News / Halifax

Psychologists, Conservatives, calling on province to implement tax credit

Initiative would provide tax credit of up to 100 hours for private psychologists performing pro bono work

Cody Gloade, who died by suicide, in a photo taken last year.

TC Media

Cody Gloade, who died by suicide, in a photo taken last year.

A psychologist joined Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie on Monday asking the province to introduce a psychology services tax credit act.

The initiative would provide a tax credit to psychologists who perform pro bono work.

“Only last month we were all horrified to see the story of Cody Gloade who did everything that we ask of that young man and others like him. He…self-identified that he was suffering from a mental illness,” Baillie said during a press conference.

“He called a crisis line. They told him about the wait list for counselling services. He went to see his family doctor. He told him how long he would have to wait for help, and tragically Cody Gloade couldn’t wait and he succumbed to his illness. He died by suicide…We have a plan today to address this gap in our mental health system.”

More than 250 psychologists work in private practice across the province.

In an interview following Monday’s press conference, Dr. Victor Day said that while issues surrounding access to mental health services require a longer-term solution, he believes providing a tax credit is a “quicker, easier, partial solution.” 

Day is a psychologist and past president of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia. 

“The long run solution is to improve private insurance plans for most employees which are usually insufficient, and the other is to improve the amount of psychological services in the public health system,” Day said.

Day said efforts to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in recent years have been successful, and more people are seeking help.

“The problem the system has generally now is there are not enough resources to meet the demand because the resources were designed to meet the old demand,” Day said.

“We have encouraged people to seek help in larger numbers and unfortunately the resources weren’t provided to back that up."

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