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Record-breaking expansion of mental health services

Record-breaking expansion of mental health services

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Alberta’s government is partnering with CASA Mental Health to significantly enhance mental health services for children and youth through a $148 million investment over the next two years. This marks a substantial increase in support, positioning CASA as the province’s second-largest mental health service provider. The expanded services include professional in-school support, residential treatment, and comprehensive family and trauma support.

This new funding will double the current financial support for CASA Mental Health, facilitating the tripling of CASA Mental Health Classrooms across Alberta, with $40 million allocated to this initiative. Additionally, $98 million will fund the construction and operation of three new residential treatment facilities, known as CASA Houses, and the expansion of services at an existing facility. Another $10 million will enhance specialized services that CASA offers.

This investment underscores the Alberta government’s commitment to creating a comprehensive care system that supports individuals facing mental health challenges, aiming to enhance their quality of life and reduce hospital admissions. Once fully implemented, these funds will allow approximately 2,000 additional children and youth to access CASA’s services annually.

CASA Mental Health Classrooms are innovative spaces located within schools for students in grades 4 to 12, dealing with complex mental health issues. These classrooms offer tailored therapy and psychiatric care, enabling students to continue their education while receiving necessary mental health support. Presently, eight classrooms are operational, with plans to expand to 40 by 2026.

CASA House provides residential and day programs for youth needing intensive mental health care combined with academic support, aiming to integrate these individuals back into school successfully. The new funding will facilitate the expansion of these facilities to Calgary, Fort McMurray, and one additional location in the south zone.

In addition to these major projects, CASA Mental Health will also be enhancing its specialty programs, including services for trauma, core mental health issues, family therapy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and Indigenous services, with part of the new funding facilitating expansion into Calgary.

Alberta’s government continues to broaden its investment in mental health and addiction services, supporting innovative solutions like Alberta 211 and Kids Help Phone, and increasing access to various forms of counseling and treatment across the province.

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