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FREDERICTON — The Green party says anxiety about political instability and the looming climate crisis are placing new strains on Canadians’ mental well-being.

The party is outlining a plan to break down barriers — including insufficient funding and erosion of universal care — it says prevent many people from getting the mental-health care they need. 

Green Leader Elizabeth May is taking the message to Fredericton today as part of a push for votes in Atlantic Canada, a region where the party hopes to make a breakthrough in the Oct. 21 election.

The party wants to prioritize expansion of mental-health and rehabilitation services through the Canada Health Accord, reduce wait times for assistance programs and put more money into mental-health services in rural and remote areas.

The Greens would also examine climate change-related mental illnesses caused by trauma from natural disasters and extreme weather and the resulting stressful displacement of families.

In addition, the party would treat the opioid crisis as a health-care issue rather than a criminal matter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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