Not a catch-all: expert
Human rights panel hears program not meant for people with mental illness
The disability support program at the centre of a human rights complaint was never meant to provide supports for everyone, says one of the people involved in developing it.
Bob Creed, a former director of social programs for P.E.I., was on the stand at that hearing Friday where he said the program was developed to delink disability support from social assistance.
“It was very progressive at the time,” he said.
The disability support program was implemented in 2000, but does not include help for people with mental illness, which led Laura King to file a discrimination complaint with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.
King, who has schizophrenia, filed the complaint in 2013 and was at the hearing in Charlottetown Friday alongside her mother, Millie King, who has been speaking on her behalf.
Laura receives about $300 per month from social assistance, but Millie previously testified she felt her daughter should be eligible for the disability support program.
Friday was the third day for the hearing, which saw several witnesses take the stand, including Creed, who talked about the disability support program.
Creed told the hearing panel the program wasn’t developed to replace other supports and services but was, instead, meant to deal with unmet needs.
The program covers intellectual, physical and some neurological disabilities.
Creed said when the program was under development people in the mental health field felt a model focusing on recovery was best for people with mental illness.
A spokesman for the Canadian Mental Health Association who testified Thursday told the panel the disability support program doesn’t address the complexities of mental illness.
Creed said there were supposed to be further discussions of a second phase in the program after it was implemented to deal with mental health.
“I guess today those discussions are still underway.”
The disability support program doesn’t provide services for a recovery model, Creed said. “The program is not a beall program.”