Sask. Party’s failure on mental health continues to hurt families

Sask. Party must make good on promise to fund mental health emergency unit: NDP

Despite funding from the federal government and a private donor, the Sask. Party’s continued refusal to move ahead with plans for a mental health emergency unit in Saskatoon is leaving patients without the care they desperately need and putting pressure on emergency rooms.

“The Sask. Party’s refusal to staff the otherwise funded mental health emergency unit is needlessly putting more pressure on our hospitals and emergency rooms and leaving vulnerable people at risk,” said NDP Health Critic Danielle Chartier. “The Sask. Party’s own mental health report recommended this facility but they’re blocking progress on the unit and refusing to act on just about every other recommendation.”

Lucy Mauerhoff’s son needed emergency mental health services last summer but, instead of receiving the supports he needed when he went to the ER, he spent two days locked in a hospital room.

“All my son needed was basic psychiatric care, but had to spend days in a locked room waiting,” Mauerhoff said. “A mental health emergency unit would have gone a long way towards helping my son, and so many others, get the care they desperately need. It could not be more clear that, by refusing to fund this unit, the Sask. Party has forgotten about our province’s most vulnerable people.”

The federal government committed nearly $158 million to expand mental health services in Saskatchewan, and a private donor has come forward with $1 million to make the emergency unit a reality, still, the Sask. Party refuses to provide the funds needed to operate the unit.

“When it comes to mental health care – and far too many other supports and services – the Sask. Party are all talk and no action,” Chartier said. “And while their promises are fake, the consequences are very real.”