UPDATED: Health minister says Nova Scotia will recruit more adolescent psychiatrists

A woman holds a photo of Rehtaeh Parsons in Halifax on April 11, 2013. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister says the government will recruit more adolescent psychiatrists in response to a review of mental health programs for youths that was launched following the death of Rehtaeh Parsons.

Leo Glavine was responding Wednesday to the release of a review that found problems with youth mental health care services.

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Jana Davidson, an expert in children’s mental health, was appointed to lead the review after an earlier report into Rehtaeh’s case raised concerns about the IWK Health Centre.

Rehtaeh was admitted to the Halifax hospital in March 2012, about five months after the 17-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys.

Her family says a digital photograph of the incident was passed around her school, prompting her to attempt suicide.

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She died in April after she was taken off life-support.

Davidson’s report does not address Rehtaeh’s case specifically, but she says one of the biggest challenges facing youth mental health care is the recruitment of clinical staff and physicians.

The report says there are barriers to treatment, including discontinuity of care and unnecessary delays.

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