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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 Islanders?
  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 Prince Edward Island and in this riding, particularly for middle and low income Islanders?

Advocacy Messages

  1. Psychological well-being, problems and disorders concern all Islanders.
  2. Psychological services are proven effective in helping Islanders to maintain psychological health and to deal with psychological problems and disorders.
  3. Prince Edward Island’s public and private health care insurance plans don’t do enough to ensure Islanders 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. Government, employers and private insurers must do more to ensure all Islander’s – regardless of income – can access the psychological care they need.

Solutions

  1. The Government of Prince Edward Island 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 significantly increase the number of publicly funded psychology positions within Community Mental Health Centres, Hospitals, Addiction Programs, and School Boards in Prince Edward Island.
  3. The Government make a concerted effort to increase the number of psychologists trained and available to work in Prince Edwards Island by:
    a) funding seats for Islanders in Psychology Programs such as Memorial, Dalhousie, UNB, and University of Moncton. This is a practice currently followed in a number of professions such as medicine, law, and physiotherapy
    b) considering the feasibility of establishing a PsyD program on PEI so that more psychologists can be trained here. This would be an excellent recruitment strategy since programs report that students often remain to work where they train.
    c) establishing funded internships for psychology within education and health on PEI, again attracting potential long term employees to our province.
  4. The Government attempt to attract and keep new psychologists and psychological associates in Prince Edward Island by offering Bursaries, Grants, and Rebates for working here. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have developed such programs. See www.aeei.gov.sk.ca, www.gnb.ca, & www.gov.ns.ca/finance, for more information.
  5. The Government improve the delivery of Mental Health Services by encouraging the promotion of psychologists to leadership positions in Mental Health.
  6. The Prince Edward Island Government work with PAPEI to develop a framework for providing psychological services with and through Family Health Teams.
  7. The political parties in Prince Edward Island adopt a motion similar to the motion of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba (April, 2010). The policy can be found in the next section adapted to the PAPEI context.