NDP call on McNeil government to restore all funding to mental health groups

September 16, 2015

(Halifax, NS) NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is calling on the McNeil government to immediately reverse all funding cuts to community groups that provide support to individuals suffering from mental illness.

She made the comments after the Chronicle Herald reported the McNeil government is planning to cut core funding to Self Help Connection next year. Self Help Connection is an umbrella group that includes other not-for-profits such as Eating Disorders Nova Scotia. Last year Eating Disorders Nova Scotia received a 23% cut from the McNeil government and its future is now up in the air.

“At a time when the government needs to be investing more to help people suffering from mental illness, Stephen McNeil is making petty cuts,” says MacDonald. “To put it bluntly the social cost of these cuts far outweighs what is a marginal savings to the government. It’s the wrong approach and it’s putting patient safety at risk.”

MacDonald is particularly critical of the lack of support the McNeil government is providing to young people suffering from eating disorders.

“The Eating Disorder Clinic at the IWK is already short-staffed and now the future of Eating Disorders Nova Scotia is at risk,” says MacDonald. “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and affect one in six women under the age of 20. When you consider these factors, it’s clear the Liberal government’s actions are inexcusable.”