WHITEHORSE – Liberal leader Sandy Silver and Mountainview candidate Jeanie Dendys outlined the Yukon Liberals plan to improve mental health services and improve our justice and health care systems today. The Liberal platform includes a commitment to refocus the implementation of the Yukon Mental Wellness Strategy and include comprehensive after care services in Yukon communities.
“Improving mental health services has been priority for me since the day I was elected,” Silver said. “It is probably the issue raised most frequently with me, particularly in rural Yukon.”
Yukon became one of the last jurisdictions in the country to release a mental health strategy in 2016.
“The Yukon Party treated this as a box to be checked off before an election and there was no thought at all given to implementation,” said Silver. “That will certainly change under a Liberal government.”
Silver said part of the implementation will see the recruitment of an adequate number of in-patient and out-patient mental health workers to meet the mental health needs of the territory.
Dendys, who is the Kwanlin Dun Director of Justice, said improved mental health services is just one part of a larger plan to improve our justice system.
“A responsive and culturally relevant justice system will help protect all Yukoners, respect the human rights of incarcerated individuals and provide for rehabilitation that reduces the recidivism rates in the correctional system,” she said. “I’ve been a part of that justice system for the last 7 years and I know it needs to be improved.”
Dendys said keeping people out of the justice system to begin with is the rationale for supporting community addiction treatment centers.
“One of main commitments we are making is to support addiction treatment and healing centers, and first nations pre/post care facilities which will include working with First Nation governments to establish or operate other healing centers in the communities,” she said. “I can certainly attest to the good work being done at Jackson Lake and it will continue.”
Another priority will be a legislative, policy and practice review to ensure the Yukon Government meets rules and social standards for LGBTQ non-discrimination.
For more information please contact:
Jeanie Dendys Yukon Liberals candidate, Mountainview
Yukon Liberals HQ 668-4748
A Yukon Liberal Government will:
• work with RCMP, First Nations, the Yukon Police Council and communities to identify ongoing policing priorities and the funding required to implement them;
• develop improved access to justice and alternative support options for both criminal and civil cases;
• expand crime prevention through an environmental design approach to all interested rural and remote communities;
• review the Auditor General’s Report on Corrections and implement relevant recommendations to improve Yukon correctional services;
• develop alternative correctional therapeutic environments for individuals with disabilities, mental health or addictions problems;
• develop programs to assist victims of violent crime and sexual assault in Yukon;
• update the Legal Professions Act and its regulations in order to protect the public’s interests and improve access to legal services; and
• conduct a legislative, policy and practice review to ensure the Yukon Government meets rules and social standards for LGBTQ non-discrimination.
A Yukon Liberal Government will:
- refocus the implementation of the Yukon Mental Wellness Strategy and include comprehensive after care services in Yukon communities;
- recruit an adequate number of in-patient and out-patient mental health workers to meet the mental health needs of the territory;
- engage with the Government of Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada on the implementation of the National Mental Health Strategy;
- support existing mental health and addiction treatment and healing centers, and first nations pre/post care facilities which include working with First Nations to establish or operate other healing centers in the communities;
- expand the current education curriculum on residential schools beyond Grade ten and work with First Nations, mental health professionals, teachers and parents to introduce curriculum appropriate for elementary students;
- modernize and integrate alcohol treatment programs and services to reflect advances in treatment and services and First Nations culture – including land-based programming, community-based care and aftercare; and
- adopt a Housing First Strategy for vulnerable populations such as those affected by poverty, addictions or mental health problems.
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