New system increasing mental health wait times: Rogers
NDP Mental Health Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) a newly-introduced intake service is actually increasing the time it takes for people seeking mental health services to get to a practitioner – in some cases, almost four months between their first inquiry to their appointment. Today in the House of Assembly’s Question Period, Rogers highlighted the problem, and asked if government is doing anything to reduce the waiting times.
“The START Clinic was designed to deliver a fast short-term response to people needing mental health services. Now that all mental health referrals are funneled through Adult Central Intake the backlog has grown,” she said.
“It can take up to 6 weeks for Central Intake to do the mandatory 45 minute referral interview, then once referred the wait list for the Clinic itself can be 2 months. This is way too long.
“I ask the Minister what is he going to do to ensure people get timely treatment?”
Rogers says she is hearing reports of waitlists for other mental health services growing because of the backlog at Adult Central Intake. She says for the new and innovative approach to work, it must be adequately resourced.
She would like clarification as to how many people needing help are waiting for the mandatory 45 minute intake interview for Adult Central Intake and how long will they have to wait.