Increasing mental health support for rural Alberta

Counselling Alberta is expanding mental health supports for Albertans.

The provincial government is expanding mental health services in rural Alberta.

The provincial government has partnered with Counselling Alberta to ensure Albertans can access the support they need to improve their mental health, a media release said.

“Every Albertan deserves an opportunity to improve their mental health and pursue recovery. Not everyone needs the support of a counsellor to improve their mental health but for many Albertans, it can be a tremendous asset in their pursuit of wellness. We have heard from many rural communities that we need to do things better and we need to provide more access to affordable counselling options. This is what we’re doing in partnership with Counselling Alberta,” Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Mike Ellis said.

Counselling Alberta will provide virtual mental health counselling services across Alberta and will also partner with organizations across the province to provide in-person mental health counselling options, the release said.

The government will provide Counselling Alberta with $6.75 million over two years to expand access to mental health support.
Counselling Alberta is part of the Calgary Counselling Centre that is focusing on providing support to
Albertans who are in rural communities.

With provincial funding, the centre will expand virtual services, and work with key partners to expand in-person counselling services for individuals, couples, parents and families, youth, and groups.

The centre will provide coordination, intake, clinical oversight, outcomes measurement and, make services affordable for Albertans, the release said.

“Counselling Alberta will ensure that all Albertans have access to high-quality affordable and accessible counselling services no matter where they live. We already provide high-quality services to thousands of Albertans, and we look forward to serving every Albertan who requires more support to improve their mental health,” chief executive officer, Calgary Counselling Centre Robbie Babins-Wagner said.

More than $1 billion is spent annually on addiction and mental health programs, supports and services, including $70 million that was allocated from the 2022 budget to build a recovery system of addiction and mental health care.

Albertans can visit counsellingalberta.com for information on the services supported by Counselling Alberta.

Albertans who need help can also contact 211 Alberta or visit alberta.ca/mentalhealth for information on supports, services and resources in their area.

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