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Most people on P.E.I. think government not taking mental health seriously: study

Mental health. -File image

A large majority of Islanders surveyed on mental health care said the P.E.I. government is not taking the issue seriously.

The study was conducted by members of How Many Wade campaign, which was launched earlier this year to educate Islanders that P.E.I. is failing when it comes to providing adequate mental health services to those in a crisis.

The study drew responses from 631 Islanders across all counties, socioeconomic groups, genders and age groups.

Campaign organizer Sarah Stewart-Clark says the survey provides valuable information to policy makers.

“We do not feel that Islanders can wait for a (government) report in the spring and then wait another year for recommendations to be moved into the 2019 budget,’’ she says.

Stewart-Clark has been meeting with political parties and stakeholders to discuss the relevancy of the study’s findings.

She hopes the information can be used to create better mental health care programs in P.E.I.

Stewart-Clark highlighted the following as main findings from the survey:

– 69 per cent of respondents say the government is not taking the issue of mental health care seriously in P.E.I.

– 90 per cent believe there is still an issue with stigma associated with mental health.

– 81 per cent say mental health will be a significant issue to determine their vote in the next election.

– Islanders list isolation, loneliness, lack of community support, and inability to handle stressful life events as significant contributors to their mental illness.

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