Skip to main content

The Mental Health and Addictions Political Forum

On Tuesday August 27 I participated in the Mental Health and Addictions Political Forum along with the Hon. Cameron Friesen for the Progressive Conservative Party,  Uzoma Asagwara with the NDP Party and Andrea Shalay with the Green Party.   My opening comments are below: 

Welcome all of you who are here, and thank you for coming.
For many years, brain, mental health and addictions have been poor cousins to physical health in Manitoba.  It does not have to be this way.
A Liberal government will make dramatic improvements to our situation.
In addition to effectively addressing poverty and homelessness,  we will create a province-wide multidisciplinary specialist network for Brain, Mental Health and Addictions based on the successful Cancercare Manitoba model.  It will report directly to the Minister of Health, as Cancercare Manitoba does, but will be different from Cancercare in that the role and the importance of numerous and varied community based partners will be much larger.   It will work with all organizations to implement recommendations from  our 2016 Liberal report “Optimum Brain Health for All Manitobans” and the Virgo Report.
A major part of our platform, is to bring psychological therapies under medicare.   This is essential to give Manitobans access to needed psychological therapies. We will model our approach on the highly successful IAPT, increased Access to Psychological Therapy program which has gone from no program before 2008 to a program with centres all over England, centres run by organizations like the partners supporting tonight’s  debate.  It now sees a million people a year.   They have outcome measures on better than 98% of those treated.  And they have had phenomenal success. The prestigious journal Nature says it is “world beating”.    We will bring it to Manitoba.  [This will mean training 250 additional psychological therapists in the next four years and establishing about 50 locations around Manitoba which will deliver the program].
And we will not stop here.
We will embrace peer support workers – because they are very effective in helping those with brain, mental health and addictions issues and are cost effective in saving money.      
Our efforts will start young.  We will support children and families with a major improvement in support for early childhood education and child care.  
We will cover the cost of psychological assessments and the treatment of children with learning and behavioural conditions under medicare.  It is essential that we identify children with learning and behavoural difficulties early on and help them quickly.  This is a very personal issue for me as one of our sons had a reading difficulty a form of dyslexia.   This can help many children do well and also prevent a significant amount of mental illness.   Manitoba Liberals will also support brain and mental health education in schools.  Every child should be taught Mental Health First Aid.
We will also address addictions: 
Help for those with addictions needs to be there when a person needs help and it needs to be seemless so there are no gaps, between stabilization and detoxification and between detoxification and treatment, and there needs to be follow up beyond treatment – sometimes with longer treatment to achieve the best results and always with a period of support away from the triggers which lead the person to take alcohol or opiods or meth.  We will work with all involved throughout the province to make the needed changes to achieve success.
To achieve a coherent, coordinated and comprehensive system.   Manitoba Liberals will set up a 24/7 virtual addictions line and coordination centre as an entry point and as a step toward improved function and results.  We will also have an effective approach to prevention.  We can benefit from existing preventive programs  - like that offered by Drug Free World. 
And we need to be able to respond to public health emergencies in brain, mental health and addictions.   In 2009, there was a major response to the H1N1 flu which was rapid and effective.  Yet in 2017, when the meth crisis emerged and the police and many others raised the alarm about how serious it was, and when I raised this in the Manitoba Legislature as a major problem, our calls for action were met by attacks on us and by the response “it’s too complicated.”  We need in such circumstances to be ready for the crisis and to be able to respond quickly.  
Manitoba Liberals believe that mental health and addictions emergencies should be treated as effectively and with an adequate response just like physical health emergencies should be treated.    Thank you for this opportunity to speak tonight and to present our Manitoba Liberal perspective.

For a full video of the Forum, you can go to the links below.


  1. I saw a health promotion on a herbalist from West Africa who prepares herbal medicines to cure all sorts of diseases including HIV and many others sickness, I first doubted It was not true but decided to try, when I contacted this herbal physician so lucky I was cure right now am so happy don't lose hope to contact him on time
    via his e-mail, or you can visit his website on https:// or i was totally cure from the virus


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dougald Lamont speaks at Meth Forum last night to present positive ideas to address the epidemic, while exposing the lack of action by the Pallister Conservatives

Last night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre in St. Boniface, at an Election Forum on the Meth Crisis in Manitoba, Dougald Lamont spoke eloquently about the severity of the meth epidemic and described the Liberal plan to address it.  The Liberal Plan will make sure that there is a single province-wide phone number for people, or friends of people, who need help dealing with meth to call (as there is in Alberta) and that there will be rapid access to a seamless series of steps - stabilization, detoxification, treatment, extended supportive housing etc so that people with meth addiction can be helped well and effectively and so that they can rebuild their lives.  The Liberal meth plan will be helped by our approach to mental health (putting psychological therapies under medicare), and to poverty (providing better support).  It will also be helped by our vigorous efforts to help young people understand the problems with meth in our education system and to provide alternative positive

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

The Indigenous Science Conference in Winnipeg June 14-16

  June 14 to 16, I spent three days at the Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference.  It was very worthwhile.   Speaker after speaker talked of the benefits of using both western or mainstream science and Indigenous science.  There is much we can learn from both approaches.   With me above is Myrle Ballard, one of the principal organizers of the conference.  Myrle Ballard, from Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, worked closely with Roger Dube a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, and many others to make this conference, the first of its kind, a success.  As Roger Dube, Mohawk and Abenaki, a physicist, commented "My feeling is that the fusion of traditional ecological knowledge and Western science methodology should rapidly lead the researchers to much more holistic solutions to problems."   Dr. Myrle Ballard was the first person from her community to get a PhD.  She is currently a professor at the University of Manitoba and the Director of Indigenous Science