Municipal leaders meet with health authority to discuss mental health services

PICTOU, NS –Warden Robert Parker said three local municipal leaders have met with the Nova Scotia Health Authority over services offered to people experiencing a mental health crisis.  

Robert Parker District 15Warden Parker confirmed during a property services meeting last week a provincial health authority representative visited Pictou County in April and there were many positive things from the meeting, but the ad hoc committee will continue to explore the issue.

“We are going to continue to meet with people who are looking for help with mental health,” he said. “There opinion is that things are being handled properly but I don’t necessarily agree  with that.”

Warden Parker said recently that he, Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan and New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks have been appointed by Shared Services to look at the current status of mental health in Pictou County, especially crisis mental health, which led to the meeting with the health authority.  

Parker said the committee spoke with a physician as well before its meeting with the health authority and concerns were expressed that care for people suffering from a mental health crisis is only available from Monday to Friday from 830-430 p.m.

“There is no psychiatrist on staff at the present time at the Aberdeen Hospital, even during these hours, but they can hook you up by technology to speak to a psychiatrist at another hospital.”

On a positive note, Warden Parker said he was pleased to hear that emergency room physicians were getting training to better serve patients with mental health issues.   He said there are also beds designated for Pictou County patients in the Colchester Hospital, but if they aren’t filled, they will be used by other people because beds cannot sit empty.

“We will continue as an ad hoc committee for Shared Services to look in to this and we will hear from both the patient side and health authority side,” he said.