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Budget 2014 supports healthy minds and communities

Apr 11, 2014

The Alberta government continues to put children and youth first by investing in mental health.

Budget 2014 ensures long-term, stable funding for more than 315,000 youth and children who participate in mental health programs.  This would include after school supports, wellness education, as well as new residential mental health services for young people in the Calgary and Edmonton regions.

“By investing in mental health promotion and effective treatments for children and all Albertans coping with mental illness or addiction, we’re investing in Alberta’s most important asset – our people.  Budget 2014 moves forward on the Alberta government’s commitment to supporting healthy families and communities in our province.”

Dave Hancock, Premier

“By providing mental health options for our province’s young people we can help reduce the impacts of mental illness and addiction, and help Albertans live full and healthy lives. As in most cases in our health care system, it is always beneficial to address emerging issues early, and that is exactly what we’re focused on.”

Fred Horne, Minister of Health

“Most mental health problems start when people are young, so it’s very good news that Budget 2014 supports continued investments in the mental health of our children and youth. Supporting the success and well-being of our children today will pay dividends for all Albertans down the road.”

Dr. Michael Trew, Chief Addiction and Mental Health Officer

Overall, Budget 2014 includes a total of $48 million to support the continuing implementation of , a $28 million increase over last year.

  • $23 million has been established as permanent funding for programs and services, such as mental health capacity building projects, including mentoring programs and life skills training in schools;
  • $5 million will be used to develop residential treatment beds for youth in the Calgary and Edmonton regions; and
  • $20 million will go towards continued mental health programming such as counselling services.

The $48 million investment is in addition to the $600 million Alberta Health Services budgets to deliver mental health and addiction programs and services.Under the , our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Funding highlights
Mental health capacity building

There are mental health capacity building projects for students and families in 153 schools and 55 communities.  Examples of services provided through mental health capacity building projects include: success coaches, mentoring, counselling, wellness education, stigma reduction, parenting supports, after-school support, life skills training, and addiction education and counselling.Last year, 315,461 Albertans participated in mental health capacity building projects.

Residential treatment beds for children and youth

Alberta Health will work with partners to develop new child and adolescent residential treatment beds in the Calgary and Edmonton regions. These new treatment beds will address identified needs for more long-term mental health treatment spaces for youth in these regions. Plans for the development of these new beds will be completed by fall.

Continued funding for counselling, treatment and support programs

This includes funding that ensures more than 370,000 people are able to access services under the Children’s Mental Health Plan, including:

  • developmental delays;
  • health promotion;
  • early intervention; and
  • counselling.

Funding recipients include CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, Child and Family Services in Edmonton and Calgary, Metis Child and Family Services and the universities of Lethbridge, Calgary and Alberta.About 20 per cent of Alberta adults experienced an addiction or mental health problem in 2012.  This is equivalent to 614,861 people, or one in five Alberta adults.Budget 2014 renews and strengthens the Alberta government’s commitment to programs and services for mental health promotion, illness prevention, early intervention, and treatment for people whose lives are touched by mental illness or addiction.
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