Over 1,000 supporters gathered in Fredericton on Wednesday, Dec. 8th to connect the dots for better mental health services for New Brunswick’s youth. Supporters donned black dots and formed a human chain stretching from the N.B. Legislature to the Victoria Health Centre.
Maureen Bilerman, a New Brunswick mother whose child suffers from mental health issues, said in a press release by the Community Action Group on the Homelessness that “No family should ever have to go through the suffering that mental illness brings when the necessary services are unavailable, especially in matters of life and death. Ashley Smith’s family knows this all too well. It is our hope that we can help create a better future for other families struggling to secure services for their children. It is all we can do. But we cannot do it alone.”
Bilerman has started a grassroots advocacy movement known as Development of Treatment Services for Mental Health in New Brunswick (DOTS NB). The group aims to generate the politcal will needed to improve health services for children and youth.
In the New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate’s report, “Connecting the Dots”, Bernard Richard recommended the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Children and Youth with Complex Needs in New Brunswick.