EDMONTON, AB: Increasing funding for addictions and detox programs, expanding mental health services through Primary Care Networks and expanding community and home based supports are a part of 10 common sense recommendations Wildrose is putting forward to improve mental health services across Alberta.
The 10 recommendations were released in a new report titled, Healthier Albertans, Healthier Communities, and will be submitted to the Mental Health Review Panel and the Health Minister’s office.
A properly implemented mental health strategy is desperately needed in Alberta, following previous government reports being drafted in 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2014, only to sit on a shelf. The Wildrose 10-point plan includes solutions that build off of previous reports, as well as other measures recommended by health professionals and Alberta’s Auditor General.
“For too long mental health has not received the same care and attention as other health services in our province,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “It is my sincere hope that the Mental Health Review Panel and the NDP government will take the Wildrose plan seriously, and implement these common sense solutions right away to save lives and improve quality of care for those living with mental illness.”
Other recommendations include:
- Complete consolidation of community mental health services and addictions services throughout the province, including in hospital emergency departments;
- Complete the creation of an electronic record database that will bring Alberta into the 21st century of health care provision;
- Develop a mental health framework for Alberta’s First Nations and Metis communities; and
- Improve mental health services available for front line workers.
One in five people in Canada experience mental illness in their lifetime, making it crucial that a properly implemented strategy be put into place in our province.
“Every Albertan knows someone who has dealt with or is dealing with mental illness,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “All Albertans deserve proper care and treatment within our health system, and that is currently lacking with respect to mental health. There is no downside for the government to support this mental health strategy from across the aisle – just healthier Albertans and communities.”