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What might you ask of your political candidate when it comes to psychological services?

  1. Does your party platform contain anything related to the psychological health of Manitobans?
  2. Do you support parity between resources made available for treatment of psychological and physical health problems?
  3. Do you support the specific inclusion of initiatives related to psychological health and addictions for 2014 when the federal-provincial health accord comes up for renewal?
  4. What will your party do to improve access to psychological services in Manitoba and in this riding, particularly for middle and low income Manitobans?

Advocacy Messages

  1. Psychological well-being, problems and disorders concern all Manitobans
  2. Psychological services are proven effective in helping Manitobans to maintain psychological health and to deal with psychological and health-related problems and disorders (e.g., chronic pain, sleep disorders, cardiac care).
  3. Manitoba’s public and private health care insurance plans don’t do enough to ensure Manitobans have adequate and equal access to psychological services.
  4. People in lower and middle income brackets face particularly significant barriers when it comes to the cost of psychological services in this province.
  5. Manitoba’s government, employers and private insurers must do more to ensure all Manitobans – regardless of income – can access the psychological care they need.

Solutions

  1. The Government of Manitoba quickly develop and implement a formula to fund mental health on an equal footing with physical health funding based on factors such as incidence, prevalence and burden of disease.
  2. The Government of Manitoba develop a pilot project in several hospitals across Manitoba to provide psychological emergency assessment and brief intervention services in emergency rooms to patients with undiagnosed medical conditions (UMC). Patients with UMCs present with physical symptoms that, after extensive and expensive diagnostic investigations, are found to not have a physical illness. They often suffer from a psychological problem or disorder that manifests itself with physical symptoms. An example is chest pains that could be indicative of a heart attack but are in reality an anxiety disorder. The goal is to provide more appropriate services for these patients and to reduce the load on emergency services in hospitals. Psychologists have the legal authority to diagnose and the extensive training and skills to quickly assess the patients’ needs, reduce their anxiety and to suggest alternate and more appropriate services.
  3. The Manitoba Government work with MPS to develop a framework for providing psychological services with and through Primary Care Teams, Community Mental Health Centres, Shared Care Centres, schools, and correctional facilities.
  4. All political parties in Manitoba adopt a motion similar to the motion of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba (April, 2010). The policy can be found in the following section.