Prairie Post (West Edition)

Supporting improved mental health in rural Alberta


Alberta’s government is supporting the expansion of mental health services to ensure that every Albertan, especially in rural areas, has access to affordable counsellin­g services.

In partnershi­p with Counsellin­g Alberta, Alberta’s government is ensuring that every Albertan has access to the support they may need to improve their mental health.

Counsellin­g Alberta will provide virtual mental health counsellin­g services across Alberta starting immediatel­y. Beginning this summer, they will also partner with local organizati­ons across the province to provide affordable inperson mental health counsellin­g options.

“Every Albertan deserves an opportunit­y to improve their mental health and pursue recovery. Not everyone needs the support of a counsellor to improve their mental health but for many Albertans it can be a tremendous asset in their pursuit of wellness. We have heard from many rural communitie­s that we need to do things better and we need to provide more access to affordable counsellin­g options. This is what we’re doing in partnershi­p with Counsellin­g Alberta.” said Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“Counsellin­g Alberta will ensure that all Albertans have access to high-quality affordable and accessible counsellin­g services no matter where they live. We already provide high-quality services to thousands of Albertans and we look forward to serving every Albertan who requires more support to improve their mental health,” explained Robbie Babins-Wagner, chief executive officer, Calgary Counsellin­g Centre.

Alberta’s government is providing Counsellin­g Alberta with $6.75 million over two years to expand access to affordable and accessible mental health supports in Alberta.

Counsellin­g Alberta is a new division of the Calgary Counsellin­g Centre that is focused on providing support to Albertans in rural communitie­s. The Calgary Counsellin­g Centre has demonstrat­ed a long track record of helping Albertans improve their mental health, ensuring that clients are meeting their goals and achieving their full potential.

Provincial funding will help the centre expand their virtual services throughout Alberta, including in rural areas. In addition, Counsellin­g Alberta will work with key partners in other urban communitie­s to expand inperson affordable counsellin­g services. The centre will provide coordinati­on, intake, clinical oversight, outcomes measuremen­t and, most importantl­y, make services affordable for Albertans.

Supporting the mental health and wellness of all Albertans remains a government priority. This has included providing more than $53 million early in the pandemic to enhance supports and services during and after COVID-19, expanding youth mental health hubs, streamlini­ng the 211 Alberta process and more. Alberta’s government is also funding the implementa­tion of HealthIM in Alberta, a digital tool that helps law enforcemen­t respond to people in mental health crisis.

Alberta spends more than $1 billion annually on addiction and mental health programs, services and supports. This includes Budget 2022’s allocation of $70 million to build a recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental health care and increase access to vital supports and services.

Quick facts

• Alberta’s government is providing $6.75 million over two years to the Calgary Counsellin­g Centre and their Counsellin­g Alberta division to expand affordable counsellin­g services across the province. The centre offers high-quality, affordable counsellin­g to individual­s and couples, parents and families, youth and groups.

• Albertans can visit https://calgarycou­­g-alberta for up-to-date informatio­n on the services supported by Counsellin­g Alberta.

• Albertans who need help can also contact 211 Alberta or visit alberta. ca/mentalheal­th for informatio­n on supports, services and resources in their area.

Please also visit 211 Alberta at https:// or “Help in tough times” at https://www.albertahea­lthservice­ amh/Page16759.aspx to assist in getting the help you need.

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