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Mixed Reviews For Government From Child And Youth Advocate

By Tamara Steele Oct 4, 2022 | 5:45 AM

Kelly Lamrock is New Brunswick's child, youth and seniors' advocate. Image: Submitted

New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate is pleased to see the government has acted on some recommendations coming from reports related to youth suicide prevention and mental health services.

The findings were included in the first update submitted by his office on the government’s implementation of recommendations from the Youth Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Services Review.

Kelly Lamrock said they have seen early adoption in areas like training frontline emergency staff.

“At least beginning at the regional level to have a proper ER strategy around mental health issues and mental health crisis, that’s been done,” Lamrock said.

Another report will be released next year covering things like improving navigation tools when someone is in crisis.

“Do we have a First Nations strategy that involves all 15 First Nations where the problem is
particularly acute?” Lamrock said.

Lamrock said a quote by one youth really stood out for them.

“When a young person said it feels like there is nothing in between sitting on the couch looking for help and going to the emergency room in crisis. That primary care level where families know where to turn, that’s really the big challenge for mental health. Where we have challenged governement for the next time we report is in the middle area,” Lamrock said.

In advance of a second progress report early next year, the advocate laid out a list of expectations for the government.

  • Have a credible recruitment plan to attract mental health professionals.
  • Provide training to consider youth mental health issues in emergency response with a more child-friendly and culturally sensitive approach.
  • Establish clear practice standards with identified and documented best practices.
  • Expand treatment options outside urgent response with a clear plan.
  • Invest in peer networks and schools or community programs as part of a global plan for youth mental health and suicide prevention in the government’s Mental Health reform.
  • Appoint a point person and a department responsible for First Nations’ mental health and have a credible plan for all 15 First Nations.
  • Plan for youth engagement and peer training.
  • Identify community partners with defined roles with clear funding included in the government’s budget.
  • Review the complex case protocol and expanded use of integrated teams.
  • Simplify integrated planning for children with acute mental health needs by identifying barriers and setting a plan to eradicate them.
  • Implement clear responsibility and accountability measures at the cabinet and bureaucratic levels.


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