction Services:

A significant thrust of the accomplishments over the past five years has been in the area of improved service delivery primarily in specialized mental health and addiction services.

  • Case management program has been established across the province; 20 positions to provide support to persons with mental illness.
  • Thirty-four new positions to provide enhanced addiction counseling and prevention services.
  • Three multidisciplinary assertive community treatment (ACT) teams located in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Grand Falls-Windsor for those requiring the most intensive services and supports 365 days a year.
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team-St. John’s region.
  • A provincial eating disorder program and an Opioid treatment center were established.
  • New mental health and addiction intake social worker positions for Labrador City and Happy Valley Goose Bay.
  • A forensic consultant position was funded for Eastern Health.
  • Humberwood addictions inpatient treatment centre in Corner Brook has been redeveloped.
  • Adult residential addictions treatment centre planned for Harbour Grace.
  • Planning for a new mental health facility to replace the Waterford.

Demonstrating Accountability and Monitoring Progress:

  • Regular ongoing communication between all regional health authorities and the Department of Health and Community Services to monitor the progress of the provincial policy framework in all health regions.
  • New Mental Health Care and Treatment legislation.
  • Many program reviews and evaluations completed.
  • Ongoing training for addictions and mental health staff provided.
  • The provincial advisory council for mental health and addictions provides an additional layer of accountability and monitoring of the mental health and addiction system.

In addition to progress on the five policy directions, advancements have been made, realizing that gaps still exist, towards improving services and addressing the needs of special groups. Some highlights include:

Community Groups:

In 2010 and 2011, over $1.1 million has been provided to 12 community agencies to continue their work in promoting mental health and supporting people with mental health and addictions issues. These agencies include provincial groups such as CHANNAL, CMHA-NL, SSNL as well as local groups such as Stella Burry and Choices for Youth in St. John’s; and the Community Mental Health Initiative in Corner Brook.

Women, Children and Youth

  • An adolescent addictions day treatment program was established in St. John’s.
  • The Janeway Psychiatry program received increased funding to respond to growing pressures in child and youth psychiatry services.
  • The Peter’s Foundation received funding to assist in Jesse’s Place: Safe affordable housing for women in recovery from addictions.
  • Stella Burry received funding to develop the “Just Us” program for women with addiction issues involved in the justice system.
  • Two youth treatment centers being developed for complex mental health problems and addiction.
  • Two case managers for youth to be located in Corner Brook and Grand Falls-Windsor.

Aboriginal Populations

  • Five full-time mental health and addiction counselors in Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik and Natuashish
  • A mobile wellness team for Labrador Aboriginal communities comprised of mental health and addictions counselors, psychologists, and occupational therapy.
  • A Suicide Prevention and Intervention program for coastal communities to include training, support groups, a youth peer support program ad a suicide prevention campaign.


  • A Seniors Mental Health Consultant position was funded.
  • Enhanced geriatric psychiatry services provided to Eastern Health.
  • A provincial senior’s mental health working group was established to build bridges between providers in mental health and long term care settings across the province.
  • Links have been established with the Canadian Coalition on Seniors Mental Health, the Canadian Dementia Research and Knowledge Exchange and the Seniors Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada to ensure our province is kept up to date on the latest evidence for senior’s mental health.
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