NDP Leader Ryan Meili announced today that an NDP government will reverse years of Sask. Party cuts to school-based supports by making the investments to ensure children’s mental health is a priority in Saskatchewan.
“Scott Moe’s government has failed to support vulnerable students. I’ve heard from too many parents and teachers worried about how this pandemic is impacting their kids’ mental health,” said Meili. “Young people have been through so much in the past months, and supports were already inadequate. It’s way beyond time to invest in students to give them the support they need now and good skills for the future.”
Meili announced that an NDP government will invest $5 million to hire 50 mental health nurses for schools and an additional $5 million to work with school divisions to reverse cuts and hire child educational psychologists, counsellors, speech language pathologists and other mental health supports. This will help in the short term as kids navigate the challenges and stresses of a pandemic and will be an important part of restoring needed services as part of a long-term mental wellness plan.
Meili noted that Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party have cut per-student funding by $300 per student since 2015-16 and that there are fewer counsellors, fewer psychologists and fewer speech language pathologists today than there were in 2015-16.
“The mental health of our province’s youth is not a luxury,” said Meili. “Real support now can ensure that kids aren’t left to suffer alone. It can also ease the burden on our health care system by helping young people avoid mental health and addictions issues later in life.”