The executive director of the PECH (clinical supervision and accommodation program) in Quebec City believes that the $ 100 million aid announced yesterday is a step in the right direction.
• Read also: $ 100 million for mental health
“It’s a positive reception. Now, we have to dissect the measures announced because we could be eligible only for the $ 10M announced for community mental health organizations, while it would be preferable if we could expand access to funding, ”responded Benoît Côté, Director General of PECH.
PECH teams carry out an average of six crisis interventions per day, in collaboration with the Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ), for a total of more than 2,300 per year.
“Nine out of ten interventions are safe, […] even if zero risk does not exist. “
Rise of cases
Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has observed a 20% increase in the number of psychosocial crises reported to it by 9-1-1.
The community sector has deplored the underfunding of front-line services for a very long time. There are endless delays in seeing a psychologist, adds Côté.
“Quick access to frontline services lessens the magnitude of the crisis. We intervene in a preventive manner. This eliminates the fact that the person does not have to wait eight months to a year on a waiting list to meet someone. A lot can happen if you wait too long. The person becomes discouraged and there may be a deterioration in their mental health, ”he said.
There are no less than 40 community organizations in Quebec City that have not seen their funding increase for at least ten years.
For Mr. Côté, if there is only the $ 10 million on the table for community organizations, that is still “insufficient”. Groups of mental health organizations alone claim nearly $ 100 million, while the amount announced yesterday also includes measures in the public network.
“It is not negligible an amount of $ 100 million, but it is in the way it is distributed that we will see if we can take advantage of it. “
In addition, the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS) regrets that it was not until a tragedy for the government to address mental health issues.
“Especially since the waiting lists for services have been growing for many years, and the APTS has sounded the alarm several times on this subject,” said the Alliance, which calls for a funding “for the years to come” to improve the supply of mental health care.