↗ We are encouraged by increased investment in addictions services (over $900,000 additional dollars over last year), investment in mental health and addictions services in particular regions of the Island, and better communication and coordination between Mental Health and Addictions.
↗ Enhancements to Lacey House, the extended care facility/recovery home for women in Charlottetown, demonstrate government’s commitment to continue important gender-specific services. Still needed, though, are physically accessible extended care facilities or recovery homes, for both women and men, and facilities in Summerside as well as Charlottetown.
↗ Council values having a strong Youth Addictions Strategy, and we express a sincere hope that taking gender into consideration remains a priority for the working groups involved with advancing the strategy.
↘ Council continues to be concerned about addressing the root causes of women’s addictions, coordinating care for women with mental health and addictions problems, lack of diversity in the models of treatment available, the need for treatment tailored for different kinds of drugs, and challenges for women to leave their home communities and to find child care to receive treatment at Mt. Herbert Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility.
↘ We continue to question the Province’s decision to take over the needle exchange program for intravenous drug users from the community-based organization, AIDS-PEI, that ran it at arms-length from government. It is good to hear government is reconsidering a poorly chosen location for the Charlottetown service, but women who use intravenous drugs will continue to refuse to go to a government-run facility to exchange needles.
This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2009 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2009 and based on information updated to May 30, 2009.