While Rapid Access Counselling has been available in communities like Humboldt and Kelvington since 2019, the Saskatchewan Government announced its bringing the service to eight additional communities.
"Connecting those in need of counselling services as soon as possible is crucial for improving the health of our communities," Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence said on behalf of Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley. "We welcome this important expansion of rapid counselling services throughout the province."
A total of 31 Saskatchewan communities will now have access to the service with the inclusion of Moose Jaw, Gravelbourg and Assiniboia through Moose Jaw Family Services, and Kindersley, Biggar, Leader, Rosetown and Unity thanks to West Central Family Services.
In its release, the Government noted that the program is available for individuals, couples and families needing support with mental health challenges ranging from stress and depression to family conflict, addictions and domestic violence. The program is available for individuals, couples and families needing support with mental health challenges ranging from stress and depression to family conflict, addictions and domestic violence.
"Reaching out to a counsellor is a big step for some," Family Services Saskatchewan Board Member and Family Service Regina CEO Shellie Pociuk said. "Having affordable and accessible support when you need it is crucial for keeping individuals and families safe."
The following 23 communities have been offering this service since 2019-20; Battleford, Estevan, Humboldt, Indian Head, Kamsack, Kelvington, Melfort, Nipawin, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Southey, Swift Current, Tisdale, Weyburn, Wynyard and Yorkton.
The Ministry of Health is investing a record-high total of $470 million for mental health and addictions services in 2022-23. The new additions are thanks to $1.498 million in annual funding provided by the province to Family Services Saskatchewan (FSSK).