NDP call on government to ensure proper mental health support for Syrian refugees

December 11, 2015

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is asking Premier Stephen McNeil to ensure that adequate funding is provided for culturally appropriate mental health services for Syrian Refugees settling in Nova Scotia.

“These families are fleeing war and terror. Many could be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other disorders and they need our support,” says MacDonald. “The Premier needs to ensure strong mental health services are in place for Syrian refugees arriving in our province.”

In this year’s budget, the Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), which has been a leader in the ongoing resettlement process in the province, saw their mental health funding cut by 23%. In Question Period today, McNeil stated this was a federal cut. A Health Department Briefing Note shows this was not the case.

“The Premier needs not only to reverse this cut but provide additional funding,” says MacDonald.

Last evening, the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario welcomed the first Syrian Refugees to Canada. Recently, Liberal Premier Wynne and her Immigration Minister announced that it will spend $8.5 million to expand culturally appropriate settlement services and resources, such as mental health and trauma counselling programs.