Sup­port lack­ing for men, says My­ers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STU­ART NEATBY

Ge­orge­town-St. Peters MLA Steven My­ers ac­cused the Is­land’s health min­is­ter of fail­ing to fo­cus on sui­cide preven­tion pro­gram­ming for men on Tues­day.

Dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod, My­ers said a 2012 study from Sta­tis­tics Canada found that Cana­dian men have a sui­cide rate of more than three times that of women.

He also said that only a third of men who have com­mit­ted sui­cide have sought help from health pro­fes­sion­als.

“Statscan shows that the pat­tern of male sui­cide is a long-term pat­tern in this coun­try,” My­ers said.

“Why has govern­ment long ig­nored these facts on male men­tal health and sui­cides?”

Health and Well­ness Min­is­ter Robert Mitchell said the prob­lem of men­tal ill­ness and sui­cide has had a wide­spread im­pact on the Is­land.

“There wouldn’t be a door that you could knock on that hasn’t seen the ef­fects of men­tal ill­ness. We are do­ing our ut­most best to de­velop pro­grams, to de­velop med­i­cal sit­u­a­tions for these folks,” Mitchell said.

“Our youth pro­grams, both the IN­SIGHT and the Strength pro­grams, are mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in the lives of young in­di­vid­u­als and young males in a lot of cases.”

The IN­SIGHT pro­gram is a men­tal health sup­port pro­gram geared to youth aged 13-18 while the Strength pro­gram of­fers sub­stance ad­dic­tion sup­port to in­di­vid­u­als aged 15-24. Mitchell sug­gested these pro­grams are part of $3 mil­lion the pro­vin­cial govern­ment has in­vested in men­tal health pro­gram­ming this year.

My­ers sug­gested the Is­land es­tab­lish a men’s health sec­re­tar­iat, a public of­fice that would aid in de­vel­op­ing pol­icy around men’s health.

A state­ment is­sued by Health P.E.I. said there were no spe­cific pro­grams that fo­cused solely on men. How­ever, the state­ment in­di­cated that sev­eral pro­grams im­ple­mented as a re­sult of the govern­ment’s 2016 men­tal health strat­egy have had a mea­sur­able on re­duc­ing men­tal health stigma.

SUB­MIT­TED

Steven My­ers

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