Political parties facing the delicate issue of mental health in Quebec | Elections Quebec 2022

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Political parties facing the delicate issue of mental health in Quebec | Élections Quebec 2022

Mental health waiting lists increased by 30% in two years in Quebec.

While mental health waiting lists have gone from 16,000 to 21,000 people waiting for services over the past two years, the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) and Quebec solidaire (QS) presented their respective visions on Sunday. matter.

On the Liberal side, the party proposes the establishment of a free public psychotherapy service. The cost of this program, which includes 15 free counseling sessions per year, is estimated to be $450 million by 2027.

The chef, Dominique Anglade, reflected on her personal experience of youth during which her mother faced mental health issues, forcing her to sometimes have to take on certain adult responsibilities.

“At the Liberal Party of Quebec, we have understood that mental health problems must be considered in the same way as mental health problems. physical health. All Quebecers should therefore have access to quality care, regardless of their salary. »

—Dominique Anglade, leader of the PLQ

The liberal leader remained more vague on the means of ensuring that there will be enough psychologists in the network to meet demand.

Dominique Anglade during a mental health announcement.

For its part, Québec solidaire believes it has found the solution to the labor problems. The QS plan ($700 million over 4 years) provides for the eventual hiring of 900 additional psychologists thanks to an improvement in their salaries and working conditions, and the recognition of their professional autonomy.

Precision: Québec solidaire modified during the day an error appearing in its initial announcement. The party plans to invest $280 million only from the fourth year of the plan. On average, the annual expenditure will therefore be $175 million per year and not $280 million).

Quebec is the place in Canada with the largest number of psychologists in proportion to the population, underlined the co-spokesperson of Quebec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. The latter believes that he will be able to repatriate psychologists practicing in the private sector to the public fold by filling the 30% salary difference that exists between the two sectors. Eventually, a quarter of the $280 million per year will be allocated to raising wages and working conditions.

Québec solidaire parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and candidate Mélissa Généreux during an ad in mental health.

QSalso wants to offer them the possibility, as in private, to choose their therapeutic approach. The party also proposes to hire 1,000 other professionals (social workers, psychoeducators and sexologists), who will be deployed in the health network, but also in schools. This measure will help unclog family medicine groups (GMF), where 40% of consultations are related to mental health, the party points out.

“If you want healthy people, you have to make sure you have a healthy society. »

— Dr. Mélissa Généreux, united candidate in the riding of Saint-François

At the start of the year, the CAQ presented a $1.2 billion plan over 5 years for mental health, including $361 million in new investments.

In Quebec, we have this tendency to refer to the psychologist or the psychiatrist where there are waiting lists that are extremely long, both in the public and in the private sector. We, what we do, we involve everyone: nurses, front-line nurse specialists, mental health nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, psychoeducators, so everyone comes into the effort, had declared during the announcement Lionel Carmant, Minister Delegate for Health and Social Services.

According to Mr. Carmant, significant efforts have been made over the past two years to prevent the waiting list from growing disproportionately, while consultation requests have increased by 30% to 40%. during the pandemic.

With [the outgoing Minister of Health] Christian Dubé, we are really making a big shift, assured yesterday the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister, Geneviève Guilbault, during a speech at the convention of the organization Force jeunesse . She mentioned the collaboration of representative bodies such as the College of Physicians and the main nurses' unions.

Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Geneviève Guilbault met the media after participating in the Force Jeunesse annual convention at HEC Montréal.

The Parti Québécois has not yet presented a specific plan for the issue of mental health. But during the Force jeunesse convention on Saturday, the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, brought up the issue of accessibility around the role of the psychologist, which, according to him, should be more extensive.

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If psychologists could make a diagnosis, it would save time, he suggested, questioning the mandatory visit to a general practitioner to obtain a referral.

The PQ promises to set up an accessible and universal psychotherapy service. Psychotherapy would be covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie (RAMQ).

Finally, the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), Éric Duhaime, believes that the issue of mental health is a particularly worrying issue in the aftermath of the health crisis.

Within the first 100 days of a Conservative government, a summit on mental health and youth would be held. We barely measure the devastating effect of the lack of socialization and the lack of sports activities on young people, said Mr. Duhaime.

According to him, the x27;access to mental health services will require public investment. And while there is an issue as to which of the private sector or the public sector is better able to meet the needs, the main problem is one of shortage of personnel, he says.

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