The UCP government announced on April 15 that the province is spending more than $53 million to implement in more mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The areas the funding will cover more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery support to make it easier on Albertans to access services from anywhere in the province during the world health crisis.
“We know people are struggling right now, and we want Albertans to know that help is there for them through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Alberta’s government is committed to ensuring folks have the support they need to cope and stay mentally healthy during these tough times, which is why our mental health response is the largest in Canada, with funding greater than all other provinces combined,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
The government is also investing $21.4 million to provide improved access to already exisitn phone and online supports with existing help lines such Addictions Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, Kids Help Phone and Alberta’s 2-1-1 Community and Social Services Helpline.
“It’s important that Albertans in all corners of the province have access to the mental health and addiction supports they need. These resources will help address the needs of children, youth and adults, and we will continue to work with our partners across the mental health and addiction sector to find innovative ways to support Albertans in need, both now and after the pandemic is behind us,” said Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
“We are grateful to continue partnering with the Alberta government to support the mental health of all Albertans as they deal with this difficult time. We have been supporting young people for over 30 years, but in partnership with the Government of Alberta, this will be the first time we will be able to leverage our experience to support Albertans of all ages,” said Katherine Hay, president & CEO, Kids Help Phone
The funding announcement also includes:
• $2.6 million to expand individual and group treatment to address family violence, addiction and mental health for Albertans
• $4.2 million to expand the addiction and mental health support available through Primary Care Networks
• $25 million for a new community grant program to enhance community mental health and addiction recovery for the public, including Indigenous communities, seniors, families and people experiencing social barriers, who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.