N.B. mental health activist says failure to name provincial advocate is 'insulting'

MONCTON, N.B. — A longtime New Brunswick mental health activist says it is insulting that the province hasn't appointed a mental health advocate even though the legislature unanimously approved the position more than three years ago.

Paul Ouellet has spent decades working with New Brunswickers navigating the mental health system, and he says life for residents battling mental illness has become more difficult over the years.

Ouellet says he cried tears of joy in 2019 when the legislature unanimously approved a motion to appoint someone to act as a voice in government for residents struggling with mental illness.

The 72-year-old says he was asked by the province to create a job description for the role, which he did and submitted to government in January 2020.

But the job remains vacant, and Ouellet says that even his offer to act in that role as a volunteer was turned down.

The province did not immediately return requests for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2023.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press