Nova Scotia mass shooting: Government commits more money to mental health programs

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N.S. mass shooting: Ottawa and province announce $18 million mental health plan
Just days shy of the first major deadline recommended by the Mass Casualty Commission, the Nova Scotia and Canadian governments are investing $18 million for mental health supports. Callum Smith reports. – Apr 28, 2023

The Nova Scotia government has announced more mental health resources for people who live in the three counties most affected by the mass shooting in April 2020 that killed 22 people.

Brian Comer, the minister responsible for the office of addictions and mental health, says residents of Colchester, Cumberland and Hants counties will benefit from a $20,000 investment in community transportation to help get people to and from health services.

As well, the government is providing an additional $64,000 to eight health boards that work closely with communities to understand their health-and-wellness challenges.

And $190,000 will be distributed to the Canadian Mental Health Association to expand the services it offers in Colchester and East Hants.

The public inquiry that investigated the mass shooting recommended that the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia jointly fund a program to address the region’s unmet needs for mental health, grief and bereavement supports by May 1.

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On April 28, the two levels of governments each committed to spend $9 million over a two-year period to get the program up and running.

“There are huge pressures on our health-care system to respond to the increased demand for mental health and addiction services,” Susan Henderson, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Colchester-East Hants Branch, said in a statement.

“This funding will allow us to offer supports to even more people — from helping those who want to improve their mental well-being, to responding in times of crisis.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2023.

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