Mental Health

A re-elected United Conservative Party will expand accessible and affordable mental health supports for children, youth and all Albertans. United Conservatives will continue focusing on early intervention, diagnosis, and treatment to improve outcomes and build on the comprehensive recovery-oriented system of care they have developed for mental health and addiction.

Recognizing the crucial role of early intervention in mental health, a re-elected United Conservative government will allocate significant resources to assist children and youth struggling with mental health issues.

“By intervening at an early stage and providing the necessary supports and services to address complex mental health and addiction, United Conservatives will ensure Alberta’s children and youth have access to the care they need to heal, grow and thrive,” stated Nicholas Milliken, UCP candidate for Calgary-Currie. “Every young person in Alberta deserves the opportunity to access the best care and treatment to improve their mental health and wellness.

To address the complex needs of children and youth the UCP will commit to:

Increasing the number of Mental Health Classrooms from 20 to 60 across Alberta by investing $20 million per year.

  • Mental Health Classrooms provide clinical mental health support to students with significant mental health needs in their school in a specialized classroom setting.
  • Mental Health Classroom teams consist of a mental health therapist, psychiatrist and classroom behavioural specialist. The teams are supported by a health team that includes a nurse, social worker, educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, and occupational therapist.
  • The first twenty Mental Health Classrooms were announced in July 2022 as part of a broader investment into Mental Health by the UCP Government.
  • The UCP expects an additional $20 million per year for expansion as part of the recent MOU with the government of Canada.

Expanding the Integrated School Support Program to an additional twenty-two high-needs schools across the province through a $4.5 million per year investment.

  • The Integrated School Support Program (ISSP) provides low intensity mental health support in high-needs schools by partnering social programs like nutrition support, literacy programming, and mental health supports. 
  • The ISSP is a prevention-based plan first spearheaded by the Calgary Police Service in the fall of 2014. It helps at-risk children by providing them with the necessary supports to thrive both academically and socially. 
  • ISSP offers a positive police presence in the schools, on-site psychologists, physical education specialists, social workers and health clinicians, as well as breakfast, lunch and afterschool programs at no cost to families.

Increasing support for addiction and mental health prevention by expanding resiliency education in schools through a $5 million per year investment.

  • Resilient Schools works together with First Nations and Métis school communities across Alberta to amplify the voice of youth and create opportunities for educators, Elders, parents, coaches and community members to develop their own strategies to enhance student success.

Building four new youth mental wellness centres to provide inpatient mental health and addiction treatment to youth under the age of 18.

  • These wellness centres are a new model for healing, recovery, and prevention and would provide 30 treatment spaces each, located in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge.
  • A re-elected UCP government would invest $15 million in capital and $15 million in operating expenditures over four years.
    • By bringing strategic partners together under one roof and providing the personalized, treatment-focused space that they need, they are able to better respond to the challenges presented by mental health concerns, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, and other child and youth related traumas.
    • Building these purpose-built spaces reduces unnecessary use of more expensive acute-care beds.

Addressing and treating mental health issues is critical to keeping Albertans and their communities safe. These initiatives will complement the UCP’s Safe Streets Action Plan and the Compassionate Intervention Act.

A re-elected United Conservative government will address the increasing need for mental health care throughout the province by expanding counselling services to all Albertans and ensuring more treatment options are available to those struggling the most. This will include:

Building five new mental wellness facilities

  • These wellness centres would provide people recovering from mental health challenges with short- and long-term programs to pursue recovery and stabilize in the community.
  • A re-elected UCP government would invest $125 million in capital and $37.5 million per year in operating expenditures.
  • Mental wellness facilities can provide a variety of programs to treat a wide range of mental health challenges including:
    • Behavioral Health Treatment 
    • Psychiatric care 
    • Psychotherapy 
    • Group or family therapy 
  • Since these facilities offer both long- and short-term programs, physical facilities can vary, with some having the capacity to support long term inpatient care and others being similar to walk-in clinics. 

Expanding Counselling Alberta to provide same day, no wait list, accessible and affordable counselling sessions for all Albertans by investing $4 million per year.

  • Counselling Alberta is a division of the Calgary Counselling Centre that provides virtual counselling across Alberta.
  • This expansion of services outside Calgary is made possible through a partnership between the Government of Alberta and Calgary Counselling Centre to address the growing need for mental health services in the province.

These initiatives are part of our recovery-oriented system of care and will be made possible thanks to the healthcare funding agreement the UCP government negotiated with the government of Canada.

The NDP had four years to act on mental health and addiction, but instead of providing more treatment and recovery options, they made Albertans pay to get treatment while enabling drug use. The NDP plan, if they are elected again, they will provide free hard drugs to addicts and open many more drug consumption centres in communities across Alberta. Their plan will put more Albertans at risk and make our streets even more dangerous. Albertans need hope, not heroin.

The United Conservative Party is committed to moving Alberta forward and serving Alberta families by delivering effective governance, fostering economic growth, and improving the safety and quality of life for everyone. By focusing on accessible, affordable mental health supports, a re-elected UCP government will continue its work to create a recovery-oriented system of care that ensures the well-being and success of all Albertans and keeps our streets safe.

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