PC Manitoba

Doubling Addictions Treatment Spaces

PCs pledge to dramatically increasing investments in addictions treatment and mental health support: Klein

WINNIPEG —  To help more Manitobans recover from their addictions and ensure that they have a high-quality, recovery-oriented system of care, a re-elected PC government will double the number of provincially-funded treatment spaces across Manitoba to 3,200 over the next two years, offering early intervention and faster access to treatment.

“So many of us know someone who has battled and suffered from an addiction. We must do our part to support those Manitobans who need help,” said Kevin Klein, PC candidate for Kirkfield Park. “We must all work together to provide our most vulnerable with the resources they need to get their lives back, and that’s exactly what Progressive Conservatives will do.”

Today’s commitment to invest $8.7 million in 1,600 new spaces will add to the 1,648 spaces funded in Budget 2023. It also builds upon the ongoing investments being made into Manitoba’s five-year Mental Health Roadmap, including $17.3 million this year to advance the following addictions recovery priorities:

  • $600,000 to create residential withdrawal management beds in Brandon to ensure that people have the necessary time to safely detox from dangerous drugs and access extended treatment; and
  • $448,000 in ongoing funding to Klinic Community Health Centre for mobile withdrawal management services, making addiction services as accessible as possible in the community.

“More funding from the province means we can help more Manitobans get treatment for their addictions, and get them back to their families and communities,” said Scott Oake, who co-founded the Bruce Oak Recovery Centre in Winnipeg with his late wife, Anne. “It also allows organizations like ours to continue serving our community and expand into new facilities so we can meet Manitobans where they need us, when they need us.” 

A re-elected PC government will also invest $12.7 million to support organizations that provide services to children and youth struggling with their mental health, Klein said. Funding will include a $2.5-million increase to annual funding for mental health service organizations, and $680,000 annually to support the Canadian Mental Health Association Service Navigation Hub, an information and referral service for mental health and addiction resources. 

“As someone who has battled with mental health for years, I have a great network of people around me who support me, but not everyone does,” said Bob Lagassé, PC candidate for Dawson Trail. “I have been open about my struggles in hope that it helps show anyone else suffering that it’s OK not to be OK. Today, our party is showing that we take the funding of mental health services seriously, and I’m proud to be on a team who is fighting for people just like me.”

The PCs have invested more than $62 million since 2019 to address the mental health, wellness, and addictions recovery needs of Manitobans, and established the first-ever Ministry of Mental Health and Community Wellness to bring mental health, substance use and addictions services, and health promotion programs together under a single department. In Budget 2023, funding included:

  • $1.5 million to improve access and reduce wait times for child and youth mental health services;
  • $1 million to add more crisis stabilization unit beds and expand telepsychiatry services, ensuring that people in rural and remote areas of Manitoba have access to psychiatric help when they need it; and 
  • $345,000 to work with Indigenous communities on creating a provincial suicide prevention plan, with a focus on at-risk youth and programs for Indigenous children and youth.

Significant other progress has been made under the Mental Health Roadmap, Klein added, including:

  • adding 17 new clinical psychologists to work in child and adolescent, adult, and forensic services;
  • expanding addictions treatment at the Interlake-Eastern Health Region’s Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) Clinic to help hundreds more patients get community-based care;
  • increasing safety and support for vulnerable citizens by investing in the St. Boniface Street Links Outreach and Support Program;
  • continuing support for over 1,000 clients in a locally-developed therapy program that helps them improve their mental health and wellness; 
  • expanding support for children and youth with eating disorders and providing ongoing funding for adult eating disorder programs; and
  • working with the United Way to fund community organizations and initiatives addressing mental health and addiction service wait times and increased demands.

Earlier this week, PCs announced that, if re-elected, they will provide up to $10 million in capital funding towards the Quest Health Recovery Centre, a long-term recovery centre for First Nations, run by First Nations, in downtown Winnipeg. The culturally-sensitive, 12-week program will be focused on the evolving needs and preferences of the First Nations community, and the facility is planned to include 180 mixed-gender addictions treatment beds for both on- and off-reserve First Nations clients. The centre also plans to offer second stage treatment beds, which will allow for longer-term addictions treatment and facilitate soft landings back into the community.

“Only Progressive Conservatives are fighting for recovery. This is in stark contrast to Wab Kinew’s NDP,” said Klein. “They will take the same failed approach as the BC NDP, who are giving state-sponsored drugs to people instead of helping them recover. The government should not be a drug dealer. But with the NDP, that’s what you will get.”

The provincial election will be held on October 3rd, 2023.


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