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MLA Report: People with addictions and mental health struggles need more support

"Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to represent you and your concerns. I want to do right by our community."
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Thompson MLA Eric Redhead

It is my honour to write this article as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Thompson. To those who don’t know me or don’t know much about me, I’m Eric Redhead. I was born in Thompson, worked in healthcare and served on council and then as the chief of Shamattawa for two terms before running in a provincial byelection following the untimely passing of Danielle Adams. Danielle had only just been elected in 2019. Her passing is a tragedy. I certainly never expected that I might be an elected provincial official. After much discussion with friends and family I decided to seek the NDP nomination and run to be your representative.

Thank you for your trust. I was elected earlier this summer and sworn in as your representative on June 24. Thank you to everyone who helped work on my campaign. Thank you to Wab Kinew, leader of the NDP, who provided great support and guidance. Wab came to Thompson several times leading up to and during the election. It is great to see a leader who cares about the north. Thank you to Blair Hudson, Kalen Leib and many, many volunteers. 

I especially thank the people of Thompson who have trusted me to represent them. I am so grateful to all of you. Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to represent you and your concerns. I want to do right by our community.

One thing I have already heard a lot about is health care. Health care facilities throughout the constituency are closing because there is just not enough health care staff. Thompson is suffering really high vacancy rates. Paramedics have had to staff the Thompson emergency room because of staffing shortages. We’ve also seen that far too many people have to travel south to get health care services that should and could be provided much closer to home.

Before I got into politics, I worked as an aide in support of psychiatric care to help people struggling with mental health and addictions challenges. I feel strongly that much more needs to be done to support people. The last few years have been very difficult on people’s mental health, and the addictions crisis has had a major impact everywhere in Manitoba. I will do my best to bring this concern and your priorities to the Manitoba legislature.

Thank you again, and if you have any questions or concerns you can contact my constituency office at Eric.Redhead@yourmanitoba.ca.