The provincial government says it’s spending more than $1.2 million to fund 17 additional clinical psychologist positions in Manitoba.

That’s on top of five previously-announced positions last year, all of which have been filled.

Health minister Audrey Gordon and mental health and community wellness minister Janice Morley-Lecomte announced Friday that ongoing funding will be made available for the additional positions, with recruitment already underway.

The goal is to enhance specialized psychological services for kids, young people and adults in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba communities.

“Clinical psychologists provide a wide range of evidence-based evaluation and treatment services for conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis, as well as for medical conditions such as chronic pain, cardiac disease and sleep disorders,” Gordon said.

“Establishing these new positions will increase equitable access and coordinated care for patients with complex health needs.”

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Dr. Lesley Graff, Shared Health’s specialty lead for clinical health psychology, said the positions will be highly specialized, and most of the new psychologists will be working in Winnipeg — primarily at Health Sciences Centre and Children’s Hospital.

“This funding will help address the shortage of clinical psychologists in the province by creating additional positions in priority areas throughout the health system,” Graff said.

“It will enable us to provide more timely services in vital areas across medical and mental health care in Manitoba.”

Click to play video: 'Continuing conversations around mental health on Blue Monday'

Continuing conversations around mental health on Blue Monday

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