Valuing mental health: Next steps

Valuing Mental Health: Next Steps provides an overview of the actions being taken to strengthen the addiction and mental health system in Alberta.

Mental health review

Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee PDF icon was released February 2016 after a province-wide review of the mental health and addiction system; it contains 32 recommendations.

Government took action on 6 priority recommendations:

  1. Established a leadership team to work with community and health partners to develop an action plan to implement the report. The Next Steps document is the result of the work of the Valuing Mental Health advisory committee.
  2. Increased technology-based solutions in spring 2016 by launching a child and youth mental health website.
  3. Expanded access to addiction treatment by opening three new social detoxification beds for children and youth in Calgary’s Protection of Children Abusing Drugs protective safe house at Hull Services.
  4. Adding new adult medical detox beds in Lethbridge. Renovations are underway with the new beds expected to open in early 2018. Upgrades are still planned to convert 20 beds in Red Deer’s Safe Harbour facility from social to medical detox. In addition, government funded the new $7.6-million Medicine Hat Recovery Centre, which opened in March 2016, adding 18 new addiction treatment spaces.
  5. Continue to work in partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to develop opioid addiction action plans. Three grants provided to the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Aseniwche Winewak Nation of Canada and the Metis Settlements General Council to create culturally relevant Indigenous opioid plans with support and services for their communities.
  6. Develop a performance measurement framework to track results on report recommendations and benefits to Albertans, with completion expected later in 2017.

Read: Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee PDF icon

Valuing Mental Health Review Committee

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, now Minister of Children’s Services, 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.

Next steps

To direct the work and funding in areas that have the biggest impact on improving connections between services, especially for: children and youth, people with addictions, people with multiple and complex needs, and Indigenous people and communities.

Development process

  • Five consultations from April 11, 2016 to Oct. 13, 2016 with ministry partners, Alberta Health Services, community addiction and mental health stakeholders, and individuals with lived experience.
  • Ongoing engagement with groups established as part of the implementation team, including government, service providers and community stakeholders.
  • Integrating the Gender-Based Analysis Plus approach to ensure marginalized or underserved groups are considered.
  • Collaboration with ministry partners to align efforts to make service systems more coordinated and accessible.

The document proposes further actions that build on current work and will address the Valuing Mental Health Committee’s Report.

Budget for mental health

Budget 2017 invests more than $80 million for mental-health and substance-use supports – a 64% increase in funding over the previous year.

Of this, $15 million of new funding is dedicated specifically to address the recommendations in the Valuing Mental Health Review report.