Free mental health services now available for P.E.I.'s fisheries, aquaculture industries

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P.E.I. Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox announced mental health supports for people working in the fisheries and aquaculture industries on Tuesday. (Ken Linton/CBC - image credit)
P.E.I. Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox announced mental health supports for people working in the fisheries and aquaculture industries on Tuesday. (Ken Linton/CBC - image credit)

There are now free mental health services available to people who work in the fisheries and aquaculture industries on P.E.I.

The Fisher Assistance Program and the Aquaculture Farm Assistance Program offer fishermen, crew members, their families, and aquaculturists access to professional counselling services.

The P.E.I. Fisher Assistance Program is administered through the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, and the P.E.I. Aquaculture Farm Assistance Program is through the P.E.I. Aquaculture Alliance, a news release said.

The department will spend $10,000 on the program for fishermen and $5,000 on the aquaculture program.

"As we navigate this difficult year, we want to ensure that the people in our industries have access to the mental health services and support that they need," Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox said in the Tuesday news release.

"The goal of these programs is to offer assistance to those in need, while also creating awareness around the importance of mental health for members of our seafood industry."

The confidential counselling sessions are available 24 hours a day with flexible appointment hours.

"Mental health is a very important topic and the stresses of the pandemic have brought it to the forefront," Denna Keating, director of operations of the P.E.I. Aquaculture Alliance, said in a statement. "We are grateful for the province's support on this program, and encourage our members to access these benefits."

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