Children’s Mental Health
In our lifetime, one in five people will experience a mental illness and as many as 10 per cent of people over the age of 15 will battle a drug or alcohol dependency. The societal impact is in the billions of dollars. The emotional impact on families and individuals is incalculable. While Alberta’s current programs and services are helping to address the needs of Albertans struggling with addiction, mental health problems and mental illness, we know that more has to be done.
More information about Alberta’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy
Learn about the Children’s Mental Health Learning Series
Mental Health Grants
Recognizing mental health as a contributing root cause that brings children and families to the attention of child intervention services, the province has dedicated $2 million dollars in funding in 2016/17 to:
- Increase access to mental health specialists for assessment and brief intervention;
- Recruit specialists (psychiatric nurse/pharmacist) to give child intervention staff access to expert clinical/medical consultation and help staff better understand the psychiatric treatment plans and use of psychotropic medications;
- Support two best practice sites in Calgary and Red Deer that increase mental health services to children and youth who are receiving child intervention services (learnings from these sites are used to enhance services across the province).
Two best practice sites have been established to enhance mental health supports for children and families who are receiving child intervention services. Both sites provide increased mental health services to children and youth. The sites are located in Calgary and Red Deer and are repurposing beds. The best practice sites:
Hull Services, Calgary – provide a program that will assist parents in caring for their child with mental health needs and reduce the need for residential care. The program uses individualized, evidence based therapeutic modalities that result in a comprehensive support plan. The plan focuses on strategies that are transferable in the home environment. In addition to supporting the child within the program, the children received support at home and in school.
Vantage Community Services, Red Deer – provide a program that will help children and youth from address their mental health needs. Clients learn how to manage their mental health diagnoses or identified mental health concerns and develop coping skills to become more resilient. Aims are to enable youth to function successfully at home, at school, and as members of the community by transitioning them to less rigorous services. To help support the youth in their treatment, families and caregivers are provided with parenting strategies and links to additional networks and services.