Saturday, July 20, 2024

Albertan Budget 2023 sets aside $92 million on providing mental health supports


Calgary, March 6: Supporting children and youth who are struggling with mental health is an essential part of Alberta’s recovery-oriented system of mental health and addiction care. If passed, Budget 2023 would invest $92 million over three years to provide critical mental health supports for children and youth in partnerships with CASA Mental Health.

This $92-million investment would include capital and operating funding for two new inpatient CASA House sites in Fort McMurray and Calgary, expanding youth day treatment programs provincially, and the rollout of new mental health classrooms across Alberta.

“Every young person in Alberta deserves the opportunity to access treatment and improve their mental health. If passed, Budget 2023 will dramatically increase access to mental health supports for youth to help families in crisis and provide kids with opportunities to improve their mental health across Alberta.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

“Our goal is to ensure that every young person in Alberta is supported in their pursuit of improved mental health. In partnership with CASA Mental Health, we’re expanding a range of treatment options for youth and their families that includes mental health supports in schools, day treatment programs and new inpatient programs to meet the diverse needs of youth in Alberta.”

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

Supporting young Albertans with mental health challenges

With this funding, high-intensity services for children and youth will be delivered in community settings, reducing the need for hospital stays. CASA Mental Health will expand four programs that will help more than 700 additional young Albertans every year.

  • CASA House (for youth in grades 7 to 12): A live-in program for youth where parents and caregivers are still active participants in treatment, but the youth lives at a CASA facility. Treatment includes individual, group and family therapy, social and life skills training, and on-site schooling in small classroom settings.
  • Adolescent Day Treatment Program (for youth in grades 8 to 12): A daily program where youth with a mental illness diagnosis who are struggling in a conventional classroom setting can complete their schooling at a CASA facility while receiving ongoing support, including group, family and individual therapy.
  • CASA Mental Health Classrooms (for children and youth in grades 4 to 12): A classroom-based program where students with complex mental health needs receive individual and group therapy. Students are supported by a team of mental health professionals, including a therapist, psychiatrist and behavioural specialist.
  • CASA Core (for children and youth aged three to 17): Community-based services where families are matched with the appropriate level of service dependent on the complexity of mental health challenges. Therapy incorporates the child’s family, school and community network in treatment.

Alberta’s government is continuing to build a recovery-oriented system of care, where everyone struggling with addiction and mental health challenges is supported in their pursuit of recovery.

This includes dramatically increasing access to mental health supports for children and youth focused on prevention and early intervention, including the creation of new mental health classrooms, expanding access to digital supports like 211 Alberta and Kids Help Phone, investing in affordable virtual and in-person counselling, and establishing youth mental health hubs across the province.

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s bright future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • If passed, Budget 2023 would provide $25 million over two years in capital funding in addition to $67 million over three years in operating funding to CASA Mental Health.
  • Funding will expand CASA House, Adolescent Day Program and CASA Core services to Calgary, Fort McMurray and Central Zone.
  • CASA Classrooms have been established at two schools in Sturgeon County, and funding will support the continued rollout to schools across the province.
  • CASA Mental Health is the second largest provider of community-based residential services for children and youth in Alberta, after Alberta Health Services.
  • Albertans experiencing addiction or mental health challenges can contact 211 for information on services in their community, including other virtual supports like Kids Help Phone and the Mental Health Helpline.



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