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Bell Aliant and Bell fund new mental health services co-ordination program in Moncton

(MONCTON) March 28, 2012 - Horizon Health Network,through support from Bell Aliant and Bell, is creating a formal link between family physicians and the mental health system to ensure all patients with a mental illness are seen bythe right health-care professional at the right time.

Bell and Bell Aliant are donating $25,000 to increase access to mental health services. The funds will be used to hire a part-time nurse who will triage mental health clients and co-ordinate referrals from family physicians to mental health services.

"As part of our overall investment in mental health, we are pleased to partner with Horizon Health Network to help improve accessto care for people living with mental health issues," said Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative. "The goal of this collaborative project between family practitioners and the mental health system is to increase timely and appropriate care for people in need of services."

Approximately 20 per cent of all patients who see their family physicians in the Moncton area have a mental illness. While physicians may refer a patient to mental health services, there can be a waiting period for those services. With this new initiative, wait times are expected to decrease as the nurse co-ordinator will ensure that patients experiencing various forms of mental disorder are supported by the right health-care provider.

"Providing the most effective and efficient mental health services to our patients is a priority to our organization," said Donald J. Peters, Presidentand CEO of Horizon Health Network. "We would like to thank Bell Aliantand Bell for their contribution in fundingthis initiative, which will build a vital connection between family practice and mental health, and provide patients withthe mostappropriate heath-care services."

Clients with major mental illnesses will be cared for by a mental health team, including a psychiatrist if appropriate. Patients with short-term or less severe symptoms will be treated by their family physicians.

"We have partnered with the Horizon Health Network for many years," said Steve Titus, Vice President Regional Sales, New Brunswickwith Bell Aliant. "Today's gift demonstrates our commitment to support mental health initiatives that will have a meaningful and immediate impact for New Brunswickers affected by mental illness."  

AboutBellAliant

Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company inCanadato cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP services. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience.

The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada via the BellLet's Talk anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk

About Horizon Health Network
Horizon Health Network is the largest health-care organization in AtlanticCanada, operating 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices providing medical services ranging from acute care to community-based health services toNew Brunswick, northernNova ScotiaandPrince Edward Island. With 1,000 physicians, an annual budget exceeding $1 billion and approximately 13,000 employees, Horizon Health Network's strategic vision focuses on research, innovation and education.

           

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For more information contact:

Sonya Green-Haché
Senior Media Relations Advisor
Horizon Health Network
1-877-499-1899
Media@HorizonNB.ca
www.HorizonNB.ca

 

Christine Manore
Corporate Affairs Advisor
BellAliant
506-853-3171
888-845-3171
christine.manore@bellaliant.ca

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