The provincial government is reminding Albertans there is mental health and addiction support available throughout the holiday season.
Although the holiday season can bring families and friends together to celebrate and reconnect, it can also be a challenging time for anyone struggling with mental health or addiction.
“This year may be especially difficult. Despite the strong recovery of Alberta’s economy, many Albertans are struggling to cover everyday expenses, let alone the extra costs associated with the holidays,” Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Nicholas Milliken said. “While Alberta’s government is taking action to address these concerns, for many, the financial strain is an added stress during an already challenging time of year.”
Anyone experiencing addiction or mental health challenges can contact 211 for information on services available in their community or connect with resources such as the Mental Health Help Line and the Kids Help Phone.
If anyone is struggling with opioid addiction, they can call the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) at 1-844-383-7688, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
VODP provides same-day access to addiction medicine specialists, no matter where they live in Alberta, a government of Alberta media release said.
Milliken encourages anyone who uses opioids or other drugs to download the Digital Overdose Response System at dorsapp.ca, to contact emergency services if needed.
“During the holidays, or any other day of the year, reach out to your friends and loved ones, reach out to someone who is in recovery or just reach out,” Milliken said. “You are not alone. Help is out there if you need it.”