For Immediate Release
Red Deer– February 22, 2016: Trish McAllister-Hall, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association-Central Alberta Region is optimistic a commitment to the full implementation of the recommendations from the Mental Health Review will herald a new era for Albertans living with mental health and addiction challenges. McAllister-Hall, responding to the release of Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee on Monday, said the focus of the report shows the panel members listened to Albertans about the challenges faced for those trying to access support in a system which has been identified as “overwhelmed, fragmented, and reacting mostly to those in crisis.” She additionally said the recommendations offer a clear path to addressing gaps in prevention, promotion and early intervention.
“On behalf of CMHA-Central Alberta, and especially our clients, I want to congratulate and commend Premier Notley, Dr. Swann, Honourable Danielle Larivee, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, Ms. Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning and Mr. Tyler White, CEO of Siksika Health Services for their leadership with respect to this important issue. In less than a year we have seen mental health and addiction highlighted as a government priority, a province-wide consultation, and now recommendations and an implementation plan,” McAllister-Hall said, adding this sense of commitment and urgency allows Alberta to take a leadership role in addressing the mental health and addiction needs of people in the province.
Ms. McAllister-Hall noted the report focuses on important aspects which CMHA has identified as critical across the province, such as the need for client-centred care, housing, integrated service delivery, enhanced community-based care, and a focus on prevention and promotion.
“We were really pleased to see the Canadian Mental Health Association named in the report. We not only have critical community insight, but we also have many successful programs and services that we know can be expanded on, through partnerships that will address needs identified in the report.”
In reviewing the recommendations and critical timelines, McAllister-Hall said CMHA-Central Alberta is ready to be part of the implementation process. “Albertans are talking about mental health. We are all impacted directly or indirectly when mental illness or addiction touches us, our family or our community. CMHA is prepared to work with the government of Alberta to invest in the best outcomes possible for Albertans. We are optimistic that the government will provide adequate resources to make the change and provide the services Albertans are looking for.”
About the Canadian Mental Health Association in Alberta:
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)-Central Alberta Region is part of Canada’s most established national mental health organizations and is one of 8 regional offices throughout the province of Alberta. Operating out of our office in Red Deer for the past 50 years, CMHA-Central Alberta is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides education, housing supports, advocacy, resources, and system navigation to individuals and families impacted by mental health and addictions.
• Alberta Mental Health Review:
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association-Central Alberta Region
Office (403) 342-2266
Cell (587) 877-2617