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Mental health referrals on the rise

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Janet Irvine

Janet Irvine


Hamilton Township was the only municipality in the county to respond to a request from the Northumberland Counselling Centre, executive director Janet Irvine told councillors at their meeting last week.

“Thanks for listening and making a place in your budget to support the mental wellness of the people in your municipality,” Irvine said.

“You are the only governing body in the county to offer assistance” in light of the escalating number of referrals the Centre is facing, she said.

That includes Northumberland County council as well, Irvine noted.

In 2015, the number of monthly referrals was 20. That climbed to 36 last year and so far in 2017 it is 46 monthly, more than double two years ago.

Not everyone can afford counselling services and often those who most need it are low income or fixed income individuals and families, Irvine also explained during a previous presentation.

Mayor Mark Lovshin said he is part of the county’s social services committee and he asked her to provide a copy of those updated statistics so he could take them to the committee for its information.