New provincial advisory council to address mental health, addictions issues

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Health Minister Jerome Kennedy said today a new Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council announced last week will deal with mental health and addictions issues in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The announcement of the council's appointment was made last week during the Working Together for Mental Health provincial conference in St. John's.
"Staying connected and well-informed about what is happening throughout the province from a mental health and addictions perspective is critical for our government," Kennedy said.
"The Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council will report directly to me and will advise on key mental health and addictions matters needed in order to enhance services and improve the lives of those living with mental health and addictions issues."
Vince Withers, chairperson and founding member of the Eating Disorders Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, has accepted the role of chairperson on the council. Dr. Nizar Ladha, forensic and general psychiatrist and President-Elect of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, will fill the role of vice-chair.
Other members include:
Peter Ralph, chairperson, CHANNAL;
Sheldon Pollett, executive director, Choices for Youth;
Ron Fitzpatrick, executive director, Turnings;
Mary Walsh, actor and social activist;
Michelle Kinney, deputy minister, Nunatsiavut Government;
Des Coombs, regional Director of Mental Health and Addictions, Central Health;
Jocelyn Greene, executive director, Stella Burry Community Services;
George Skinner, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association-Newfoundland and Labrador Division; and,
Lisa Goudie, regional manager Mental Health and Addictions, Western Health.

According to a news release, the provincial mental health public forum June 23, followed by the mental health conference June 24, provided an opportunity for the general public, mental health professionals and community groups to come together to discuss mental health issues in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Transforming the province's mental health system and the importance of self-help and peer support were the main themes of the forum and conference. Both events were well attended with approximately 150 people at the public forum and almost 140 people at the conference.

Organizations: Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council, Eating Disorders Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Psychiatric Association Newfoundland and Labrador Division

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • June
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Where are consumers of Mental Health on this Advisory Council???? Seems there are lots of professionals making the decisions and advising again.....

  • Lola
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I'm looking through this list of members and see a list of executive this, director's unfortunate that there are no frontline staff associated with this board to bring forward the concerns from the street level. Sad.

  • Willie
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I think government should be focusing on gynecology/addictions issues instead.