Mental Health Review

image of report cover

The Alberta government is pleased to share Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee PDF icon

This report will help to guide the Alberta government’s actions to strengthen addiction and mental health care for Albertans.

The Alberta government has accepted the report and will be taking immediate action on 6 priority recommendations:

  1. Establish a leadership team to work with community and health partners to develop an action plan to implement the report.
  2. Increase technology-based solutions by launching a child and youth mental health website in spring 2016.
  3. Expand access to addiction treatment by opening 3 new social detoxification beds for children and youth in Calgary.
  4. Add medical detox beds for adults, including 6–8 new beds in Lethbridge and converting 20 beds in Red Deer from social to medical detox.
  5. Work in partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to develop an opiate addiction action plan.
  6. Implement a performance monitoring and evaluation framework to track results on report recommendations and benefits to Albertans.

More implementation actions will be developed in partnership with our valued partners and stakeholders, who are integral to achieving the positive vision that has been put forward.

The Mental Health Review was led by a committee co-chaired by Dr. David Swann, Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, and MLA for Calgary-Mountain View, and Honourable Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. Tyler White, CEO for Siksika Health Services, and Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning, were committee members.

Input from Albertans

Public and stakeholder consultations on the Mental Health Review took place in the fall of 2015. The committee received more than 100 written submissions and presentations, and almost 2,900 online questionnaires. About 400 stakeholders participated in sessions or gave presentations.

Responding to a request from the Minister of Health, the review committee provided its recommendations related to fentanyl misuse, ahead of the December 23, 2015 deadline for the final report.

Mental Health Review process

The Mental Health Review had 3 phases:

  1. Project planning – July to August 2015
  2. Public and stakeholder engagement – August to October 2015
  3. Development of recommendations and final report – October to December 2015

The Review’s focus included:

  • increasing access to addiction and mental health services including:
    • school-based programs for children and youth
    • community-based services
    • preventative services
  • improving continuity of care across an integrated service delivery model
  • in-patient support services
  • addiction
  • geographic challenges
  • ensuring services are inclusive of, and culturally appropriate for, Alberta’s diverse population

The Mental Health Review built on previous reviews of Alberta’s addiction and mental health system, as well as information, research and best practices from Alberta and around the world.

Alberta’s addiction and mental health system

Alberta’s addiction and mental health programs and services range from health promotion and prevention programs in communities to residential treatment for those who need it.