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HomeNewsCurrent status of mental health services is 'unacceptable' says DNSSAB chair

Current status of mental health services is ‘unacceptable’ says DNSSAB chair

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DNSSAB CAO Joe Bradbury says there is a disconnect in health equity between Nipissing District, Northern Ontario, and the province at-large.

See related story: Community in crisis spurs local delegation at conference

In an effort to address primary care and community mental health needs, among other community issues, the District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board (DNSSAB) has sent a delegation of its members to meet with various Ministers as part of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference. The conference is being held in Toronto, began Sunday and runs until Tuesday.

This delegation of six DNSSAB representatives will be raising significant concerns before the Ministers of Health, Community and Social Services, Housing, Poverty Reduction, and Attorney General.

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Chair Mark King says one of the top priorities is the coordination of mental health and addictions services. Economic development and employment supports will also be raised in meetings. The delegation is also looking for assurances that effective investments will be made in affordable housing and housing supports. King adds that the current status of mental health services and housing in Nipissing District is “unacceptable.”

According to data from the Northeast LHIN (Local Health Integration Network), North Bay residents have a higher percentage of emergency department visits for chronic conditions, including mental health and addictions. Other data shows that unscheduled ER visits due to mental health have increased 30 per cent over the past five years while substance abuse ER visits have increased by 35 per cent.

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