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.
• 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://calgarycounselling.com/counselling-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:// ab.211.ca or “Help in tough times” at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/ amh/Page16759.aspx to assist in getting the help you need.