Fougere promises $250k for mental health and addictions if re-elected mayor

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says he’ll work to do more to provide local mental health and addictions supports if re-elected.

He announced the final point of his election platform on Thursday morning in Regina – $250,000 annually to provide a first point of access where people who are struggling can access immediate, expert and local support.

“So when you phone and you have an issue, you’re dealing with thoughts of suicide or you’re really struggling, you can phone and talk to someone directly,” explained Fougere. “This would assist the province but it would also help the non-profit sector.”

Fougere added that they will speak to service providers on how they can participate. A non-profit that specializes in offering these supports will be selected at a later time to receive the funding.

Fougere said he came up with this idea after he and his band The Garage Band helped raise money for mental health awareness and programs a couple months ago at a fundraising event. At the event, he said he was moved by the stories he heard of residents who have suffered impacts of drug abuse and suicide.

People in the past have approached him to say there are not enough resources in the city to help those in need. “We’re seeing much more drug addictions and people dying from this now,” added Fougere.

A recent report from the Saskatchewan Coroners Service indicated there have been 296 deaths from January 1 to October 26 in Saskatchewan. There were 122 confirmed deaths due to illicit drugs and 174 suspected deaths.

In Regina, there have been 58 overdose deaths so far in 2020.

The municipal election is on November 9 in Regina.

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