‘Transformational’: Mental health centre receives funding boost
A proposed $226-million youth mental health centre in Edmonton will boast more than 100 inpatient beds and bring various treatment programs under one roof, said the province.Funding for the child and adolescent mental health centre was first set out in the 2017 budget to the tune of $200 million, said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.On Monday, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation promised to contribute an additional $26 million to the project. The foundation will receive the naming rights for the facility.“We just recently finished the scope, so now we know the how many beds and what the kinds of services will be,” Hoffman said.The centre will include 101 inpatient beds, child and adolescent crisis services, a mobile response team, and a slew of other services including outpatient support.“Even those (80) beds we have right now aren’t open all the time,” Hoffman said. “We’re going to be making this a permanent full-time unit.”The centre will be built on land owned by Alberta Health Services east of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.“I think it’s going to be transformational,” said Stollery foundation president and CEO Mike House. “The number of children and families who are looking for care and support is growing.”The foundation plans to raise the additional funds over the next five years, he added.Construction is set to begin in spring 2021, for completion in 2024. Project design will start in the next few months, said the province.“I actually think this is going to be something that has an indelible mark on things like crime and homelessness and poverty because so much of that is endemic to mental health,” House said.Annie Belley, 24, spoke about her own struggle with bipolar disorder at the news conference. She said having multiple services under one roof will be helpful for patients.“It’s so hard to navigate the health system as it is. When you throw mental health into the mix, there are so many other factors that go into play there,” she said.“When I think back to some of my worse anxiety days, or my worse depressive days, just getting out of bed is enough of a struggle.”The province estimated the project will create up to 250 construction jobs.
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