Liberal government cuts psychology residency program

August 14, 2015

The McNeil government’s decision to cut funding for psychology residency programs could lead to a shortage of practitioners in the future says the President of the Psychology Association of Nova Scotia, Heather Power.

“We have been advised the Health Department has cut funding for internships for psychology residents,” says Power. “Hospital administrators will have to fund this fall’s internships by cutting elsewhere, and next year, there may be no psychology residents at all. That’s a real blow to mental health in Nova Scotia.”

Power adds, “without internships it will be very difficult to get students to study here or move here to start their careers.”

NDP Health critic Dave Wilson says Nova Scotia’s mental health system badly needs more resources not less. He’s concerned a series of Liberal cuts will lead to serious consequences for years to come.

“It’s pretty clear that strengthening our mental health care system is not a priority for Stephen McNeil and his Health Minister,” says Wilson. “He’s failed to update the mental health strategy for almost two years, he’s cut funding to charitable organizations that provide support to people with mental illness, and now he’s cutting funding for psychology residents. This is similar to the approach of the previous Liberal government of the 1990s, and it took years to repair that damage.”

Wilson adds, “I want to know why Leo Glavine isn’t placing an emphasis on recruiting more psychologists, given that the Eating Disorder Clinic at the IWK is currently without one.”